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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Traveling Mother Trucker

Non-recent photo of my mother-in-law, circa 1981

OMWord....I get so serious in this post. And then I ruin it at the end.

It's no secret that my mother-in-law and I don't get along. Sometimes I think it's because we're very similar. Take for instance the fact that we both don't like ice in our drinks. Or that we both think $6 for a garlic flavored ice cream cone is a waste of money. Or perhaps it's something more along the lines that we both are very vocal in our opinions.

So my husband and I spent the first few years of our marriage avoiding her, fighting with her, dealing with her (like when she sneaked into our house and changed the thermostat because she thought the heat was too high), threatening her, and then finally cutting off most of our contact with her.

Then one late spring day a year-and-a-half ago she announced she was getting a divorce after nearly thirty-two years of marriage. I look back now and wonder if she took so much of her frustrations in her marriage out on me because she was so unhappy in her own relationship.

The divorce for my husband was hard, gut-wrenching, and oftentimes he felt as if he was put in the middle of his parents by his parents. I felt empathy for him. This was all something I had gone through before.

I understood where his feelings were coming from.

After all, my mother has married four times. My father at least that many times. Divorce can be very hard on the children involved even when those children are adults. However, some people were just not meant for each other. No matter how hard or hardly each other tried. I'd never want to walk in either of their shoes. It is too often a difficult, emotional, dramatic, and expensive mess. I think the best thing my in-laws could have done for each other is get a divorce. I saw it coming nine years ago.

Even if my father-in-law didn't.

Yes, I'm a tad apathetic.

Now my mother-in-law thinks she has found her new soul mate. Congratulations. And I have to give it to her that she has managed to keep a steady relationship with this guy for over two years. I had never dated a guy that long myself besides her eldest son. Three months was usually the breaking up point for me. Like that one time a boyfriend of mine in college burped in my mouth while we were kissing and I called him Satan to his face. Then there was that other boyfriend that broke up with me with his parents on the phone to help him. Then he had the nerve to send me money for groceries a couple weeks later because he felt sorry for me. So I hunted him down in Pocatello, Idaho in my blue 1989 Chevy Corsica a couple months later and gave him his money back in a crisp white envelope along with a nasty note inside while my friends in my car egged me on.

Of course I now feel badly about that last one.

Back to my dear mother-in-law.

I've discovered and accepted over the last year that my mother-in-law and I may just be more alike than not. As I've admitted, I think that is why we can't get along. Ever. Too much competition. Too much in common. I've written about this before. In fact, I am a bit bitter right now that she recently stole my dream job of...not cleaning lady, not farmer, not preacher of her new religion (she may or may not have tried all three of these), but Over the Road Truck Driver.

That's right my friends, she's a bona fide Traveling Mother Trucker.

She's taken my bucket list occupation of traveling the United States and getting paid to do it.

Bless her heart. If competing with my mother-in-law ain't an Olympian feat, I don't know what is.


Expat From Hell said...

One thing that nobody has on you, dear lady, is that you are one hell of a writer. ONE HELL OF A WRITER. Don't forget that. Your expressions here are terrific. Definitely worth the following....EFH

kristi said...

It does sound like a fun job, no?? My mil and I haven't always gottena along. It was hard for her to let go of her baby..sigh.

DangGina said...

HE BURPED IN YOUR MOUTH?!? That's sick on, like, so many levels. I think Satan was the appropriate word to call him. SICK!

Umm...I give you a Gold? For dealing with said mother-in-law? Sure. Congrats, lady! (Now, what song is playing for you as you receive the Gold? Is it "Star Spangled Banner" or "Deep in the Heart of Texas"? :)

Mindee@ourfrontdoor said...

I am very, very jealous that you are able to blog about your MIL. Oh the stories I could tell if I had that freedom but she reads it dadgummit all.

Erin said...

I loved this post! I think it's great that you can be honest about the fact that you don't like your MIL (does that mean she doesn't read your blog???).

And isn't Pocatello the armpit of Idaho?

Screwed Up Texan said...

EFH, I always enjoy seeing your comments! Thanks for the kudos!

Kristi, Bless those MILs' hearts.

DangGina, I know! For real! Burping in the mouth is disgusting. I prefer Deep in the Heart of Texas is you must know. :)

Mindee, I dont think my MIL knows how to use a computer. And if she did, she's so cheap she wouldnt pay for internet. I'm lucky that way. Although I am sure her family reads my blog, but oh well.

Erin, Speaking of armpits of various states: Hanna is the armpit of Wyoming. Yes, I am lucky she doesnt read this blog. I dont think at least. If she does, I guess it's all out in the open now.

K. Erickson said... hit a hot button for me with this post. I firmly believe that parents who involve their children in their divorces should be taken out and shot. That includes my own parents. Then there is the whole "some people just aren't right for each other" thing. I think we should take that one step further and say some people should not be allowed to marry and procreate. That's just me. Then again, I have OPINIONS on the subject. I'm just sayin'.

Wendybob said...

First of all I have to say that I am unbelievably outrageously blessed to have the best in-laws in the world. My MIL is one of my very best friends.

But I saw the struggle that my mom and my dad's mom had. It was miserable for both of them and made it REALLY hard on my sister and I as kids.

and BTW, truckin' would be an awesome job...but an even funner vacation. Rent a truck for a cross country vay-cay...then you're not bothered by deadlines, logbooks, etc. etc. And be sure and crank up all the good truckin' songs...Convoy, Six Days on the Road, Gimme 40 Acres, and my personal favorite, 18 Wheels of Lovin' by Cooder Graw (if you haven't heard it you must, as a Texan, download it immediately)

Marilyn said...

Are you serious?

Foursons said...

Wow. Is it any consolation that she will probably gain 50 lbs and has a future of dirty truck stop bathrooms in her future?

And seriously- the guy needed his parent's help to break up with you? Bawahahahahaha!

ForeverRhonda said...

My future MIL and I get along somewhat...although she is having a super hard time letting go of her "baby". I take issue with this. He's 34. 34 is not a baby.

Burping in the mouth. I would have called him worse than Satan.

My grandfather was an OTR trucker...*sigh* What a life. All alone listening to the radio, talkin' on the CB, with a handle like "Corndog!" (that would soooo be my handle on the CB) and seeing the world through a glass windshield. I'm jealous too. BIG time.

Screwed Up Texan said...

K Erickson, YOu are SO right on so many levels. Yes, take it a step further please!

Wendybob, I envy your relationship. Wish I could have the same. Will go check out Cooder Graw now.

Marilyn, 'fraid so.

Foursons, Probably not. But if she does I'll be the first to report.

ForeverRhonda, Corndog. I LIKE that! I'd be Texy. You know like Sexy.

Wym said...

my boyfriend of long ago blew cigar smoke in my face to be funny. I punched him in his nose.

Screwed Up Texan said...

Wym, That's what I felt like to doing to Satan.

Deb said...

Hi ~ Just wandering around in the blogosphere and landed here. Am so glad that I did. I can totally relate to this post. I enjoy your writing style - and plan on dropping again soon. Take care.

The Durham Family said...

Oh, how many times today I've said out loud, "Traveling Mother Trucker!" and died laughing! Your best post yet!

Karen said...

I often wonder what my relationship with my MIL would be like. She passed away 6 months after I married her son. She knew she was dying and was trying so hard to tell me as much about my husband as she possibly could. Sometimes it came across not so well. In retrospect, I think maybe I miss understood her. Though I really don't know. She's dead, so it just is, what it is, I guess.

My father was a cross country truck driver. Let's just is not as glamorous as it looks.

Loved this post!!

R.J. said...

Thanks for reminding me that growth in that particular relationship is possible. Being on both sides of the fence now with my own daughter-in-law makes me try to remember to see both points of view. Sharing relatives and keeping the peace is a work in progress.

cat said...

What a great bit of writing! I love it. My MIL on the other hand could not be more different.

Lori said...

This is the funniest thing I have read in a while. Hilarious. The burping in the mouth-Satan bit will forever live in my memory.

Screwed Up Texan said...

Deb, Hope to see you back!

theDurhamfamily, I've been laughing along with my husband for three days now over it. Traveling Mother Trucker!

Karen, oh I want to hear more stories (if there are any) of your father's adventures as a trucker.

RJ, It's a work in progress with my in-laws also. Well the progress part might be pushing it a little.

Cat, I've always wanted a great MIL. I'm so jealous of others that have great in-laws.

Lori, He was the devil. I should share more stories of my dating misadventures.

Jenna @ Newlyweds said...

How funny. But I can promise you that as the wife of a Trucker, its not all its cracked up to be, it can be hard work and long days and nights. Though she might like it and more and more women are doing it these days.

PennsylvaniaBelle said...

My bf and i have been together 8 years..lived together for 3 and I have never met his mother. She calls about once a year to berate him, and scold him for not making good grades in school as a child(he made a's b's and c's)-and he's 34 years old! Needless to say I don't wish to meet her, I am pretty sure that just like him I would never meet her standards!

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