DH and I went to the charity shops a couple days ago and DH purchased a book by the Dalai Lama about how to have more happiness in your life. So, I started reading the book. The content was decent, but I don’t think the Dalai ever had to live with a nutcase FIL. Most of the things he says cannot be applied if you live under someone who actively wants to be a daily thorn in your side.
DH and I sat down and had a discussion about the ogre a few days ago. You see after 2.5 weeks the kitchen cupboards are still not all on. Cooking in the kitchen has to wait until night time when the fix it man has left and even then most of the time DH and I don’t want to cook because of the ogre. DH tries to avoid cooking in the kitchen if the ogre is home because he does not want to interact with the man whatsoever. DH told me it is better when I am in the kitchen because the ogre will just linger but won’t start a conversation with DH.
Not that the conversations with DH are truly conversations. You must have two people talking and listening to have a conversation. All FIL does is tell you something “wonderful” about himself. He does not really care to talk to you, he just wants someone – ANYONE to tell something about himself to. It doesn’t matter if you’ve heard it 100 times. The topics are generally how he used to own his own business and made tons of money or about how he traveled here or there and about this nickname workmates gave him. If you were to try to make conversation about anything different he will interrupt you within a minute and turn the story around to tell you about himself. You could be talking about diaper rash and the man will turn it around to talk about how successful he was in life then carry on talking over you for a good 45 minutes. (I will expand on this topic in a future post)
If I am present in the kitchen then the ogre will just make a show of saying hello to DH and completely ignoring my existence. Here’s the thing though… even though pretty much all three of us don’t get along ogre will not just stay out of our way. This is what DH and I talked about – the fact that the man needs attention. He cannot just let us get on and use the kitchen for 30 minutes or so to make our dinner in peace. Not once. He needs to stroll in and be present. He needs to let it be known that he is still ignoring me. He will come into the kitchen and linger for several minutes or keep coming in and out for no apparent reason. He will pick up a spoon on the counter and look at it for several minutes then lay it back down or put it away and then leave for a minute then come back again to do more useless stuff. I feel some of it is that he knows DH and I don’t have much time together so he monopolizes some of our time as when he his lingering about we generally stop whatever conversation we are having and just cook silently. Also I feel like he is trying to eavesdrop. (Which I have caught him in the past doing) Add in twenty or so loud door slams a few seconds apart and that is generally our evening trying to cook.
DH and I try to think of ways to cook and avoid him while doing so, but we’ve come to the conclusion it is impossible. The man needs attention and he needs to let us know that he does not like us – no matter this is generally reinforced all day every day in various ways…