You tried to make a good impression over the years. Opening doors, reaching (half-heartedly) for your wallet when the check arrives at restaurants, being right there in the delivery room (you were almost on time) when your first child was born. But for some reason, your mother-in-law just never warmed to you.
If you and your wife’s mother have a contentious relationship, you’re not alone. But, commiserating with your buddies via text message can only console a man for so long.
If she has a tendency to come in, set up shop and call the shots during what is supposed to be the best few weeks of the year, here are a few ways to keep yourself occupied and out of the house for the duration of her summer visit.
1. Hibernate. Claim that the heat is affecting your health, and insist on spending most evenings and weekends camped out in your air-conditioned man cave or garage, watching baseball and MTV reality shows, and eating Hot Pockets.
2. Threaten divorce every June. Keep your wife on her toes and your mother-in-law on her best behavior by airing all of your marital grievances before grandma even sets down her bags. Just expect to make up for it all fall, winter and spring.
3. Insist that it’s high time that the kids learn wilderness survival techniques and set up a tent in the backyard complete with an extension cord for the mini-fridge, subwoofers for your laptop and satellite reception.
4. Fake an injury. Whether you need to stage an impromptu game of HORSE in the driveway or insist on a friendly game of catch in the yard, once the game is underway, loudly claiming a sprained ankle, a twisted knee or a sore back will allow you to get out of most family outings for the season, if you play your cards right.
5. Claim you’re allergic to her perfume, CBS programming, crossword puzzles, bad cooking and criticism. The tent is likely to come in handy if you attempt this approach as well.