I interrupt my normal television programme review service to bring you a quick update on the mother-in-law situation.
She’s still in hospital and is still receiving speech therapy. Her vocal chords and tongue are still paralysed. Other than that though she’s in fine fettle.
Fine fettle enough to be extremely rude to Karen who journeyed down to visit her on Monday. The MIL wants an MP3 player so she can while away her time in hospital listening to a choice selection from her classical music collection. Fair enough. No problem. Karen did a great deal of research over the weekend to find the player that would be most ideally suited to her requirements – both in terms of technology and ergonomics (her dexterity is still not fully restored).
However the chosen unit is £50+. Not a great deal of money to the MIL (who is, shall we say, “well off”) and not a great deal of money to Karen’s other relatives (who are the same). But it is a lot of money to us – Karen is still on maternity leave and gets a bare £100 a week and my local authority wages are... well, the basis of a tragic-comedy. Anyway, the MIL suggested we pay for it and recover the money later from one of Karen’s relatives.
Sounds simple enough except – and this will sound horrible – the chances of getting the money actually reimbursed are very slim.
Why is it that people who are rolling in dough are the ones who are most lax about paying up?
Anyway I acknowledge that all this is really just a storm in a teacup in the bigger scheme of things...
...except that when Karen tried to tell her mother how poor we are at the moment her mother (and this is quite unbelievable) put her hands over ears and refused to listen!
I was furious on Karen’s behalf when she told me later.
Such childish, selfish behaviour. It’s the type of thing our boy, Ben, does when we are trying to tell him something that he just doesn’t want to acknowledge as true. It’s acceptable behaviour for a 6 year old. But unacceptable for a 68 year old?!
It basically says: I’m not interested in your problems; they’re not important and are unworthy of my consideration. If she could have spoken I’m sure she would have shouted “Blah blah blah” over the top of what Karen was saying.
For those that may read the above and merely shrug: just imagine if someone did that to you when you were trying to express a concern or voice a legitimate opinion.
Unfortunately, this dismissal of other people’s problems is a constant MIL trait, so we can’t even comfort ourselves with the thought that this is unusual, off the wall behaviour.
And all this occurred on top of the fact that Karen had a hellish journey down to see her mother in the first place: bad weather, an accident on the M40, baby Tom not well and Karen not well herself. My constant question to myself at the moment is: why on earth do we bother?
My one consolation – and maybe this exposes a central wickedness to my personality – is the thought that maybe there is some poetic justice to the MIL’s current condition. It’s deeply ironic (and rather apt) that someone who has caused so much damage, pain and misery with her voice over the years now finds herself totally unable to use it.
Folks, great news!
There IS a God.
P.S. In case you hadn’t guessed it. Karen is a brunette...