Ring-a-ling! It's your Mother-in-Law

Dec 12 2010 Published by under [Etc]

Starting in mid-October, my husband & I enter that blessed time of year when we are mercilessly hounded by his mother regarding all things Christmas.

What you want for Christmas why haven't you two given me your Christmas lists yet I don't like those suggestions, what else do you want your aunt is being crazy again yesterday, I made eight Christmas stockings by hand what does your cat want for Christmas I sure am hungry for some cabbage casserole.

You know, good times.

And because this chatty lady lives far away, most communication comes in via phone call. We, like most people, have caller ID on our land line. And when the phone ring-a-lings, and I see his parent's phone info appear, like a warning, in bold black on yellow screen... I go ahead and don't answer. No fucking way. I value my time and sanity far too much.

But it has recently been suggested to me that I am being too harsh about this. And that surely, my MIL must realize that I never answer when she calls, and therefore must think that I hate talking to her on the phone. It has been suggested that I need to answer some portion of the time as a gesture of goodwill.

So, that has me wondering what YOU all do when the in-law phone rings. These polls probably only apply if you have a land line. The first poll is for when you look at the Caller ID and your partner is NOT home, and the second is for when you are both home, but you are closer to the phone and see the Caller ID first. And please, for special circumstances or further explanation, leave a comment.

When the Caller ID reads "Your Mother-in-Law" AND your partner is not home, what do you do?online surveys

18 responses so far

  • CoR says:

    My husband rarely answers for his mother....so I won't either!

  • tina says:

    We have no landline, just our own cell phones. Our respective parents call only the number of their child, so the whole matter is a moot point. However, if I am standing nearer my husband's phone and it is one of his parents, I will usually let him know who it is.

    On occasion, the lines will cross and one of will get a call from the 'wrong' set of parents, but this usually results from a defective phone or something, and the inability to get through to the 'right' child.....or a question about a gift.... for these gift questions, we do usually let it go to voicemail....

    p.s. -- i've gotten so used to most people i know being 1 phone = 1 person, rather than the old household phone, i am usually tres surprised to reach someone besides who i was expecting.

  • Dr Becca says:

    I'm in the same boat as tina, re: cell phones only. J mostly ignores calls from his mom, because to answer is to commit to at least 2 hrs of LISTENING.

    I can relate, too, to the "I don't like the things on your xmas list," which I find hilarious. You asked what we wanted!!!

  • ecogeofemme says:

    Actually, I kind of wish we had a land line so there'd be natural opportunities to talk to each others' families. On the rare occasion that I'm around when he talks to his parents, they sometimes ask to talk to me and it's always nice but a tad awkward. It's a relief to mostly avoid that awkwardness, but I also miss out on getting to know them better. I've only met them three times. He, on the other hand, has spent much more time with my folks, but would probably be more comfortable with them if they had regular, short convos. I guess the grass is always greener. 🙂

  • samantha says:

    I got lucky - I really like my mother-in-law. Not pushy, really welcoming when I told her I was marrying her son (because her son was too chicken to do it himself!), and generally fun to talk to.

    Unfortunately, since we've got the landline plus individual phones, and he's had his phone longer than we've had the landline, she usually just calls his phone. Which is too bad, 'cause I feel like a little kid when I say, "I wanna talk! I waaaaaaaannnnnnnnaaaaa taaaaaaaaaaaaaalk!"

  • I don't ever answer the fucken phone when anyone calls.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Ditch the landline! Freeedom...FREEEEE-DOM!!!

  • gerty-z says:

    no way I'd answer the phone if I knew it was the MIL. She is a loon (IMHO). Although sometimes I wish she would ask what we want for xmas. The shit she picks on her own is a joke. The FIL is OK, but always hands me off to the stepchild which is never much fun. So I usually won't answer that one, either.

  • leigh says:

    fuck, i don't even answer when my own mother calls!

  • GMP says:

    I actually ignore my own mother's calls more than my MiL's. 🙂
    My MiL is nice and mellow, my mom is a pain in the butt (and keeps me on the phone for hours).

  • pinus says:

    I talk to my mom once a week for about 10 minutes, she likes to know what I am doing. I only talk to inlaws on the phone on a) my birthday b) their birthday c) emergency. I think we are both okay with that.

  • fusilier says:

    Since my MiL passed away over 25 years ago ....

    I phone my Mom in Florida every week. She's trying to get me to install Skype on our computer, so she can ditch her phone line.

    She's the Official Computer Geek in her retirement center. Let's Just Say (tm from another list) if she were twenty years younger, Bill Gates would be working for her.

    fusilier
    James 2:24

  • Dr. Zeek says:

    I answer for my MIL, but I do have to admit if the hubs is home I usually pass the phone to him before answering. Generally, I don't answer when I feel like talking to no one. Stockholm could be calling me and I won't pick up at that point.

    The husband, on the other hand, does not answer and completely avoids the phone when his MIL calls.

    For example, if I am cooking dinner and my mom calls, he will go so far as to get up out of bed (if he is watching the good TV in the bedroom) walk the phone down the hall to me in the kitchen, wait for me to wash my hands and then hand off the still ringing phone. When I ask him to answer it and tell them I will call them back, he acts as if I just asked to him to go have a voluntary vasectomy. My husband does not have the best relationship with the in-laws.

  • Alyssa says:

    I'm the same way - I never answer the phone when the IL's call.

  • becca says:

    My carebear came from a mysterious alien egg, and has no mother.

  • Katherine says:

    My MIL doesn't seem to have our landline (we rarely use it) and will only txt me if she can't raise a response out of my partner. I'll pass on the message and only reply if it looks urgent.

    Partner will answer the landline if I'm not around and will pass on messages etc.

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  • Val says:

    I never answer when my MIL calls, but she only calls the landline or my husband's cell phone, never mine. I only talked to her maybe once or twice on the phone when we lived much farther away in another state. Now we live two blocks away and she drives me nuts (she's very uptight and neurotic) so I always give it to my hubby if she calls or tell him she called. Even when she calls over and over because my hubby can't get to the phone...I don't answer. It won't kill her to go to voicemail. I only talk to my own mom about once a month, but my mom is not neurotic like my MIL so she doesn't need to talk to me about everything under the sun that isn't important every freaking day. My mom is much more laid back. Did I mention that my MIL drives me nuts?