Friday, September 21, 2007

My Mother-in-Law


A Problem Shared is a Problem Doubled.

After much thinking, I've decided to use the words she herself used. You don't know the players, and the incident concerned is not, sadly, isolated. The woman under discussion, let's call her Jane, whom I have met a few times, is small and pretty and engaging and funny and generally charming. She has a feckless husband, three problem children and is prone to quite serious accidents. She is a friend of MiL's DD (Dear Daughter).

The scene: our dinner table, over cheese and biscuits.

MiL: DD told me that years ago Jane was assaulted and buggered with a bottle. No wait - it may have been the other end, but there . . .

My jaw still drops when I replay that conversation in my head. How could she do that?

Isn't it a wonderful thing to have friends? People with whom you feel safe enough to expose your frailties, who will love you anyway, and with whom the sharing of a problem is indeed a burden lifted. It is also a wonderful thing to have a mother with whom you can discuss pretty much anything, without fear of betrayal. No wait . . .

See? Right there. That's the problem with saying anything to anyone. They pass it on to someone they trust, who passes it on to someone else, who doesn't know you well, if at all, and suddenly The Thing that rules the dark corners of your life is the subject of after-dinner conversation among your slight acquaintance.

Hey, did you hear that Isabel had eight miscarriages? Eight! No, but I heard Joe was impotent. Hasn't been able to get it up in two years. Oh, and Steve still wets the bed! And he's twenty-nine! And Barbara can't stand her own daughter, who let's face it is a bit of a slut. Oh, and Jane got buggered by a bottle. Wow, that's really bad luck. Coffee, anyone?


Dave said...

Which is why we never say anything about our own lives on blogs, for you never know who may be reading, do you?

Mangonel said...

Hmm - sometimes yes, sometimes no. Bloglives are really in the detail, aren't they?

Valerie said...

The thing is, I never want to hear that kind of crap from anyone other than the person it happened to. I think, "No, no, I didn't hear that, you didn't say that, I don't know that." But I do, now, and it pisses me off, because it changes my angle with respect to the other person just a bit, changes my perspective, and I want to form my own perspective, damn it. And I can't erase it. Grr.

Often people tell me about unpleasant experiences with people I like, and I have much the same reaction. I want to keep on liking them, I want to base my relationship with them on my personal experience and not some possibly distorted third-person view, and now it's too late.

Plus, who wants to share anything with someone like this?

Arrrrrgh. I feel your irritation.

I, Like The View said...

I have learnt (the hard way)(very hard) that it is not wise to say anything to anyone

at all

thus now I try and say nothing to anyone and I do not say anything to noone

obviously if I had someone to talk to I'd probably say something (and regret it later)

so in the meantime I just churn out the usual old written nonsense which is read by. . .

(maybe best not to go there!)

really nice to see you back!

I, Like The View said...

(that didn't come out quite right but maybe you know what I mean)

Zig said...

c'est la vie and schadenfreude

(good grief I'm a linguist and didn't realise)

Zig said...

WV was pzwank

I know what it means - happy Tuesday

Mangonel said...

Hi Valerie - you are so right. And just think how she would feel if she knew I knew! Argh - it doesn't bear thinking about.

ILTV - this blogstuff does have its uses. Though I'm thinking I actually need several blogs - one for real life, read by real life friends, one for real life that real life friends (and especiallly spouses) know nothing about, and one for drivel. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Dear Ziggi - it would happen to you, wouldn't it. Should I turn the bloody WV off, or is it too much fun?

Sylvia said...

Yep, I've learned thevery hard way not to say anything about myself or anyone else to my own mother and MIL - always thrown back in my face and told to anyone who stands still long enough.