Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Forehead-Slapper

I almost forgot to post this gem from our Moab vacation last month.

As you know, we took the In-Laws with us. We thought long and hard about this decision. On the plus side, they claimed to have interest in off-roading, and what better place to go than Moab? They could also help with the kids, and if they weren't into off-roading, they could hang with the kids and we could have some time to ourselves. They have a Nissan Armada (which I refer to as the "land yacht"), so there was lots of space to put stuff. Our Jeep has very limited storage space (much like our house).

On the minus side? They can drive us nuts in very short order. They are indecisive, yet tend to be dissatisfied (especially MIL) with the decisions that are inevitably made for them. Our interests vary widely. We do not operate at the same speed. In short, spending 10 days with them could have very easily spoiled our much-anticipated vacation.

And then there's "THE GAP."

JeepMan and I have similar intelligence levels. Similar social skills. Similar levels of tolerance and acceptance and easygoing-ness. FIL? He's mostly just along for the ride. He really has no other option, being married to MIL.

MIL. What can I say? She's just not like us. I marvel that JeepMan shares any of her genetic material. I can't even begin to list where the differences begin. Suffice to say, neither JeepMan nor I would voluntarily hang with her if there were no blood relation. Alas, you cannot choose your relatives.

This is not to say that we can't tolerate her. We must, and we do. As I stated: we are tolerant, accepting, and easygoing...skills we employ every time we are together with her.

One of the things she does that drives me the craziest is that she speaks without thinking. Just whatever pops into her brain, it pops right out her mouth. Unfortunately it is often at the most annoying times: while watching a movie, while having a conversation with a group, to random strangers such as wait staff and store clerks. The issue isn't just that she makes moronic commentary, but that she rarely realizes the inanity, and thus expects serious consideration to be given to whatever has just been said. At which point JeepMan and/or I are tasked with trying to address her comment or question with as much feigned seriousness and geniune tact as possible; i.e., without making her feel like a complete idiot. It's a thin line to tread, my friends, and it taxes my serenity greatly.

Since starting this blog, I've attempted to create a little mental vault to try to store her asinine remarks as future blog fodder. It helps me to be a bit more positive when, say, we are watching a baseball game and she is yakking on about how fat the players are and why do they spit so much, and why do they always wear white pants when they KNOW they're just gonna get dirty?

Back to vacation, then. We were leaving after spending 2 days traveling out and 5 days in Moab. Moab lies in a curve of the Colorado river. We first sighted the river in Colorado, then followed it, more or less, into Utah. We had taken a scenic drive into Moab through a canyon carved out by the Colorado. We crossed it going to Arches National Park. We crossed it going to see dinosaur footprints. We photographed it from multiple overlooks. We crossed it yet again going to Hooray Pass and Chicken Corners. In short, we encountered it multiple times in those 7 days, and even ate Thanksgiving dinner in a lodge overlooking it.

Why, oh why then, dear God, did this statement come out of her mouth on our way out of Moab, as we were crossing the bridge over the Colorado River, on that 7th day? Why?

"Hey, that sign says 'Colorado River.' Are we that close to Colorado?"

Silence in the car. She can't think what I think she thinks. Maybe it was a rhetorical question. Yeah. That's it. Maybe she'll drop it....

"Shouldn't it be the 'Utah River,' now that we're in Utah?"


FIL stepped up and took this one for the team: "No, it's still the Colorado River. It goes all the way through to Arizona. It's the same river that goes through the Grand Canyon."

MIL was quiet.

But only for a second. "Really? I thought that rivers named for states were just only in those states."

Did I mention that she lives about 8 blocks from the Mississippi river? In Iowa?

No, Seriously. I'm not kidding.

FIL pointed this out, tactfully. Bless his heart.

"OH! I guess you're right!! I never thought about that before!"

A long silence. JeepMan and I were exchanging eyerolls and trying not to bust out laughing.

She just couldn't help herself, though:

"Does the Mississippi River even GO through Mississippi?"


Monnik said...

Oh my goodness... I'm speechless.

Drofen said...


(Sorry, I couldn't hold it in...)

Tiff said...

Yep, I can just hear it. You were awfully nice for not laughing. Although that might have bought a blissful few hours of the silent treatment.

Travis Erwin said...

Classic stuff.

writtenwyrdd said...

Mmmmkay. At first I thought I might fall into teh stupid question asking category, as I do tend to chatter and let the first thing I think fall from my mouth. But after the examples I feel much better about myself.

Wilwarin said...

I think it's called word diarrhea. you should tell her that. but i must admit, the last comment was funny

Barrie said...

You must mention the Canadian River in Oklahoma.