My mother-in-law raised her boy with a few of her little quirks.
I think I have mentioned before (maybe five or six times) that he never throws anything away. When he gets a new J.C. Whitney catalog, he puts it right besides the seventeen old ones. When I gently (but perhaps not in my inside voice) ask him to throw the old ones away, he responds that he likes to know what things USED to cost.
I can understand. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to state (definitely not in his inside voice) how today’s prices are frigging ridiculous.
He also doesn’t throw away receipts. As I have mentioned before (but only two or three times) we have receipts for cat food that our cats ingested so long ago it isn’t even compost anymore.
When we first started living together – which I will admit was about fourteen minutes after we met – I was a bit disconcerted at all the little reminder notes he wrote. And I guess he was worried that he would lose those little scraps of paper, because he had a tendency (which is a nice word for insane compulsion) to tape them to the counter, desk, cabinetry, dashboard.
Then I met his mother. She had little notes taped all over the house. (Yes, and receipts.) I thought to myself, “Okay, this is what my future looks like.” And I was a teensy bit afraid.
But I noticed something interesting. Many of those notes taped by the phone and the sink were little prayers. That old lady had a prayer by the toaster. Endearing, no? So I decided this was a quirk I could live with. And that I might get some really good toast.
On that same day of meeting my future mother-in-law for the first time, she put the kettle on to boil and we all sat down for what I thought would be a nice cup of tea. Only it wasn’t. My mother-in-law served us cups of hot water. I figured I was going to have to cope with some dementia here. But no. All my husband’s relatives have a cup of hot water once in a while. Harmless. But weird.
These little quirks are not so bad. Totally livable.
But there is one little gift from his mom that drives me crazy.
My husband’s mother had a shoe fetish. And I’m not talking about a desire for hot shoes.
She thought barefoot was bad. Really Bad.
My husband was NEVER allowed to run around barefoot.
Couldn’t lounge around the house barefoot either.
And he still can’t.
So what, you say?
It irritates me.
I feel personally insulted by his ever-present footwear.
Last night Hubby got up in the wee hours to wee. (Yes, he’s old too. He doesn’t get up during the night as often as I do, but only because penises extend the bladder capacity somewhat.) Anyway, I saw him stumble towards the bathroom – just a few feet away from the bed – in his slippers.
And in my half-awake state, I still gnashed my teeth.
Is my house so dirty he has to put on shoes to go to the bathroom?
Is he afraid that I left a trail of pee when I went half-an-hour earlier?