motherinlaw-main_fullAfter mercilessly bullying me about my possessions, the in-laws went to unload their vans. What’s this? They had taken it upon themselves to bring with them every single thing Mr. P had asked to store over at their place. Useless shit that was fitting perfectly well inside their cavernous empty nest. Things like the record collection Mr. P had inherited from his dead grandfather- ooooh, Lawrence Welk! Perry Como! The collected works of Pat Boone! Shit he was too polite to just throw away! Shit we don’t have the necessary storage cabinets for! Shit we will never, ever listen to! Not even to be ironic! They even brought over Mr. P’s childhood furniture- his twin bed, complete with Mom-in-Law’s choice of pukey, frilly, country bed-in-a-bag comforter set and a pair of the poly-cement-whatever FIRM pillows we have to suffer with when we stay over at their house. Seriously, they MADE the BED. In MY guest room. In MY house. Who does that?! But the worst part is that they tried to put that ugly abomination in what is soon to be my art studio/exercise room (as soon as I get my drafting desk and easels and such out of storage). Mom-in-law was all, “Where are you going to work out in here? (gesturing towards different, tiny, insufficient sections of floor) You could do it here, or here. Where should we put this bed?” And I’m all, “you don’t know my life, bitch! Put the bed in your ass!” Seriously, I am not about to try and explain the intimate goings-on of MY personal space to someone who is trying to monopolize my new home. It’s Mr. P’s fucking ugly baby furniture, and it’s going in HIS spare room, not mine. I don’t care how cramped it is in his space, it’s his problem for pack-ratting oversized yet under-functional children’s furniture as an adult and for not standing up to his overbearing momsbeast, who obvi wants to carry around his testes in a silk bag. So yeah, the Bed of Emasculation is in his room.

Anyway, the tension in the house was beginning to boil over, and sometimes things happen that just make you laugh: I had found a few of my feather pillows (the ones we actually intend to have guests sleep on because they’re softer than the granite ones MIL brought) squashed in a bag with some spare towels. So, I unpacked them and laid them out on the stupid twin bed to air out & hopefully puff back up before I stick them in the nearby linen closet. A few minutes later, MIL comes screeeeching down the stairs, “Panda!? Do you not want these pillows?! The pillows that we brought, are you not going to use them?!” (Mind you, she was not asking a simple question. It was a fit of overbearing, accusatory panic.) See, the thing is, no, we will not force anyone to sleep on OrthoBrick pillows. We will not use them. But I can’t tell her that. Because when anyone refuses anything the MIL offers, she mopes. If she even suspects that you don’t need or don’t want or simply don’t like her painfully ugly cast-offs, she rains soul-sucking mope upon your house. Simply airing out my extra pillows was enough to break her heart. This level of overreaction cannot be taken seriously. I had to laugh.

Mr. P’s mom is one of those people. Those people who just don’t understand that their decorating taste is not everyone else’s. Like, a cursory glance at the family Panda’s furniture and accessories will not only educate you as to our taste, but will practically bludgeon you over the head with “MID-CENTURY MODERN STYLE.” Nothing esoteric or hard-to-grasp about it. It’s as easy to decipher as a New York Post headline. Really. However, MIL doesn’t get that her fussy, LL Bean-y, depressed country schoolmarm aesthetic just won’t fit in among all of my streamlined Eames-esque pieces. In fact, it will look like utter ass. They gave us an LL Bean card table once. It’s got fat, chunky turned legs. Turned legs!!! On a table! In my house! I was like, “Thaaaaanks? I guess I’ll put it in the barn, along with that extra glut of checked vinyl tablecloths and hand-whittled chicken statuettes I’ve been splurging on lately????” Yeah. MIL even came over with a Costco flyer in hand advertising two black leather club chairs for $600, and impressed upon us that we should really think about taking them up on such a good deal. I was like, “Who do you think I am, Earnest fucking Hemingway? Do I look like a tasteless, cigar-smoking, Hungry-Man eating bachelor who once majored in finance?” Black leather club chairs are not something a woman buys for her home. They are something a woman rescues the man she is dating from. They are like the male version of Cathy comics and Lean Cuisines. I thought everyone knew that. Curious. More curious still, is the fact American Gothic MIL and my mom aligned forces to try and derail my decorating plans. See, my mom’s style is kind of what it would look like if someone today opened a Baroque/Rococo-themed bordello… in Tuscany. And I mean that in the best way possible. I’m not one of those people that thinks their taste is better than everyone else’s. It’s not (it’s just better than my MIL’s. Sorry, but it is. That Mayberry shit makes me puke). I actually like my mom’s taste, I appreciate it, but I can’t live with it. Normally she’s cool with our differences, too, but this weekend was all about asserting the maternal dominance over me. Like, for a minute there, I half expected them both to start humping me, as that’s how roles are established in the animal world.

I’m not exaggerating. It really was that bad. I think my feelings about what went on this weekend are best summed up by the living room debacle. By the time we were putting together the living room, all of the other carnage was over, so I was actually around to try & supervise the design. I tried at first to arrange my room the way it most made sense to me, but the two-headed Cerebrus tore it all apart and derided my ideas to my face while directing their scuttling minions to move my shit all around. I could do nothing but stand there, mouth open, aghast at the audacity of it all. And the shittiest part is that the furniture configuration they arrived at is probably one that I would have done myself, if I wasn’t completely frazzled and mentally broken from all of the abuse I had endured for 2 days. Way to steal my thunder, there, bitches! Now I can’t appreciate my living room because it just reminds me of being trampled on despite my best efforts and I will one day soon scrap the current configuration out of pure spite. Just like everything else in the house. The room looks like defeat. It’s the house version of getting your head dunked in the toilet by the bullies and having to wear a head of wet, swirlied hair for the rest of the school day. But the worst part is the sheer rudeness and lack of consideration for me. What went on this weekend flies in the face of everything I was ever taught, by my mother, about how to behave in someone else’s home. The hassle of moving that my family spared me is honestly nothing compared to the intrusion, ridicule, and stress I was put through. So, if anyone ever offers to help me move again, it’s gonna be, “thanks, but no thanks” all the way.

Not to get all Teen Witch on you guys, but I fully challenge you to “Top That” re: moving nightmares/bad mom decorating. Hit me with your best shot. Anyway, I just hope my tale of woe made somebody laugh.

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