Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My in-laws are tough cookies. Their house smells like pee (an assortment of pee, actually -- cat, dog, and human), and nothing is ever clean. (Think: Hoarders bad. Grey Gardens bad.) My sister-in-law throws massive-scale tantrums (have I mentioned that she's 30 and still living at home?), and she says some of the rudest things you could imagine. She called a few weeks ago to tell me that she finally got around to reading the book I bought her last year, and that she hated it. I didn't really know how to respond.
Anyway, I'm pregnant and terribly emotional these days, and my husband and I are spending this Christmas halfway across the country at the in-laws' house. How, exactly, am I going to survive a Christmas of bad smells, tantrums, and rudeness? Remember, I can't even drink to ease the issue.
I'd Rather Have Coal in My Stocking Than Cat Pee
Dear Coal Over Cat Pee,
Nothing says "Happy Holidays" like "hoarders" and "human pee"! I had to make myself a Hot Toddy just to get through the first couple sentences of your question.
This is way too much to endure on an average holiday but when you're pregnant? No way. You have to deal with enough issues when you're pregnant like the stress of sending your husband across state lines at 1 a.m. to find your favorite mint chocolate chip double fudge ice cream because you've cleaned out all the local stores. That is taxing enough. You should not have to take on your in-laws and their complete lack of cleanliness and manners.
I'm guessing you can't get out of the trip completely but absolutely, positively demand that you stay at a hotel. Just tell them, because of your pregnancy, you need your own space. This is non negotiable. That way you can spend time at your in-laws but flee before you injure yourself tripping over a pile of Cat Fancy magazines from 1966.
As for gifts, make sure your in-laws give you specific ideas so you can just get them exactly what they want and won't have to deal with their complaints. Or make a donation to a charity in their name. As for your ungrateful sister-in-law, I'm really hoping you gave her a hard cover book so this year, you can just buy her the same book in paperback.
Remember, the most important thing is for you to take care of yourself and your baby. And that means not having a nervous breakdown. So spend as little time as possible with those crazy in-laws.
Photo Credit: PHB.cz (Richard Semik) at Shutterstock.
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