Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Hedi and Me by Cole-Scott
We sold it for monetary reasons. My husband became disabled in 2006 and unable to work. He recovered slowly and in terrible pain. As a distraction, he returned to his first love, photography which he is now pursuing as his vocation. I work for a local tv station in a small resort area and we make ends meet. When we sold the house, we had five weeks to move so we moved into MIL's place to see if it might work out. She has a large home which she offered to share. Her husband died last year and she is physically frail though mentally sharp. We took over the upstairs and she took the downstairs. It seemed ideal but right away there were problems.
For me the biggest problem is I no longer have my own kitchen. I have unpacked a tenth of my kitchen belongings and I store them in some cabinetry we bought. I am a pretty good cook and I like to try new recipes and make well-planned meals. Unfortunately, she likes to hover in the kitchen, be in the way, talk non-stop while I'm trying to concentrate and generally offer to help, oversee or whatever. I have asked her to consider my cooking the way she considers her art: personal and private. Doesn't work.
My husband and I feel the need to keep our voices down when we're upstairs. She has ears like a bat so you can't be sure if she can hear you or not. We never feel alone because she seldom leaves the house. She is 95% sedentary. Because she is 83, recovering from recent surgery and just submitted to making a will, she wants to know what our plans are. She wants us to stay. I want to leave. My husband doesn't know what to do.
She's a querulous old woman with an opinion on everything!!!! What ever I'm doing or going to do, she's already done it and done it better or with the very best of the best, etc. You get the idea.
I have a strong sense of family and obligation but I find myself angry and resentful and frustrated. Our younger son will soon be gone and it will just be the three of us. She may recover well enough from surgery to take care of herself but my experience with my folks tells me that won't last long.
What to do?