September 14, 2006

Surviving the kindness of in-laws

I’m so tired I can barely hold my eyes open but I need to vent a little. I do love my in-laws. Really. Especially my Mom-in-Law. However. One might think that the three days in which one’s daughter-in-law’s house is being packed, then loaded, then cleaned might not be the best days to volunteer as a house guest. But that’s purely speculation on my part.

The point is, I feel totally guilty for not sitting around on the couch chatting with my MIL rather than supervising, sorting, organizing and cleaning. Granted, I’m using the busy-ness as a means to avoid her, but still, why should I have to feel guilty?

In the last 72 hours I’ve had a grand total of five hours of sleep, three the first night and two last night. Yet I feel guilty going up to bed instead of sitting around chatting. Granted, I’m heading upstairs to write this entry. Knowing that I won’t be able to post it tomorrow.

I do this push/pull thing with Mom K. Last weekend I called her with hourly updates on the great apartment hunt of 2006. This weekend, I’m totally avoiding her. I think I want the subtext to read, “Can’t you see how insanely busy I am? Why would you even THINK about coming to visit this weekend? Why would you bring a watermelon when the knives are being packed? Why bring food to cook when there are no utensils?” So I’m frustrated. And guilty. And mad that I feel guilty. And needing alone time to process the dramatic changes in my life. Yet still feeling guilty. They’re older than me. They won’t be around forever. They worked hard both in Korea and here. They would give anything, do anything for their family. And I can’t even give them enough time to sit on the couch and talk?

In the middle of all that, because life isn’t dramatic or expensive enough, Muttola has a growth on one of her paws. She had to get anesthetized on Monday so they could do a biopsy. Now she sports a clown collar and we have to wrap baggies over her bandage so she can go outside. What happened to my indestructible pound puppy?!

UPDATE: The packing and loading were finished today. It went quicker than expected so Mom, Dad, and I spent the whole afternoon cleaning the house. I repent of all my evil thoughts!! They are awesome in-laws. Now we can go play in DC all day tomorrow. My father-in-law wants to see the new American Indian museum (because they are really all Koreans—via the land bridge. Anyone see My Big Fat Greek Wedding? That’s my FIL. Everything really started in Korea and is secretly Korean.)

(Also, the growth on the dog’s paw was an inflammatory reaction and is NOT malignant. She doesn’t have to get her toe amputated and she should be fine by Monday. Phew!!)

That's all the news from Lake Woebegone. Where the women are strong. The men are good looking. And all the dogs have all their toes.


OTR sister said...

I laughed out loud about the Korean - Native American connection. He's not far from the truth, we are all one tribe.

Speaking of which, did you watch the newest Survivor? Probably not, since you're packing up. There are four tribes: Hispanic, Asian-American, White and African-American. The Asian tribe won the physical/mental challenge with the Hispanic group coming in a close second.

Usually in Survivor the people of color are token minorities. Now it is interesting to see the minorities within these individual tribes. For the Asian-American tribe there is potential difficulty because they are all ethnically different. For the African-American tribe the men and women work very differently. For the white tribe it seems to be about labels such as "cheerleader" or "alternative chick". But everyone seems to have a good head on their shoulders and to have bonded together.

Anyway, it's an interesting social experiement.

k. said...

Oh, you poor thing. I think you mostly need some sleep. Maybe JRex can hint to his folks that you are very tired and need rest? That doesn't work in my own family, but maybe it would work in yours.

When my JRex told his mom about my foot, she said, "Oh, well, do you want us to come up there and--"

"NO," said J., a little too quickly and a little too firmly.

We all have our ways of coping. ;-)

Hope the move goes well! And hooray on Muttola's good news!

weigook saram said...

Hey, everyone's writing about their inlaws. Gaijin Mama, Snickollet, you.

It's such bad timing for your inlaws to visit while you guys are moving, and I can't believe they would expect you to entertain them as though you have nothing else to do.

I'm glad they ended up helping you.

scarp said...

It's interesting to think about family and culture differences. As I was reading your entry, I had a little bit of a hard time relating - because for both of my married brothers, I can totally see either my parents or the in-law parents showing up exactly like that (when everything is crazy) BUT it would be obvious to everyone involved that they were there to help with everything and it would be a relief for my brother(s) and wife that they were. (How's that for a run-on sentence?) I'm glad to hear that in some ways that IS how it worked out in your case :)

Aimee said...

I don't have much to time to type, but I wanted to tell you that I do the same thing with my MIL. I'll blog it later today.

Bottom line: everyone knows you're packing and moving. Don't feel guilty because you have things to do. Actually, them not getting into the packing will be a huge blessing once you get to CA. Take it from someone who's BTDT. You do NOT want your MIL to organize or pack for you. It will never work.

Inkling said...

that is so know, I just spent the weekend hearing about how the Koreans are the best people group to reach out to the Natives here in Canada because they have no negative history with them, unlike white people. Apparently, their ministries flourish and grow, while others don't go anywhere "real".

So...if I give you a word to give to your father-in-law, will he give me the Korean root?

Good luck on the move, and we'll be looking forward to hearing how settling in on the West Coast goes.

Thanks for the info. on the pine nuts....I'm checking out Costco this week.

bg's Little Sis said...

Survival of the fittest, get some sleep soon, glad that you know your limits, I would have lost my patience probably and had to apologize, bye bye to the guilt sister.

Mama Nabi said...

Sigh - my mom, if SHE thinks she's needed, not if WE need her, will try to visit. We're thankful that she's usually too busy... although she says we should go about our business, pretend she's not here, she still gives that look, the one that creates massive guilt. How does one tell a Korean parent that there are better times to visit and not-so-good times to visit? Yay, for the doggie who has all his toes!