Category: In-Laws


The Lawnmower Ban

| England, UK | In-Laws, Siblings

(It’s not that I do not like my brother-in-law, but he is a little eccentric, which comes off as annoying. More than once I have had to stop him irritating my kids, or doing or saying something stupid. We don’t spend any time together and that works for both of us. One afternoon his wife and his wife’s sisters are out together for some drinks. It’s late, the kids are in bed, and I’ve fired up the computer for a bit of gaming. I hear a loud banging on the back door.)

Me: “Oh, hi, what’s up?”

Brother-In-Law: *loudly* “Hey, can I borrow your lawnmower?”

Me: “Okay, just keep it down, can you? The kids are in bed. What do you need a lawnmower for? You don’t have a lawn.”

Brother-In-Law: “Oh, my friend needs one; I said he could borrow yours.”

Me: “Well, I guess, but make sure it comes back in one piece. Let me grab the keys.”

(He steps inside and to my surprise sits down. Immediately he gets out his phone.)

Me: “Here you go. You will have to grab it yourself; I can’t leave the kids alone.”

Brother-In-Law: *not looking up* “Oh, okay, thanks.”

(I stand there hand outstretched waiting.)

Brother-In-Law: “Your WiFi’s not working.”

Me: “Huh, no, I’m downloading an update.”


Me: “It’s going to be a while before it finishes.”

Brother-In-Law: “Oh, okay then. I’ll go.”

(I had to chase him to get the keys and the lawnmower back. When he finally turned up it was filthy and filled with grass. Despite my insistence he turned up again a few weeks later and borrowed it again whilst I was out, breaking the axle. He actually had the cheek to ask me when I was going to get it fixed as he needed it again, without offering to pay for the damage he did as “it was pretty old anyway.”)


There’s A Lot In Store

| England, UK | In-Laws, Siblings

(My sister-in-law, despite being older than my wife and being the one that left for university, never seemed to grow up. Needing lifts places, borrowing money, she and her husband can’t seem to sort themselves out without regular help. It has gotten to the point that they just expect people to drop everything at short notice as they fail to sort things out in time.)

Sister-In-Law: “Oh, can you store some furniture for us?”

Wife: “Maybe, but why?”

Sister-In-Law: “Well, we booked our removal company next Wednesday and our house isn’t ready.”

Wife: “Oh, okay. Wouldn’t it be better to use a storage company? I mean, you don’t know how long it will be till you move.”

Sister-In-Law: “No, [Husband] doesn’t want to spend anymore money.”

Wife: “Err, okay. [My Name], can we fit something in the garage? Or your office?”

Me: “The garage is full, but I guess I can move something around. I did just sort out the office. I guess I can live with it being full again.”

Sister-In-Law: “Great! [Husband] will let you know when we can move things around.”

(I was a little annoyed that after months my office was finally getting ready, only for it to be trashed again, and the massive amount of work it would take to clear the garage. I put what time I could in making some space. A few days later, whilst eating dinner, she is at the door.)

Sister-In-Law: “We’re ready.”

Wife: “Okay, can you wait 20 minutes? We are just in the middle of dinner.”

Sister-In-Law: “Not really! All our stuff is outside.”

(I took a look. They had emptied their house: beds, boxes, pictures, everything. I spent the next two hours moving their stuff for them, only for my sister-in-law to disappear inside to chat. Over the next four weeks they popped round often, unannounced, to collect whatever item they needed, only to complain how the items were stored!)


It’s A Gamble With The In-Laws

| England, UK | In-Laws, Siblings

(My sister-in-law is incredibly frustrating. Her life is either sorry and misery over nothing, or the best life ever! with the best husband and job and friend, even when she complains about them the whole time. Lately she has been in the “everything I do is the best thing ever; aren’t I so lucky?” phase.)

Sister-In-Law: “We have just booked a holiday!”

Wife: “Oh, that’s nice. Where to?”

Sister-In-Law: “Vegas!”

Wife: “Really? I would have never have guessed you wanted to go.”

Sister-In-Law: “Well, [Husband] has always wanted to go there, and it should be amazing.”

(Over the next three weeks her Facebook is full of countdown posts, the weather in Vegas, pictures or fake complaints about all the “stress” of packing, etc. We can’t believe she wants to go; they never have any money and her husband is a massive gambler — one of her massive complaints. She goes off on holiday then drops round to brag.)

Wife: “So, how was the holiday?”

Sister-In-Law: “Great! Fantastic! You have to go!”

Me: “Maybe one day; neither of us like to gamble.”

Sister-In-Law: “Oh, there is so much to do there as well.”

Wife: “What else did you get up to?”

Sister-In-Law: “Well, we were going to go on a tour, but [Husband] wanted to see some more casinos. We did see a show that was …ok. We spent a lot of time on the strip.”

Wife: “Sounds good!”

Sister-In-Law: “Are you planning to get away?”

(I hate that she asks this. We have two children, and my wife has just quit work until she can find a job with flexible hours. We obviously don’t have a lot of money.)

Me: “We are going to the coast.”

Sister-In-Law: “That sounds… nice.”

Me: “It will be. It might not be Vegas but we always enjoy ourselves. The kids love it and it’s time to spend together.”

Sister-In-Law: “Good… we were thinking about going to New York next year.”

(Thanks, that was great to hear!)


Acting Childish

| England, UK | In-Laws, Siblings

(My wife and her sister are quite similar, both similar age, both married, both have bought their own home. The main difference is that we have two children, and they are childless. We never get any other of help from them, and on the odd occasion we do ask they are always busy. The once or twice they do spend an hour to let us get a anniversary meal, we hear them complaining through family or friends. We accept that they just aren’t going to be there for us, and manage without them. A few years later they have their first child. We of course try to help without overstepping the mark. Any old clothes or toys we give them for free. My wife would actively arrange play dates, and organise time together or look for groups they could go to. We drew the line when this happened. I am actually in the room for this conversation.)

Sister-In-Law: “Oh, it’s been so hard now [Husband]’s car is off the road.”

Wife: “Oh, I know. You forget how much you use it until it’s not there.”

Sister-In-Law: “We wanted to go to [Shopping Centre] to buy some baby things but couldn’t get the bus.”

Wife: “Really? It’s two busses. They go every 20 minutes.”

Sister-In-Law: “I know, but it is so much hassle with a pushchair.”

(My wife looks at me, well aware that she has done the trip with two children on her own, several times, but says nothing.)

Sister-In-Law: “And we wanted to the park. That didn’t happen. I was supposed to go to a work party this week and i can’t go.”

Wife: “That was the one in the city centre?! Couldn’t you take a taxi?”

Sister-In-Law: “Not with [Child]; we don’t have that sort of money!”

(I think back to the times where we have had to scrimp to allow us to treat ourselves, and quickly recall the very expensive holiday they have just booked. I’m not far into my thoughts when this comes out.)

Sister-In-Law: “Could [My Name] not drop me off?”

Wife: “I, er, well, I don’t know. What time is it?”

Sister-In-Law: “Oh, it’s nine o’clock; it only goes on for an hour or two.”

Me: “Hang on, you want me to drive you around, and then wait for two hours to drive you home again, rather than spend a couple of quid on a taxi?”

Sister-In-Law: “Well, if you are going to put it that way, don’t bother!”

(I didn’t. It turned out that she had already asked her dad, who was fed up of being used like a taxi service. She had pushed her husband to get his elderly parents to drive, in the dark in a city they didn’t know. The best part was the constant complaining about how we never helped them out and how they were always there for us.)


Forever Never

| England, UK | In-Laws, Siblings

(Unhappy with the area we live, we look for a more family friendly area. As it happens there are plenty of houses in the same area my father-in-law and sister-in-law live. We end up buying a great house three doors away from my wife’s sister. The first six months are great. Being so close, we visit each other regularly and our children get to spend time with their (childless) auntie. One day she comes out with this:)

Sister-In-Law: “We are looking to move.”

Wife: “Oh, why?”

Sister-In-Law: “Well, we are looking for our forever home. Our flat only has two bedrooms and no garden. We want something that will last us.”

(Months go on, they find a buyer and agree on a sale, and we catch up with them.)

Me: “I see you sold; have you found a place?”

Sister-In-Law: “Well, there is a house in [Remote Place].”

Me: “Oh, okay. How will you get to work? I didn’t think you were going to learn to drive.”

Sister-In-Law: “It’s not that far. The same time, really.”

Me: “Okay, that sounds good. A forever home, what is it like?”

Sister-In-Law: “About the same size, but it does have a garden.”

Me: “There isn’t a school there… I know you’re not planning to have any kids, but parks and schools might be important one day.”

Sister-In-Law: *sounding unconvinced* “Well, we will see what happens when it happens.”

(They move, eventually, to their “forever home” that is no bigger than the flat they had, now miles away from family and friends, without any local amenities, schools, or even a decent shop. They had a child a year or so later then complained constantly that they had no money to move house.)

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