Some of my new readers might not noticed the fact I’m Polish and Polish people love jokes about mother-in-law. Polish mothers-in-law can be really tough on their sons’ in law, so no wonder they come up with so many jokes about monsters-in-law. Just to make you little bit more familiar with Polish sense of humor, check those out:
What are ‘mixed feelings’?
When mother-in-law has accident in your car.
Man comes to the police station to report his mother-in-law was missing.
-When did she disappear?
– 3 weeks ago.
– Then why you’re reporting it now?
– Because I couldn’t believe in my luck.
You just can feel that love. But someone you don’t read about Chinese mothers-in-law and they are pretty good source of in-law jokes, at least mine is. And the one that belongs to Crazy Chinese Family (click here to read some awesome posts). She is THE CRAZY. Both of us got blessed with very specific moms-in-law. I already wrote little bit about her in my post ‘Tiger mother in law‘ but never really explained why my friend and I started to call her Momzilla. She deserves the title, believe me.
She’s really hard to please. That’s the most famous story I always tell and laugh about: in Hong Kong we went to eat out. I ordered a sandwich, they had hot dishes so it was obvious their food will come later. I started to eat mine, then they joined me. You don’t really have to be a Sherlock to figure out that I finished much faster than them. She later complained to Sing that I ate too fast which caused him a loss of face (!), but she also complained he ate too slow. Now we try to finish exactly at the time she puts her chopsticks down.
Try cooking for her. She doesn’t like meat, but she likes burgers. She likes fish, but won’t buy one unless I say ‘Sing would like to eat it’ so when we go shopping I’m like ‘husband likes it, take it!’. She wanted crackers, I put them in the cart, she takes them away. Sing joins us, does the same thing I did and now it’s perfectly fine. Same with cooking – she doesn’t like this, she doesn’t like that. Fresh veggie is too fresh, spaghetti sauce is too creamy. My favorite quote is when she got little bit sick few days ago and her comment about chicken soup was… ‘it’s too chicken’. How should it taste then? Like marshmallows?
She steals my love. And I don’t mean Sing, she will always be his mother so I know that there will be situations he has to be on her side. But trying to bribe my Biscuit with food and snacks? Oh, hell no. You stole my husband’s attention, you stole my spot on the couch, you stole my seat at the table, you did the same thing with the car – I feel like a baby being in the back – but using treats to get my cat’s love? After my dead body. Or maybe I shouldn’t blame her? Who could resist those tiny chubby cheeks and gentle meowing. Sadly, Biscuit is a traitor.
Sometimes she doesn’t know how to behave. My polite behavior to her is abnormal or simply stupid. When we cross the street and I nod my head to say ‘Thank you for stopping’ to the driver she complains to Sing ‘It’s their responsibility, why thank’. I also clean after myself when I eat out. I stack dishes together, use a napkin to clean around – I’m not a messy person, doesn’t matter if I’m at home or outside. Besides I know people working in the restaurants have already a lot to do, at least I can make it little bit easier. But I still don’t know why she once called my throwing garbage at McDonald’s stupid – maybe that’s the culture difference everyone’s talking about. I’ve been told in Asia there are people hired just for cleaning the table, but I don’t like to leave a mess behind me, not to mention now we reside in a Western country so it shouldn’t shock her so much.
She could get us into trouble, just 2nd day she came. Don’t get her wrong, she’s an older lady, she never really seen black people in her life so all her knowledge is based on movies. And movies are based on the stereotypes, so when she went to the bus in our area seeing 6 black people at once she almost freaked out. She even used a phone to tell me ‘Lots of black people, afraid’. Do I have to say what skin color had two big men sitting behind us? She slowly sees how untrue was the image she knew – personally those people are one of the nicest I’ve met, the only bad experience I had was with a white older guy. Kinda ironic?
Everything is unnecessary. Drying rack? Unnecessary. Another shoe shelf (because her little prince got too many pairs of shoes)? Unnecessary. Little pleasures like milk tea? Unnecessary. How about first aid kit? Don’t buy it, it will bring you bad luck and injury. It really bothers my everyday life because I cannot get what I want or need, I need to first think 10 times if it will cause a fight or complains.
She talks. Talks way too much. She talks so much she had a sore throat. Or maybe she did this on purpose, I wouldn’t bet she didn’t. Anyway, she can go constantly from the time she wakes up until the very end of the day. Sometimes I rest on the bed, preparing to sleep and I hear her calling Sing’s name. Even at that time she’s well prepared to talk. Now he pretends he’s asleep. One of my dear Readers suggested I should turn on the radio for her, but then she might want to concur with the radio host. What if she get’s a job and working visa, then stays with us for longer? I don’t even want to think about it!
Honestly I could go like that for hours (changing into her), but that wasn’t my point for today. I’m pretty sure I will find a lot of things to complain about during those 3 months, I won’t lie about it. But I must say that my first week with Momzilla, despite all of the above, made me closer to her. Without Sing for most of the day we spend time alone. At first it was really awkward and silent. I tip-toed around the house not to wake her up and spend less time with her. Then she noticed my books and that I study Cantonese, instead of Shanghainese now she talks to me in Cantonese, she will talk to Sing in Shanghainese but then turn to me and change right away to Cantonese. She turns on TVB or other channels she can find in Cantonese. She even started to help me with pronunciation while my husband only helped me with writing and reading. That opened both of us for a talk, well it opened her a bit too much for talking, but it’s not so silent in the room anymore. She even asked me to teach her some English, it’s pretty fun. At least for me ‘windy’ is ‘Wendy’ and Biscuit changes into Biscuits since she says ‘cat’ like ‘cats’. When we cannot understand each other there’s always Google Translate and hilarious translations. She does things she didn’t do before – allows me to take care of household, when in her mind probably she thinks she can do it better. She even lets me take care of her. It might not mean anything to you, but for me it was a big step. That means she got close enough to me and when I think about it I’m almost crying. I even saw her childish side when we went to the park and she started to play around on the playground like she was 7 again. After all she said ‘Na, I happy. But too wendy‘. We went from enemies to quite close people. It took me almost 2 years of marriage and that’s one of my biggest accomplishments in life. I knew she had trust issues to outsiders, even to some family members and I broke through the wall that was between us. And believe me or not but she even helped me to win in Mahjong. Not a tiny, itty-bitty win, but 3 winds, 3 middles and a pair of fortune. Even when we play cards she tries to be fair to Sing and me, in the past she would do absolutely anything to let Sing win. I guess I’m slowly part of the family in her eyes. I’m really curious what those 3 months will bring. Either I will go back to see my parents with tears of sadness since I have to leave her or it will be tears of joy and ‘Master has given Dobby an airplane ticket. Dobby is free‘.
Have you ever didn’t get along with a family member but later you got close? Any advice you could give me? Keep your fingers crossed for me and stay tuned because I’m pretty sure sooner or later I will make another post about Momzilla! 🙂