stuff my mother-in-law says, round 2

round 1

Let's talk about my Mother-in-law. She is one of  the kindest and most generous women I've ever met. Her generosity astounds me and she is so good to us, but there's no denying the fact that she is a handful. I really do love her and I enjoyed our time together, but it felt like running a marathon. It truly did. She has the ability of a toddler to say the most outrageous things completely out of the blue. She is completely full of quirks. All week long she referred to James and me as girls. All day we heard "Girls, come look at this!" and "What do you girls want for lunch?" and so on and so forth. She also refers to her female dog as a "he," so who knows what she's thinking. She will also never call anything by its name. Everything is referred to as either "stuff" or "things." When she wants more salsa, she asks the waiter for more "stuff" and gestures to the salsa. If she's pointing out something, she'll say "look at the little things!" and point at whatever she's referencing. It could be french fries or shoes and she would call them "things." And she is still referring to parking spots as "parks" (i.e. There are too many cars, I can't find a good park!). James and I also could not say one thing to each other without her demanding to know what we said and why. We resorted to discreetly texting each other all day even though we were side by side.

All this woman does is talk. As we got in the car to drive the two and a half hours to the beach, she looked James and me in the eye and said "I cannot have any silence on this drive. I need you both to talk to me the whole way. I can't handle silence." I looked at James in wide-eyed terror as I was sitting in the front seat to ward off my inevitable car sickness. I am NOT a talkative person unless I am with my parents or James or very close friends. Any kind of small talk or forced conversation and I seriously need a nap afterwards, and after that car ride I could've slept for a month. As usual, this woman did not fail to make us laugh or humiliate us. I knew I was going to get some good quotes when she referred to the router as the "wifi machine" just minutes after we first pulled in.

It's imperative that you read these with the thickest southern accent you can imagine. And pretend there's a petite woman waving her arms like she's bringing in a plane.

"A black beautician once told me that white people's hair turns black before it turns grey, and I believe it's true."

"I like Myrtle Beach because there's older people and they have sidewalks."

"This swamp would be a great place to kill someone."

At the beach...during summer....at one of the USA's most popular vacation destinations:
"Why is there so much traffic? There must be a funeral."

After I mentioned something about the health benefits of the spinach in my salad
"Wait...spinach is good for you? I had no idea!" <---no, that was not sarcastic...she truly didn't know.

Looking at a temporary dealership license plate on the car next to us.
"Look at that license plate...I bet it's from a foreign country!"

"Starbucks has good coffee because they use coffee beans."

At a Mexican restaurant, to a hispanic waitress:
"Can I just have mashed potatoes with that? I need to eat at least something American."
(James and I shared looks of absolute horror. Needless to say we never got a refill.)

James: "Is this Colbie Callait on the radio?"
Me: "Not sure, but it sounds like her."
MIL: "What? What are you saying?"
Us: "Colbie Callait. The singer. She's on the radio."
MIL: "Why are you speaking another language? What?"
James: "Colbie Callait is the name of a singer."
MIL: "Oh! I thought you were speaking to each other in Spanish."

Speaking to me while standing on the edge of a pier
"If you were to fall in the water, I wouldn't go after you. I would think about it, but I wouldn't."

"Is provolone a sausage or a cheese?"

To a guy reeling in a fish on the pier
"Did you really catch something, or are you just pretending to catch something since there's people around?"
(He really caught something. A stingray, in fact, and he let me pet it.)

After listening to a ministry on the radio ask for donations since they're at the end of a fiscal year
"Oh that's why they keep asking for money. It's the end of the physical year."
(She enunciated the word "physical," leaving no room for me to misunderstand her.)

"Lake Tahoe's the lake in Vegas with the ocean water, right?"

And an honorary mention from James' grandfather:
"I cancelled my subscription to the Facebook after three days."


  1. "This swamp would be a great place to kill someone."

    I CAN'T HANDLE IT. I really can't. Oh my gosh. I wish you spent more time with her, just for the blog material. I AM LAUGHING SO HARD. I really, really hope to meet this lady someday. ALSO, I really like the use of the term "parks" and I am going to start using it.

    ALSO ALSO, I hear you re: needing a nap after forced small talk. You're not alone, lady!!!

  2. The mashed potato comment PUT ME OVER THE EDGE. "something American" - I cannot handle that, it is too good.

    Sometimes I picture you drowning in the ocean and your MIL walking away, as if she doesn't see you/notice you. I'd save you!! Unless Scott Avett suddenly appeared - then it would be a toss up. I'M KIDDING, I'D SAVE YOU. maybe.

  3. @_@_@_@_@_@_@_@__@_@@_@

    just what I needed to start my day. Oh gurrrrlll


    I've also texted my husband in the presence of my mother in law.

  4. I seriously just keeled over laughing in my classroom. Someone send help.

  5. "This swamp would be a great place to kill someone." <- perfect.

  6. "Is provolone a sausage or a cheese?"< ----- stop it! but don't ever actually stop saving her quotes. they are fabulous.

  7. I'm dying, Michelle. DYING.

  8. maybe your MIL and i are kindred souls. i often make comments at locations that would be good for hiding bodies.

  9. I feel like she needs her own reality show. This is amazing.

  10. Can you PLEASE videotape her next time? Maybe even record her secretly...I need to hear this woman's voice when she says these things.

    Or, I wish I could be a fly on the wall. That would be fun as well.

  11. Oh man. The talking thing. I'm the same exact way. I always just felt I was shy but over the years I've realized that the effort of talking to any one other than my close family and friends EXHAUSTS me. My dad (whom I love dearly) is a talker. We took a 7 hour trip to visit my sister this spring and he talked the ENTIRE time. I couldn't believe it. I mean not even music. I felt rude even stopping to scroll through Instagram for respite. Oh mah gah.
    I should do a similar post about my grandpa. The things he says and in a southern accent too! I gotta get on that ;)

  12. What? Starbucks uses coffee beans and spinach is healthy??? *shocked face* And I guess you should try not to get yourself into any dangerous situations around your MIL...doesn't look like she'll be much help. Although she will *think* about helping you, so I suppose that's something. (I laughed out loud at that one).

  13. PARKS! When you said you were with her in NC I was trying to remember what she called parking spots! PARKS.

    SHE IS MY FAVORITE, EVER. Such a special treasure. Shoutout to gramps as well and that facespace subscription!

  14. Oh my gosh I love her. I need to see a video.

  15. "I thought you were speaking another language" cracked me up. My grandparents are similarly embarrassing--although, culture-wise, they HAVE gotten better ever since my parents and siblings moved to Asia and then they got a Mexican grandson. They still do really awkward things like, 'Hey, Angel, meet this brand new friend of ours who is Mexican/from San Salvador/somehow speaks Spanish too." obviously thinking that Angel must love to meet every other person they can find who speaks Spanish....

  16. MICHELLE! I AM CRYING!!!!! hahahaha I have been waiting to catch up on your blog to when I had proper time to devote to it (i.e. when procrastinating at the end of my summer semester! haha) and you never fail me. I love you!!!


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