I’m packing up to head down to Houston this afternoon to spend the weekend at my mother-in-law’s house. Yes, that would be Yaya. Imagine me taking slow, deep breaths as I type this in an effort to remain calm and not start freaking out about the 436, 841 things that could possibly go wrong.
Since I’m busy packing up the entire contents of our house and trying to cram it into our minivan (at least that’s what it feels like — traveling with three under four is no small feat), I’m going to re-run a post I wrote for an old blog during a week that I spent at Yaya’s house a couple years ago:
This post was originally published on October 30, 2005
My own personal reality TV show:
5 tales from Yaya’s house
This morning I woke up to her yelling into the phone, clearly getting someone straightened out on an issue on which they disagreed. Towards the end of the call the person on the other end acquiesced, and she accepted his apology and his promise to do better in the future. Later when I asked her who she’d been talking to she casually said it was the mayor. I’m not sure what she’d called him about, but evidently this is not the first time she’s called him to set him straight on various problems she has with their city.
We were at Luby’s and she found the service to be unsatisfactory, which always makes me start scanning the room for the nearest place to hide. She ended up loudly telling the waitress, the manager and various people at other tables next to us that the server at the salad station was “more useless than t*ts on a boarhog.”
She was telling someone on the phone that her son (my husband) has degrees from Yale, Columbia, and this other school that she’s not so sure is a reputable institution because she’d never heard of it, Stanbrook or Stancliff or something like that [referring to Stanford].
A few months ago when I sent her some pictures of my son (her only grandchild) she said that at least twenty people had agreed that he was the cutest baby in the whole world. When I asked how 20+ people had seen these pictures since she’d just received them in the mail that day, she explained that she’d immediately gone down to the local Wal-Mart and started flagging people down, demanding that they tell her whether this was not in fact the cutest baby they had ever seen. She stayed for about an hour, until she was convinced that she had empirically proved my son’s cuteness.
Her neighborhood is a bit rough, and some local youths who were rumored to be gang members had been going around knocking over trash cans and vandalizing houses. Her neighbor came by to warn her about these boys so that she could hurry inside to safety if she saw them coming.
The next day she heard a “ruckus” outside and looked to see that they had knocked over her trash cans. She bolted outside after them. When they started to run she chased them down, eventually cornering them. She forcibly held them there while she called the police and didn’t leave until they were in custody.
Her neighbor was horrified at the story, pointing out that they know where she lives. “What if they come after you?” the neighbor asked. My mother-in-law chewed her toothpick for a moment while she thought about it, then just shrugged and said, “they’d better bring a gun.”