Would it be too politically incorrect to rant about my mother-in-law in this space? I don't want to seem mean-spirited, but we just got finished with a long weekend visit with the MIL, and frankly, I think the things that come out of her mouth are far more extreme than the ones you can read on "S%#* My Dad Says." (Except not profane, just inane.)
Let's have a sampling, shall we?
The Scene: MIL has recently arrived from a visit with Other Son's family.
MIL: I have this wonderful picture of me with [Other Son's children], and it's so fabulous, and everyone says, "Oh, that should be on your Christmas card!" Then I also have a picture of me with [our college age daughter], and then I need one more with these last two grandchildren [our two that live at home].
Me: It might be hard to fit three photographs on one card. How will you do it?
MIL: You're right. Maybe I'll just use the first one and leave out your kids.
The Scene: MIL and me at the computer, me having just uploaded all the pictures from her new (and first) digital camera to my computer
Me: See, that's how you can put the pictures on your computer when you get home, and you can look at them or email them to your friends!
MIL: I don't know how to send a picture in an email.
Me: It's easy! See this little icon that looks like a paperclip? Well--
MIL: I'm lost.
ML: If I click something on Google (she's heard of Google!!) and then I don't want to see that website anymore, how do I see the things in Google again? Do I have to delete the website?
Me: No, just click the back button.
MIL: What's a back button?
Me: See these little triangles up here on the --
MIL: I'm lost.
Me: You know, there are lots of classes for older folks to help them get comfortable with technology, where you can learn to manage your digital photos, and --
MIL: I don't need a class! I'm great with computers! I know all about cut and paste and everything!
Me: . . .
The Scene: Dinner, Second Night
MIL: I'm leaving my diamond engagement ring to Granddaughter, so I'm putting it in a box with her name on it. [Wags finger.] If someone gets there first and takes it, be sure to look for it.
Me: Who would get there first?
MIL: You never know what might happen.
Me: Well, if you really want to be safe, I think you can leave specific instructions about who gets what things in your will.
MIL: Just get there first.
On reflection, I think this probably IS mean-spirited, but happily, I'm confident the MIL won't navigate her way here to see what I've written (see "I'm lost," above).