This year we spent Mother’s Day with the in-laws. We made the trek to L’s childhood home in the suburbs of L.A. It’s only about thirty miles away, but it takes over an hour to get there in weekend traffic. I’m pretty sure I have already established that my mother-in-law is insane. We are currently working on our relationship, but have I mentioned what different people we are? It’s comical. Really, it is.

We pulled up to their house on the hill, and were greeted by my father-in-law, who was milling around in the garage. He gave us both a hug, and immediately commented on my sandals. “Aren’t your feet cold?!” It was about 73 degrees out, so I told him I was fine. This theme of me being cold is a constant with my in-laws. They are always worried that I am cold, and I have to tell them, even in the dead of summer, that I’m ok. But even when I say I’m fine, I always leave with various items of their clothing. This time, my FIL ran to the hall closet and gave me his big, puffy down vest to wear. Hmm, it didn’t really match my outfit, but better to keep that to myself.

After about an hour of fussing at the house, we finally got in the car to make the ten minute drive to the restaurant for dinner. I sat in the front while L drove, and my in-laws were in the back seat. My in-laws don’t really enjoy making small talk, so we all sat there in silence. I kept hearing weird noises like hiccups coming from the backseat. I didn’t want to turn around at the risk of seeming rude. L acted like he didn’t hear anything, so I followed suit.We pulled up to the restaurant parking lot, and…


Yep, that’s my MIL!

No “excuse me”. No “whoopsies”. No nothing. She was just back there belching like it’s happy hour and the Bud Light is 2 for 1. I got a huge case of the giggles, but NO ONE else in the car thought it was funny. Not even a titter.

Shit, now my MIL probably thought I was laughing at her. But, I’m like a pre-pubescent boy, and despite having two brothers, I giggle at farts and burps. Oops.

Either way, we made it into the restaurant and sat down to eat. Dinner went smoothly, no real hiccups (harr harr). There were a few off-handed references to “when we have kids” including a conversation about needing a bigger car for baby seats. I somehow weaseled my way out of any serious talk about babies, which was a good thing, because I just wasn’t in the mood. Then my FIL pointed out a zit on my MIL’s chin, and she spent the rest of the meal studying it in her compact mirror.

We finished up and drove back to their place.

Once we got back, my MIL hustled toward the kitchen to start preparing after-dinner fruit and cake, and L and my FIL laid around and then decided to putter around in the garage for awhile talking about golf. What a nice stereotypical scene. Ladies in the kitchen, gentlemen in the garage to talk shop.

My MIL then approached me and asked how I had been feeling lately. All the while she was talking to me, I couldn’t stop staring at this huge piece of chocolate that was stuck to her bottom lip. Should I say something? I’m terrible in situations like that. Then she started talking again, and I watched it fly off and land on the kitchen counter. Crisis averted.

I told her that my health seemed to be improving. She said, “good” and that she was glad I felt better and hadn’t gained much weight. Apparently, she “likes skinny” and nothing is worse than being “sick and fat”. (Her words, not mine) At that point, I thought I might not make it. I envisioned running out of the house. But I kept my wits about me.

The guys came back in the house, and somehow the subject of my being cold came into play again, and MIL ran upstairs and came down with a pair of pink golf socks. I promptly put them on to avoid any further discussion of my cold feet, and went about eating my cake.

The night wound down pretty quickly, and before we knew it, it was time to part ways. I shuffled out of the house in the huge puffy down vest and sandals with pink socks. We loaded the car with food, golf balls, and other various goodies from them. When we visit their place, we never, ever leave empty-handed.

On the car ride home, L asked if we should stop for gas. We both looked at each other, and said “Just keep going”. We were both exhausted, but also relieved. We had survived another encounter with the in-laws, and the drive home felt so good.

Then my husband let out a huge fart, and of course, I laughed.



  1. Reply

    Geek in Heels

    May 11, 2010

    I'm sorry, but I had to laugh because this behavior is so typical of Korean moms. 🙂 And the keeping yourself warm thing might me Korea (Asian?) too, because my mom is constantly worried and nagging about keeping my body warm (especially my lower body, including feet) because she says that a woman can't have healthy babies if her body is cold.

  2. Reply

    honey my heart

    May 11, 2010

    oh, inlaws… they are a too much. my experience may not be the same, but the feeling is.

    ps. i love the way you tell your stories.

  3. Reply


    May 11, 2010

    hahaha this made me laugh out loud. Oh inlaws… really. I ALWAYS get gifts that involve cooking from my MIL. ALWAYS. Hint much? Her poor boy is slowly wasting away from a subway diet because I don't cook for him. Whoops. My bad.

    PS My giveaway ends today! Come check it out 😉

  4. Reply

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

    May 12, 2010

    That's my family! Yep my crazy, weird noisy family (mostly the extended one but my dad does say "excuse me" if he burps)

  5. Reply


    May 12, 2010

    Cute story. 🙂
    The being cold thing, I ALWAYS get that at every family function with the boy's family! Honestly, I think it's because they either 1. think I am dressed inappropriately, or 2. have nothing else to say.

  6. Reply


    May 12, 2010

    This all sounds SO familiar to me…except my future inlaws talk NON STOP while in the car, and my future FIL lets out the hugest, loudest, stinkiest farts you've ever heard/smelled with reckless abandon, whenever he feels like it. Like its no big deal. The first couple times I had to stifle laugher, but now I have to stifle cringing because seriously, they are SUFFOCATING, and repulsive. I envy the burping mother in law; I really do. His parents are also nonstop "when are you going to have the seven grandaughters we're expecting from you" and "you need a more practical car so you can have babies" Hence, we are now on the lookout for an even more impractical car so that we can point out why we CANNOT possibly have babies. 😉 Best wishes!

  7. Reply

    Creature Gorgeous

    May 13, 2010

    Oh my goodness, this is so hilarious…and familiar. Your MIL reminds me of my mom. Except she wouldn't burp. But she is neurotic and a little nuts and would most definitely give me a pair of pink socks to wear…under my sandals. And the image of that and the puffy coat=awesome. When we visit my cousin's house in San Fran, my mother always seems to end up wearing my aunts coats and sandals and it's all ill-fitting, but dammit, it's warm! Thanks for sharing. I'm slightly irritated for you!

  8. Reply

    M and C

    May 13, 2010

    I think it's totally an Asian thing. My parents are constantly concerned about the cold and we've never left my parents house without something.

    You should talk to my husband. He gets along with my parents but there are just as many weird interactions. 🙂