Dear Ann Landers

A Fictional Note From A Disrespected Mother

October 1999

Warning: This Article runs approximately Thirty Typewritten Pages
(a cross reference table of contents follows)

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Historical Perspective


Prior Articles

"Ann Landers" Letter

"Ann Landers" Corrections


This is a work of fiction, based on fact (like a docu-drama). I wrote it first, and published it last (you will see why). It summarizes the outrageous behavior of my mother-in-law toward me (that I had patiently tolerated for more than twenty years). I guess I found my boiling point.

Let me state unequivocally that while each individual paragraph occurred as written, the notion of her sitting down and listing each of my faults and failures, in a letter to Ann Landers, is patently ridiculous. To quote her very words, these events "are to be forgotten". Well, not exactly. These incidents are only to be forgotten by me, as she has been very willing, at her own whim, to bring up any perceived harm or hurt and replay it for me, my wife or any one else she saw fit. But always in passing, and as if that single thought just popped into her head, unrelated to the hundreds of other insults spewn at me across the decades. Also, her outrageousness has evolved and grown across the years. As you would expect about such a lopsided relationship, the incidents at the beginning of the story were tolerated but the ones at the end resulted in us finally saying 'enough is enough'.

Out of fairness, I originally tried to write this as a first person account, in my own voice and from my own perspective, but the half-written document was an unbearable stream of humorless whining. Also, each effort to support my experiences with verbatim quotes were complex and convoluted to write and difficult to follow. It was VERY important to me that each episode be based on numerous direct quotes spoken directly by my mother-in-law to either myself or my wife (her daughter) or my son (her grandson).

The inspiration to write this in a fictional voice from her perspective came from nowhere. And it solved the dilemma of including direct quotes, accusation, justifications and rationalizations in an easy to read monolog. It was suddenly easy to pepper the page with the off-hand compliments she throws out (they're darlings, he is a great father) to show the transparency of these occasional petty flatteries absent of sincere honest kindness. Her  very public claims of being disrespected, ignored, heartbroken and justified in her actions read with hilarity in the form of this tragic fictional letter. Her crazy conclusions and resultant accusations to her own children, now read like a fictional character of tragic delusion and persecution.

Remember, any parenthetical background information (personal history, birth order, etc) are my own and were flat out never spoken by her. Of course not. She would never metion everybody's weight and health problems while complaining that we denied her desserts. Of course she would never mention her own personal history when directing us to action. That is the entire point of this article, to combine the actual truth of her life and our lives with the spoken and acted insanity we had to endure; using the language of heartbroken mother that we have tolerated for over twenty years.

And that is my final joy. The story is now humorous to me, now that it is absent of the sting of her words because she is finally absent from all but passing involvement in our lives (too bad for her). Her words here read like fiction. Surely there is no person on this earth that would so consistently say, think or do such outrageous things to their own children.

And she would be the first person to tell you so.

Dear Ann Landers,

I am beside myself and need your advice about what I should do to straighten out my middle daughter and her rude husband. My daughter is 41 and her husband has just turned 40. They just celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary last week when things went from bad to worse with their behavior toward me.

First I must say that they are often perfect darlings. Neither of them smokes or drinks, he has a fine job in the computer industry and has supported my daughter in a way that any woman would be proud. He has never raised his hand to her or ever had any trouble with the law (beyond a parking ticket). He does not go to bars, neglect his family, or hang out with 'the guys'. A matter of fact, he travels for a living and has taken my daughter on trips all around the USA and to Europe, too. Finally, they have given us our third grandchild and only grandson.

This all started when they were first dating, back when they were in high school. I told her not to date just one fellow, and made sure to often advise both of them to break-up and date other people. If they didn't, I warned them, there would come a time when they would long for that freedom every day for the rest of their lives. I know what I am talking about because I was married when I was only 16, and had all three of my girls in diapers before I was 21 years old. I warned those two and told them not to do it, but they went off and got married anyway. Even though they won't admit it, I always told them that they would one day feel miserable, jealous and trapped in their marriage because that is how life works. They won't admit it, but I know about life.

The first time I figured out my future son-in-law was a loser was when they were dating only 6 or so months. It was his 17th birthday and I told him we would have a birthday party for him, after I found out that his parent's wouldn't be having one. After all, I would never do anything to disrespect his parents, but if they were abandoning him on his birthday, then I would just have to step in. He said he didn't want a celebration! Can you believe it? I tried to explain to my daughter that she would have a lifetime of unhappiness with a boy that didn't want a party on his birthday. I talked to her every chance I could for the next two weeks about how she should rid herself of him and his crazy ways, right up until the day of his party. He was so rude! I ordered the birthday cake just like I enjoy and exactly like the one we have for everybody else on their "very special day". The cake even had a bunny statue on top (my daughter's pet nick-name for him). He just glared at me and bit his lip and shook his head. I explained to my daughter that this was proof that his parent's had raised him without love. She just wouldn't believe me when I told her that he would make her life one miserable experience after another.

But I patched things up lickity-split that day. I just turned on my smile and told him that if he didn't want a birthday cake and a birthday party and birthday presents then we would just go ahead and have a regular-old cake and a regular-old dinner and that the presents wouldn't be for his birthday but just because it was a nice day and that he was a nice boy. He just got madder no matter how much I tried to do what he wanted me to do. That night I told my daughter that she should dump him for sure, but she just wouldn't listen to me.

Do you know that 20 years later he brought this story up and threw it in my face? How stupid can he be? The story proves that HE is the stupid one. Didn't he see that I fixed things up that day and he had been being a crybaby? I talked to my daughter the day after his rude call and told her how hurtful it was of him to bring up something from the distant past like that. You would think that after 20 years she would wise up and figure out that this guy is so inconsiderate and hurtful!

They went to their high school senior prom together, and made such a dashing couple. Although I had to work late, we took lots of pictures of them all dressed up. I was so happy to show them around to all my friends, relatives, neighbors, and people at work. (Read Correction) He had taken to just shaking his head when I did this. Was he embarrassed to be seen with my daughter? There was this one prom picture, taken through the car window, that looked just like all those wedding pictures you always see of the bride and groom. I would always tell everybody how cute they were and I had my favorite saying that I if I said once I must have said a hundred times: "Now when they get married we won't need a photographer, we can just use the prom picture". He always just bit his lip and shook his head. I warned my poor daughter to keep away from him, he's obviously the kind of guy that just doesn't know how to enjoy life.

So you can understand how I was so angry about their on-again off-again wedding plans. They went off to college together and they came home over one week-end and talked in passing about how they were possibly thinking that they maybe just might get married the following summer, between college terms, if they could work out finances and class work. That very night I got on the phone to half a dozen people, their two grandmothers, the neighbors, and ladies from my club. Can you imagine my embarrassment when they called the wedding off? I was never so humiliated! And on top of that, HE was mad at ME! He complained that when they went to see grandma the following day, she offered congratulations about their coming wedding! Is getting congratulated any reason to be mad? And why be mad at me? HE was the one that called off the wedding that summer, not me.

Now can you imagine my shock two years later when the two of them sat me down on the couch and EXPLAINED that they were to going be married in four days time! FOUR DAYS! Without informing me, they had secretly had their blood tests, bought their marriage license, even scheduled the appointment with the district judge to perform the ceremony. The mother of the bride was the last person to know, now how's that for being rude! I know that all of this was his idea, because my daughter wanted a big fancy wedding so all of my friends could see her on her "special day". This was the first time (of many) where I know that he has brainwashed my daughter to do something that she would never do on her own. What an evil man to do such a horrible thing to me and to my daughter.

And what is so sad is that she was going to be my 'special' wedding. You see, my youngest ended up getting married young, just like me. And I'm finally resigned that my oldest daughter is just never going to get married. She was born when I was only 17 and has never seemed interested in dating. These days she is 45 years old, and still lives at home with her father and I.

So my middle daughter was going to be my 'special wedding', but HE ruined it for me. I told her not to marry him, but she just wouldn't listen to reason. They may as well have gone ahead and eloped, the way they told me on Sunday and were married on Thursday. What a jerk!

So I told her not to go through with it, that it was not too late for her to dump that moody, controlling, and selfish man, but she went through with the wedding anyway (I think just to spite me). I reminded her several times in those four brief days that if she got married we would not help her pay off her college loans, and if she lived with him without marriage, we would disown her completely. I remember this all so clearly, because I couldn't even go to the wedding ceremony that day because I had to run payroll at the office. I told them just last week on the phone how rude that was to do, to deny a mother her chance to see her own daughter's wedding, and do you know what they said? They said that I was there! They said I stood up for her and even signed the wedding certificate as a witness! This is the kind of crap that they make up just to break my heart. When I told them what a struggle we went through to pay off her student loans after they were married, they both wove a string of vicious lies! They can say whatever they want, but I'm the only one who knows what actually happened. When I call them on the telephone these days, I get so mad I can't even think straight! To say that I didn't know whether or not I was at my own daughter's wedding, how rude can a man be to his own loving mother-in-law? I called my daughter last week (after HE left on a business trip) and told her how he was up to his old tricks, making up stories about me, but she wouldn't listen. You would think after 20 years she would figure out what I'm talking about!

When they were first married, they moved into an apartment across town. This was so inconvenient to have to call my own daughter long distance. I had called her one night to read her the riot act about how inconsiderate she was being. Just because she was married and living somewhere else did not end her responsibility to her family! After all, she may be married now, but she will ALWAYS be my daughter and I will ALWAYS be her mother.

So she was not doing her fair share at home anymore and it was up to me to make things right. I was explaining to her on the phone about what she would be expected to do when, and I kid you not, that vulgar man took the phone right out of her hand and interrupted me. Now this is something that you just don't do in this family! And can you even guess what rude and vulgar thing he said to me? He said "You will NOT talk to MY WIFE that way." So suddenly she was "MY WIFE", eh? Well obviously he would need to be straightened out about that little misimpression.

But he wasn't finished. He then threatened me! He said that if I continued to call up my own daughter and talk to her in this way that HE felt was too harshly (he actually had the audacity to call it 'yelling', and I never yell), that he would forbid me to call my own daughter. He claimed he wanted me to show "respect" yet HE was the one being disrespectful, not me.

So you know that he left me no choice. I did what any loving mother in my situation would logically do. I waited until the next day, after he went to work, and called my daughter when he wasn't home. I helped her to see just what a mistake she had made and reminded her right there that, if she ever figured out that her marriage was a mistake, she was ALWAYS welcome to come back HOME.

So things were just like before for the next couple of weeks, only thing being that I had to call during the day when the 'Big Bad Bear' was off at work. My daughter took my advice and brought her laundry back 'home' once a week to visit and help us out with some of the chores that I assigned to her. This was going fine until that awful man got wind of things. He was so angry that I could her him shouting and stomping around his apartment in front of my poor scared daughter. You can bet that I have never let her forget that if she ever feels endangered by that reckless and irresponsible control-freak, that she is ALWAYS welcome to come back HOME.

So things simmered down for a while, then an amazing thing happened. Out of the blue, about two or three months later, he had a job offer out of town. Within a couple of weeks, they had emptied their apartment into a trailer and moved one thousand miles and two time zones away from their loving family. I tried to warn them how this move was going to make EVERYBODY miserable, but HE would not listen. Suddenly instead of calling across town to talk to my daughter, I would have to call across the country. And instead of her doing chores once a week, I'd only be seeing her once or twice a year! Well that was some dirty trick that man pulled, but I would certainly be able to adapt.

So for the three years they were away, I would call my daughter no less than two or three times per week (plus the times that she called me). If two days passed without her calling, I would get straight on the horn to tell her what was happening 'at home' and to make sure that each of the things that she might be missing from her childhood were fresh in her mind. "Uncle so-and-so dropped by and wished you were here to see you". "We went to so-and-so's wedding and you could have come if you were living 'at home'". "The leaves are changing colors and its the most beautiful thing! You were always so fond of seeing the color change but you're a thousand miles away". Oh, she missed so much because her husband prevented her from living 'at home'. And she was just living in HIS SHADOW, afraid to tell him that she wanted to come 'home' and be with her family support network.

She would call me too, lots of times, and whenever she even mentioned that she felt the least bit homesick I made sure she knew that she was ALWAYS welcome to come live AT HOME. No matter what. You know, I had to tell her how he was always so disrespectful of me and how he was trying to imprison her in a place where she had no job and no friends. He was so very very jealous that anybody but him might get to know her. They only took two vacations while they lived there, and both trips were to come back 'home' to visit. I would cry until I almost passed out on the floor when it was time for them to leave. Actually, I'd start crying sometimes two or three days before they were due to leave 'home' and go back out 'there'. That's what a loving mother does in these circumstances. When they voiced frustration at my carrying on so, I simply told them that they would understand, when they had children of their own, the total devastation and heartbreak that a mother always feels when her children grow up and abandon her. (By the way, to this very day, they claim that they do not and never will feel this way, but they will see, someday)

One time she came to visit by herself, and it was so nice to be able to just talk to her without anybody listening in. I told her how I felt (and how EVERYBODY I told agreed with me) that she was 'losing her personality' and 'living in the shadow' of her overbearing and demanding husband. This was when I first noticed that she was changing, being brainwashed by that ogre, and that my little girl was being pulled right out of my clutching fingertips. What a heartbreak for a caring mother to have her loving family ripped apart by a heartless stranger.

Every chance I got, I would remind her how she was essentially being held prisoner, away from the people that loved and supported her. He was just like the guy in the nursery rhyme, I frequently pointed out, trying to keep her 'in a pumpkin shell'! Sometimes he would overhear me (or I guess she would TELL him, even though I warned her never to do that) and he would get so mad that I could hear him yell right through the telephone line! I was so worried for her! Married for five years and he was still taking out his unexplainable anger on her and hiding her in his shadow. Yes, she would ALWAYS be welcome to come back HOME.

And eventually they did just that. He took a job back here and sold the other house and bought one just five miles from our own. He said he wanted to be here for having 'the baby', as if he was some big-shot calling all the shots.

Now that they were close by, I could call my daughter every day, check up on what they were doing, suggest ways to do things better. I pointed out that she STILL didn't have a job like her two other sisters and I and that she had better get one if they were going to get ahead. When I heard that they used a home computer to track their money down to a penny, I told them how NOBODY does that and that her father and I had been married over 30 years and had NEVER needed to budget with a computer (what was wrong with those two!) I also reminded her that she didn't wear make-up like the women at the office where her husband worked and she had better be careful because he was definitely at the age where 'men stray'. I tried to explain to her how life worked but she just blew me off without even listening!

Their living in town again also gave me a chance to better acquaint myself with his family. Every chance I got, I would do my best to spend time with 'the in-laws'. One time when the kids went away on vacation, I told his parents that if they loved those children they would go to the grocery store and buy milk and bread and have it in the kid's refrigerator when they get home. I explained to his parents how this is just 'what you do' when your family goes off on vacation. His parents did my bidding and I told my son-in-law who he had to thank.

He was always trying to keep his parents away from us, more on that later, and I told my daughter just what I thought about that (when he was off at work, of course). I just know that nobody on 'his side' paid attention to my statements. And no matter what I tried (and you can bet I tried everything), nobody would tell me why. I just simply don't understand anybody in that weird family of his.

When they first moved back home, they needed a lot of straightening out. It seemed that my crazy son-in-law had taken a notion to not immediately buy a stove and refrigerator. Now this is something that you just don't do. My daughter wouldn't talk to me about it, but I noticed a day or two after they were unpacked, that the kitchen was set up with a microwave oven and mini-bar style fridge. How shameful! I started right in on her about when were they going to be getting the appliances and where were they going to be getting the appliances. Obviously they were too poor to afford them but too ashamed to tell me, her own loving mother! Finally she gave in and explained that her lame brained husband had decided to not buy them. At the first chance I got, I sat him down and explained to that crazy man that a young family like his not only needed a stove and a fridge but the best stove and the largest refrigerator you could find. Young couples don't scrimp on kitchen appliances. Where was that boy's head?

When I sat him down to explain this, within a day or two of learning about this craziness, he started to backpedal and say that it wasn't that he was NOT buying them, but only that he was putting it off until it was absolutely necessary. It seems he planned to "eat in restaurants" at least two or three times per week (which I explained that you just don't do) and, besides, he had already ordered a chest freezer for the basement. Now is this man certifiably loony? WE bought our stove and refrigerator right when we moved in and that's how you do things. We didn't get a freezer until later, when we could afford it. So here he was saying that he was 'choosing' to use, what, a freezer, microwave, and 'hot plate'? How are you going to cook a roast? (he wasn't going to have any roasts) How are you going to cook a turkey or bake a chicken? (in the microwave) Didn't you know that microwave chickens don't brown correctly? (I'll eat gray chicken) How will you bake cookies or cakes? (we will buy them at the bakery, just two blocks away from our new house, or not eat any). What about milk – that little fridge won't hold but one gallon of milk? (We only need one gallon of milk – we drink too much milk and are trying to lose weight) Who is going to do all this 'walking to the store' (his wife / my daughter should walk the two blocks to the fruit market / bakery / corner grocery each day to improve her health and help her to lose weight). I went on and on but this big dumb Polack just was too stupid to understand what I was explaining to him.

Eventually, he permitted us to buy them a stove and for my mother to buy them a refrigerator. You know he barely grunted a 'thank-you' and was never sincerely pleased about just how much we had done for them. If only our families could have done that for us when we were newly married and buying our first home. He just kept saying nonsense like that it was their second home (not their first), that they had been married 5 years already and that they were 7 years older than we were at that time, that they had NO children, etc, etc, etc. He just wouldn't LISTEN and he won't LISTEN to this very day. Sometimes I wonder why I waste my breath explaining things to him. If it weren't for the suffering he puts my poor daughter through, I wouldn't even bother.

There was a time in there when everybody joined a weight-loss club. My daughter was the group leader and my son-in-law helped out too. My older daughter joined as did his mom and even his brother would weigh in from time to time. I belonged to a different chapter and, no matter how much I invited them, they would not join 'my' chapter (because, they said, it met on the 'wrong night' of the week).

Anyway, it was time for the family Christmas dinner that year and the two of them offered to be the host. It seems they had just hosted the 'diet club' Christmas party a couple days previously so they had everything all set up for a party. They wanted to have dinner start around 3pm but EVERYBODY agreed that it would start at noon instead. It seems that, even though EVERYBODY had the day off, my son-in-law had to go in to work that morning. Also, my daughter laid down the law that since everybody was diabetic (and over half of us were in a diet club) the same rules as the previous night's party should hold, only 'diet legal' treats like punch, fruits, and low-fat cookies, etc.

Well, well, well. Her house was completely disorganized when we all showed up at the agreed upon time: Noon! Her husband was nowhere to be found and she kept complaining to us that we weren't listening to HER but it was SHE who wasn't listening to US! Then she hit the roof when we brought the 'usual' Christmas cookie tray. Somewhere between 8 and 10 pounds of sweet desserts, like we have every year, especially the yummy pound cake and cans and trays full of frosted butter cookies! Our oldest (the one that weighed and still weighs way over 300 pounds) knocks herself out baking these 'treats' every year and they have really become the central part of the holiday celebration for us. Our daughter had the audacity to forbid that these treats be brought into her house, but we just brought them in and set them up anyway, just like every year before and every year since. And where the hell was her RUDE husband? Well he showed up about an hour later and promptly disappeared (saying something about working that day)!

He acted like we weren't even there, except to take my daughter off to a different room and talk under his breath to her. This was the first time that they started a new trick of going into the bathroom, running the fan while flushing the toilet, and talking in a near whisper! No matter how hard I strained I could not make out a word they were saying but I sure know that he was making up some new reason to break my poor daughter's heart. How rude of him (and during a family Christmas celebration, to boot)! If he has something to say to his wife, he should have the common decency to say it loud enough so that I can hear. You don't keep secrets in our family.

He then said he still had to wrap his presents, including a couple that he had bought that very morning! I couldn't believe him, so I asked him two more times if he was pulling my leg. How stupid can a man be! EVERYBODY knows that you have to have all of your presents (at least the big ones) bought before Thanksgiving and wrapped and under the tree long before the day of the Christmas party! Besides we had all been there since Noon and here it was nearly 2pm! How can a man with a college education be so stupid?

So he just literally disappeared. He went upstairs and didn't come down until exactly 3 o'clock. How rude! And since everybody is diabetic, we can't just wait around without eating (that throws off your insulin, you see) so all of us had already eaten our Christmas meal by the time HE decided to join in his own Christmas party. I've explained how insulin works to those two, dozens of times, but they just don't listen to me when I say how insulin-dependent diabetics need to be very careful to regulate when they eat their meals. You could end up in a coma if your not careful! On top of that, my own daughter didn't have the food cooked on time for us when we arrived at noon so we had to open the oven and cut off pieces of ham and sausage that were still being cooked and finish cooking them on individual plates in the microwave. It took 10 times as long this way with me having to cook each person's plate one at a time in the microwave. Why wasn't she better prepared? She was RUINING our Christmas dinner.

By the time HE decided to reappear (when the oven timer rang at exactly 3pm), all of us were done with our dinner plates and were already digging into the mountains of cookies and cakes that we had brought with us. So he had to eat his Christmas dinner by himself (with my daughter) and then they completely turned their noses up at the desserts that our oldest had worked so hard to bake and to bring to the family holiday celebration. How childish and inconsiderate. We had the Christmas presents opened and done with and everybody was on their way home just after 6pm. Those two kept saying that they expected us to stay until 8 or 9 but we had already been at their place all day and were exhausted! They don't understand that people can't start Christmas at noon and stay all the way until 9pm! And they won't listen to me when I explain it to them.

And by the way, that was the LAST holiday dinner that we ever had at their place! A matter of fact, for the following holidays they barely even showed their face. They would pop in late and disappear after barely eating any of the monstrous feast we always prepare for every holiday. You know, it was not long after that they had the audacity to start inviting their own friends or neighbors over to their house for holiday meals when their own loving FAMILY was in town. They just would say they had 'other plans' when I called to tell them when and where Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and birthdays were being held that year. Well in this family you don't make 'other plans' for holidays when you live in the same town! You just don't do that kind of thing.

Well they did have the baby in due time, just as he had predicted. It was a total joy when we received our third grandchild and first grandson. We were proud grandparents at the hospital, holding that baby. What a delight that beautiful child was, and still is to this very day!

Of course, taking care of a baby is a very big responsibility and I should know, I had three babies before I was barely 21 years old! Now its true that my daughter had just turned 30 and my son-in-law was 28, but I could sense their nervousness and chimed in quickly, sternly, and often whenever they started to do the least thing that I considered wrong with that precious baby. That's how a new parent learns.

We were quick to buy toys for the baby, that's what you do when you love a grandchild. (Obviously, his parents didn't love that grandbaby anywhere near as much as we did). I was always there to tell his 'mummy' or 'daddy' that it was 'time to change the diap-diap' and other helpful things like that. One time that man snapped at me, 'will you let him finish crapping?' I immediately explained that if you didn't change that diaper right away the poop would infect the baby's bottom and lead to festering sores and horrible deadly infections of the rectum and the baby would get a fever and cry for days on end. Is that what he wanted? Well I wasn't going to let him harm my grandbaby through his negligence. No, I was ever vigilant to make sure that baby was taken care of properly.

When the baby was only a few days old, that irresponsible man had the audacity to take my daughter and the baby out to dinner in a restaurant. What was he thinking? He was trying to get the baby killed with an infection! I warned my daughter that she needed to protect that poor child from that man's dangerous irresponsibility (I called when he was away at work, of course).

Within two months, he proposed taking the three of them off on a three-day week-end drive. Well I almost fainted! I had to catch my breath and practically spit out my words. "Are you crazy?" "Don't you understand?" and "This is a new baby. You have to stay at home with it unless you are going to the doctors or one of you is going to the grocery store. If you need to get out of the house (all new parents feel trapped at times), you pack up the playpen and the baby and spend the day at your parents house". I offered to buy a playpen so they wouldn't have to bring theirs when they visited. I offered, but it was obvious that this lunatic was bent on killing his own son.

I did what I had to under the circumstances. Since he was unreachable by my logic and persuasion, I gave up on him and focused all my guns on my daughter. I called her daily, sometimes twice a day and did everything I could to scare the daylights out of her. What if the child gets sick 200 miles from home? What if it gets a fever? What if your car breaks down? What if you are in an accident and both of you are killed and the baby is alive and crying in the back seat, with no parents to protect it? What if the car bursts into flames and that poor baby, crying and crying, is slowly burned to death after suffering for 20 or 30 minutes? I could see that I was making progress on her, and she reported back that she had approached that monster with her idea that they should stay home where it was safe. She later reported that she wasn't getting through, that he was still intent on a week-end of recklessness so I suggested that she hide herself and the child to protect him from that craziness. She ended up going on the trip, secretly calling me each day so I could remind her how much danger she and the baby were in.

Can you believe that when they came home from this folly he had the audacity to pass around pictures and tell stories about the trip like he had a great time? What a lunatic! He just would not LISTEN TO ME when I explained that you simply DO NOT DO THAT with a new baby.

Before our grandson was two, he ended up needing a little hospital stay. Since they bought a house right in our neighborhood, the baby was born in, and was suddenly checked into a hospital within a mile of our house. It was so thoughtful of them to do this when they might have lived anywhere in the country at that time.

Well I nearly died to see that poor baby, just learning to walk and still in diapers being kept in a hospital crib with an IV drip. My daughter and her husband had each dropped everything to attend to their only child and were already starting to 'work shifts' to provide each other rest. We visited them, as did his parents, but those two children would not permit me to stay so that they could go home and rest. Of course, it broke my heart to see my grandson stuck at that awful hospital and me knowing that he was scared to death! (although they will try to tell you that he wasn't, I know better).

As luck would have it, this all happened in October and I had, of course, already purchased all of his Christmas presents for that year. Well you just don't let a baby be abandoned in a hospital and traumatized by empty loneliness and fear. I kinda asked and kinda told his parents that I had decided to bring over 'a couple' of his Christmas presents for him to use now. Obviously he needed new toys to play with in the hospital and, besides, even though it was only October I had purchased more than enough for his Christmas. Anyway, his grandmother should be the one to decide which toys are 'Christmas presents' and which ones are 'Hospital presents'. So I picked through the bags in the back room to choose one or two to take to him.

Oh, but you can guess the story? That poor sick baby, trapped and alone in the hospital, scared to death of what his illness might mean! Of course I just grabbed all the bags and took every single toy over. Everybody just bit their lip and shook their heads. Some thank you to a grandmother for loving that sick and suffering baby.

So he was delighted and squealed and laughed as I handed him each of the toys that I had purchased before October for Christmas. By the time I left, his crib was full and he barely had room to fit in there. When I came back later, most of the new toys where already put away in bags on the floor and just a few of his 'old' toys remained in his crib. Later, before he went home in three days, the bags of new toys I had brought were already whisked away home. Of course, when Christmas came around no grandson would be denied Christmas presents so I went right out and bought a complete new bounty for him. Actually I bought even more than I had the first time. And those heartless children actually got upset with me for doing this. They just don't understand that grandparents are supposed to spoil their grandchildren and I was not about to let them ruin MY grandson's holiday. I know what it is like to not have enough money at Christmas to provide for your children. Older children need grandparents to make up for the financial strains of being newlyweds and young inexperienced parents. These kids just don't listen to me, and I've been there! He was obviously under financial strain but too pig headed to graciously and humbly accept my charity.

It was nice to see how he loved his son, and amazing to watch him be inventive. Our grandson learned his alphabet at two years old by using their computer. And our daughter had every convenience you could think of. But he would just not listen when I told him, time after time after time, that there are certain things that you just do not do once you have a baby. Can you believe that they wasted their money and took the baby to Disney World when he was just two years old? EVERYBODY told them they were stupid, since he wasn't going to remember anything about a trip taken so young. They bought an annual pass and that irresponsible man took the baby back down two months later for a week-end trip, without my daughter. I will tell you that we were all a nervous wreck the entire time he was away. I was on the telephone four or five times a day with my daughter checking to see if he had called her and if he admitted to any harm that had come to that precious child! First off, he didn't know anything about taking care of a two year old and second off, EVERYBODY knows that you don't waste your money going down to Disney world just for a week-end. But I had given up trying to explain things to him, he was just too arrogant to listen. By the way, they went down one more time on that pass, and this time took our eldest daughter with them. When she got home, she filled my ear plenty about how rude and inconsiderate they were to her. I have let both my daughter and her husband know, from time to time, about what her sister told me about how rudely they treated her when they let her accompany them on their vacation to Florida (Read Correction). Of course, those two eventually moved to Florida and went to Disney World hundreds of times. I am so proud of them and what they have accomplished in their lives!

A funny thing happened just before they moved away. That husband of hers suggested that we buy stock in the company he was working for, as he claimed that they were due in a year or so for a huge explosion in earnings. We did the obvious thing and immediately asked our stock broker (a man that we went to high school with) about this company and he told us that it would be a terrible investment. He said that the company's earnings and stock price were way down and, as I suspected, that my son-in-law was handing us terrible advice. (Like I would actually believe him and invest my money based on just his WORD!) So I just let this bad advice pass into history, I mean, like I never held it against him or anything, and frankly I didn't even think anything about it even once across the years. I was so surprised when five years later he brought this subject up in a conversation with me. It seems that he and my daughter had done nicely, pouring in what little money they could and, when the stock doubled in value, used the proceeds to make a down payment on their new house (the stock eventually tripled in value!) He asked me why we never bought even a single share after he told me about the forthcoming company growth and I just explained to him that our friend (who went to high school with us) had said it was a bad investment because it was so low. That son-in-law was so stupid, he still didn't understand me when I explained that it was a bad investment. No matter how many times I explained to him that our friend (who went to school with us) had said it was. And come to think of it, my son-in-law finally wised up and doesn't give me any more foolish stock tips. For once he learned how to treat me!

About the time our grandson was in kindergarten, it was time for them to move away again. And they have never moved back 'home' since. My son-in-law lost his job in a downturn and finally landed a job with a company 1500 miles away this time. It was a difficult time for them, but I had been laid off the previous year so I knew what they were going through. Luckily for me, I had landed another job after six months or so. During my layoff, I took each day and cleaned my house a little. My daughter kept calling me, asking me to take a day or two each week to spend with her and my grandson. She just wouldn't listen when I explained that, at my age, I couldn't clean my house all at once. Each day I would take 'one drawer' and clean it out. This way, after the few months that I was between jobs, I had worked my way through each dresser and each closet around the entire house. She kept saying that this was a magic time to be with them, that she couldn't guarantee how long they would be so accessible and how, after I got my next job, I might regret my decision to clean. I would just explain to her that I had to clean the house and, after getting started in the morning and then doing one drawer or closet it was time to start making dinner and before long it was time for bed. It wasn't my fault that I was so busy but she just would not listen to me. Besides I explained, they weren't going anywhere. People just don't move away from their hometown and family. Certainly not twice.

After they were settled into their new home, we went out to visit them. My son-in-law took a week's vacation to spend the time non-stop with us. It was a delightful time. They met us at the airport and chauffeured us around town. And their new home was luxurious! It was actually breathtaking and they had built it themselves. It was like a mansion, something that we had never seen before. This young man was taking good care of himself and my daughter!

But things started to unravel before the week was over. During one car drive Dad said that "traffic is sure heavy" and logically my son-in-law, who was driving, just chimed in that 'yep, it was!". Well I patted his sleeve and explained that that meant that dad was tired and wanted to go home. But he would have none of it. He did that little eye-brow arch thing and just asked 'are you kidding?'. Finally, the rude spoiled brat explained for the whole car to hear that if anybody wanted to go home, all they needed to say was that they were tired and wanted to go home. So he continued to show us around for another 10 or so minutes before turning the car homeward. He was just impossible to live with.

I went grocery shopping with my daughter and bought a chocolate cream pie for everybody to have with dinner. She didn't complain, but simply said 'yes, mother' like she is supposed to. Besides, I bought the pie with 'my money'. Well that arrogant animal that she married blew a gasket, but not in front of me. He started all over again with closing a door and running a fan. His parents raised him with no breeding at all! Well I don't know why that pie was such an issue. After all, WE ate cakes and cookies and pies and doughnuts at our house all the time. Besides both he and my daughter were huge. My daughter was on insulin 'pills', the precursor to the insulin injections that her dad and her sister and I were already on. So I could reason that they ate their fair share of desserts, just like us.

So that pie just sat on their countertop, like a trophy, untouched and unserved at each meal for the first few days. But it was no surprise when I came down to breakfast the fourth morning and a big piece was missing. I just smiled and with a little lilt of a song in my voice said "I see soooomebooody had a pieeece of piiiie, last night".

Well can you believe that my daughter turned ashen and her evil husband whipped his head around and shot the most God-awful look at her. He then whisked her out of the room and back into that far bathroom only to hear the fan and the flushing toilet for TEN FULL MINUTES. But I realized that he eventually came around since he served us all a great big piece of pie and even had a double portion himself that night! My daughter had to just about chain him down from going back to the market to buy two or three more for us to have that week. I just knew that he liked his desserts!

Well we were visiting over the Thanksgiving holidays and they had started a tradition of cooking a Prime Rib roast instead of turkey. It was so nice that they shared their hospitality with us that way. The huge roast was taking up most of their refrigerator for the first few days, leading to lots of excitement and anticipation. They have such a ridiculous marriage! I have told them dozens and dozens of times that the way they act toward each other is ridiculous. You see, they sit down and talk over EVERYTHING they do. I tell you, if one of them wants to go to the bathroom, its like they have to check with the other one first. I sat them down at least a dozen different times over the fourteen years that they had been married so far to explain that it was ridiculous for them to carry on this way. I explained that married people don't consult each other like that all the time, and it is particularly frustrating when I ask first one, then the other, for permission to do something and they both say they have to 'talk about it' first. You know, they aren't like that with everybody, just me! And they have no reason to treat me that way!

So it was Thanksgiving morning, and my grandson was watching the parades on TV. Breakfast had just finished and it was time for my daughter to put the Prime Rib into the oven. Her father and I were sitting at the kitchen table as the two of them started to pull the roast out, empty out the oven, and get the roaster pan, etc. Now I know that I never enjoyed receiving advice from other people about how to cook in my own kitchen, so I just puttered at the kitchen table and browsed through the morning paper and kept my nose to myself.

Things were going fine with me sitting quietly for about two minutes until we all figured out that the roast wasn't going to fit into the roaster. I shouted instructions to them from across the room not to worry, just put foil on it, etc and with every new suggestion I made they would stop talking to each and turn to face me and smile. When I was finished they would turn back to face each other and start their conversation over again, FROM THE BEGINNING!. This was obviously going nowhere since they weren't LISTENING TO ME.

They had already fetched out a couple extra pots and pans and were discussing the idea of running quickly to the market to buy something so I simply had to go into that kitchen and step right between them and show them what all my years of cooking taught me. My daughter was very rude. She actually held up her hand to stop me and said "Mother, don't help". But they were obviously lost and needed my direction right then and there.

As I started to explain, WHOOSH, it was off to the bathroom with fans and flushing. Five minutes later it was my daughter who returned to escort me back to the table but I was already on my way out of the kitchen because they were rudely rebuffing my expertise. I explained to her how a mother has to help her daughter when that daughter obviously doesn't have any idea what they are doing, but she interrupted me! So I left the kitchen but couldn't find anything to do but pace around so I returned to my rightful place.

At one point, I finally forced myself between them and the oven, grabbed a butcher knife from the drawer, and exclaimed, "Look! You just cut off ONE RIB from the end and we can cook it later and have it for breakfast tomorrow". I swear a fist fight almost broke out. It was her father that intervened with me and so I sat down and listened to the most stupid idiotic gibberish from those two ungrateful and arrogant children.

That so-called engineer husband of hers was talking about fashioning a pan extension by using a cake pan under a roaster pan. YOU DON'T USE CAKE PANS FOR ROASTS! Cake pans are for cakes and roasters are for roasts! We had an idiot in charge in the kitchen that day and my daughter wouldn't let me save our dinner from him ruining it. And ruin it he did.

After 15 FULL MINUTES of talking back and forth, they actually fashioned a larger roaster pan from the original roaster pan, tin foil, and a couple of cookie sheets. But I was so upset at they way they ignored all of my explanations that they may as well have served me sour milk and bitter lemons for all that I enjoyed that holiday dinner. That man always ruins everything!

And him ruining that Thanksgiving dinner made a big impression on me, too. Years later, when he was visiting our house during a business trip, I sat him down at the kitchen table to explain how I 'don't understand' him and that he just doesn't 'listen to me' when I 'explain' things to him. It was very easy for me to run down a long list of his various character flaws and mistakes he has made in front of me, but that ruined prime rib was kind of my trump card. I asked him point blank, "Don't you understand that a mother just has to step in when her children obviously don't know what they are doing?". He still didn't understand, and to this day, time after time after time, I've explained to him that he doesn't listen to me and that I just don't understand him.

So that day years later, as we sat at my kitchen table and I listed all the times that he ignored my advice and ruined the day for everybody, I brought up his Prime Rib fiasco with relish. But all he said was that he invented his oversized roaster pot (like he wanted), that the prime rib was delicious (like he wanted), and that it was the last prime rib dinner I ever had at his house (a simple coincidence)! Now all of what he said was true, but it was beside the point! He didn't listen to me then and he wouldn't listen to me now. And that's what he said I was doing! How ridiculous could that little boy be? HE was the one that wasn't listening to ME!

But he wasn't finished with just the ridiculous prime rib roaster pan that Thanksgiving. No! You see, the next day we all went out and bought a Christmas tree from a nearby tree farm. It was a nice family time with fresh air and it was so nice to see our now six year old grandson get out and enjoy a Christmas tradition.

When we got the tree home, there were some difficulties getting it placed into the stand and oriented in the living room. Its always a mother's job to jump right in and fix things. "Saw off that extra limb". "Your breaking that bough". "You need to lift it HIGHER". These were the helpful things I was saying and my daughter just snapped at me. "Leave him alone Mother, he doesn't need any help from you". She actually said such a rude and disrespectful thing to her own loving and supportive mother! And just when I was trying to help, too. His disrespectful and rude behavior was now starting to soil my daughter. Oh how I wish I could have my sweet and respectful little girl back again.

So that stupid oaf of a husband went out to the garage and returned with crazy things like two-by-fours, a jump rope, and a pair of jumper cables. He hovered over the tree and looped the rope and cables and tied them off to the two-by-fours and I could stand by quietly no more! "YOU JUST PICK UP THE DAMN TREE AND PUT IT IN THE STAND FOR CHIRSTSSAKE!"

He stopped his work but didn't move. In a quiet and steady voice, while leaning over the tree, he started to talk about recently missing work with a back injury and how everybody in the room weighs more that 300 pounds. Then my disrespectful daughter started in with snippy warnings and sharp staring eyes and she even POINTED A FINGER at me! Well I never....

Then that stupid oaf of hers finally figured out that his ridiculous plan wouldn't work and stood there like the big dummy he is. Then he spotted (now don't burst out laughing when I say this) THE PIANO BENCH! He stepped around the tree, moved the bench into position, and raised the far end of the two-by-fours onto it. He was about to try to lift the tree again when he caught himself that the bench might get scratched and had my daughter fetch and then place a bed pillow between the two-by-fours and the PIANO BENCH! This stupid girl went right along with his ridiculous and arrogant stupidity and I was completely ignored by everybody every time I told them to "JUST LIFT THE TREE AND PUT IT IN THE STAND". They even stopped to take a picture of their stupidity, as if they were proud of it. At one point I finally stepped forward to grab the tree myself, although I had trouble even reaching my arms around my own belly, and my own daughter physically prevented me from moving forward. When will a mother's insults end?

Then an amazing thing happened. He lifted the two-by-fours and the tree stood straight up like a little tin soldier on Christmas morning. Everyone was hushed and staring, for just a split second. And then the tree tipped over to one side and in the rising commotion of voices I shouted out again that "THIS IS THE STUPIDEST..." and the fingers started pointing all over again. All this time, my own husband was just standing off to one side and watching them with a big grin on his face. He was being perfectly quiet and just letting them go on and on with their stupidity. He was being of no help whatsoever to me in preventing these ridiculous children from acting so stupid.

So that big moron son-in-law then hovered around and rearranged the jumper cables and repositioned himself and lifted the two-by-fours again and the tree stood straight up and was quickly centered and, with my husband stretching under it to place the stand, went into place perfectly. Within ten minutes all the extra stuff was put back away where it came from and the lower boughs were neatly trimmed and the tree was watered and within thirty minutes it was standing in their beautiful living room directly in front of that huge picture window with the priceless view of the nearby mountaintop.

But I was so mad I could just spit nails. Nobody listened to me! And every time I looked at that stupid tree I was reminded how stupid and arrogant my son-in-law is, and how rude and brainwashed my poor daughter has become. Thanks to him, the whole holiday was ruined for everybody!

Amazingly enough, we had only one other vacation visit to their beautiful home. This one was a disaster. There was bickering and squabbling the entire time. We brought our oldest daughter with us and I completely understand what she meant about how rude they were to her when they let her accompany them on their vacation to Disney World. (Read Correction) My son-in-law didn't even take time off from work but only joined us for dinner and on the week-end. There was something crazy in the air, like animals at the zoo. Everything I said was challenged. Everything was a war for control. I have never seen my daughter act so disrespectful toward her loving mother, and I couldn't believe my eyes. And worse than that, she had adopted her arrogant husband's flippant tone. "No desserts allowed in the house". "You're not going to the grocery store with me (only Dad)". And the biggest insult of them all, "You WILL show respect to my husband!". It's like she was accusing me of being disrespectful when it is obvious to everybody that it was HE that was being disrespectful to ME. They drove us to the airport and didn't even wait for our plane to leave.

One day I left a message for my daughter to call me back when she was alone. She didn't follow directions and instead called when that man was with her (she never listens to me anymore). Well the news I had for her was pretty exciting. It seems that her old fiancee had called, and wanted to know how she was doing! That is so exciting. They were engaged to be married, but he was a total jerk, verbally abusive, physically abusive, rude, and arrogant to her father and I. We were heartsick when she accepted his marriage proposal (she was 17) and elated when she returned the ring. She had now been married for 15 years and out of the blue this old boyfriend had called looking for her! How exciting!

Her father had told me not to do it, but I talked to the guy on the telephone for over three hours! He told me about how he had finished his law degree, been married 10 years (to a woman from India) and had some kids, but that he had taken to thinking about my daughter, and how he had never really 'gotten over' her. How exciting. I told him where she was living, what job my son-in-law had, that they had one son and what grade he was in and what school he attended. I even gave him their address and telephone number and told him when to call so my son-in-law would be at work. I was so excited to call and tell my daughter 'our little secret' but there was no way I could have had any idea what that monster she married was going to do.

As I started to tell her the 'little secret', she started to repeat it word for word, right in front of her husband! I could hear him talking to her and then shouting in the background. He was carrying on louder and louder and my daughter was starting to shout at me too. She said the other man was mentally unstable and totally unpredictable and pointed out that he was married with children but calling the gossipy mother of his ex-fiancee from 20 years ago (a mother that he completely detested and ridiculed during his actual engagement). Oh my daughter is such a terrible judge of character. That man was as sweet as pie for the whole three hours while I filled him in on every intimate detail of their lives and got the low down for her on what he had been doing.

Finally, at some point that rude son-in-law grabbed the phone from my daughter's hand and shouted at me "Did you tell him about my son?" and when I said how I had told the man how much you loved you boy and how well you were raising the child that rude man shouted "YOU FUCKING IDIOT!" and actually slammed the phone down in my ear.

Now I could hear myself starting to cry and told my husband what the rude vulgar man had said and done and all he would say is "I told you not to do it". I cried out "But he said the F-Word!". So I had to call back and, through my tears, tell him how he had hurt my feelings. He said, "Don't call yet, I am not over being angry at you" and hung up again! Well, I called back a minute later and explained to him that in our family you don't use such words and don't hang up the telephone on somebody. He asked me if I had told that man where they lived, how many children they had and what the ages were, and when I said I had, to let him know what a lovely husband you had been for my daughter I heard half of a scream and the line went dead.

Well I never!

So after four hours, I called and my daughter answered. As we talked, she explained that the monster had ripped the telephone out of the wall and thrown it off the third floor balcony. He had said that he was expecting that I was never going to be permitted to talk to them again as long as I live. That the only reason that he had not contacted me for half a day was that he was wracking his brain trying to think of one single reason that I should ever be allowed to know any single fact about their lives (including where they lived and what their telephone number was) and, as yet, he had not thought of a single reason! He was THREATENING to cut off communication between me and my daughter and grandchild.

Well, I wasn't going to stand for that! I got him on the telephone and explained that he had nothing to be jealous about. That the other man was married and only wanted to hear about my daughter for 'old time sake'. There was no reason for him to feel so threatened. Well everything I said he just repeated back as a question.

"You think I am jealous?"

"You told him innocent information?"

"He wanted to hear where we lived for 'old time sake'?"

"I feel 'threatened' by him as a rival for my wife's affection?"

And, finally:

"What do you know about that man?"

"Why didn't you simply ask him to provide his telephone number to you, pass it to onto your daughter, and then let her decide what personal information she did and did not want him to know?"

And then:

"How dare you reveal detail information about MY PRIVACY!"

"How dare you put MY WIFE and MY SON at risk!"

And the conversation ended with him saying that, until further notice I was not to call to their house or tell anybody anything about them. That my daughter would contact me at an appropriate time. And he SLAMMED down the phone IN MY EAR! That jealous monster. That is the kind of rude treatment that I have to deal with. And he has never once apologized to me for his behavior that day! He used the F-Word! Eventually, after several days of silence, my daughter contacted me, but they were both very cold toward me for a very, very long time. I told her she was never again to hang up on me. What if somebody died, how would we call them to tell them about the funeral?

A few weeks later, I ran into our old paperboy in line at the grocery store. He asked about my daughter and I told him I was not allowed to tell him any information because my son-in-law is jealous. That night, I called that monster son-in-law of mine and explained how his jealousy and insecurity about his marriage made me look foolish with our old paperboy. Why wouldn't he let me tell our family friends and neighbors about their marriage, family, and homelife? Why was he so jealous? He just wouldn't listen to me.

Around that time, they took a week-long trip out of town. They wouldn't tell me when they were leaving or when they were coming back, even though I told them that if they were dead on the highway nobody would know. I figured out that they would be returning Saturday evening, so I called over there and, when they did not answer, left a message. I called again Sunday morning, a little worried, and left another message, then another Sunday afternoon. By Sunday night, I had left a very concerned message – where were they, when were they getting home – and had started to call information to look up telephone numbers for their neighbors. On my last trip to visit them, I had TOLD HER to give me her neighbor's names and telephone numbers, but they had refused. So, I called again Monday morning, and on Monday afternoon I finally received a return call. Just where had they been??? I was worried with fright! I need to know their travel schedule and hotel names and telephone numbers and their neighbor's telephone numbers when they travel like that. What if somebody died? How would we get ahold of them? Well can you believe that my daughter was rude to me? She was rude to ME because I love and care for her. She said that in any emergency I should simply call and leave a message and they would call me back within a day if it was an emergency. If that was true, why didn't they call me when they received my frantic messages about not knowing where they were? I know it is that evil man that has begun to poison her mind and her heart toward her loving mother. Oh how I wish I had my loving little girl back.

Within a year, they sold that house and moved to Florida. My son-in-law got a great job that has him fly all over the country helping companies use their new computer systems. He is so smart and I am so proud of him. On a business trip to our town, he brought along pictures of their new house and it has a swimming pool connected right to the kitchen patio and the master bedroom. It is surrounded in flowering bushes and palm trees and you can eat breakfast on the patio and then take two steps and go for a swim. We were all so excited and proud of them. They are such successful young people.

And our grandson was in second grade when they moved (now he is in 7th). Even moving across the country became a lesson for him as his parents took him to special cities and special places all along the way, teaching him and showing him things that even as an adult, I have never seen. They are so loving to that child and so smart and so giving to him.

So we were really looking forward to fulfilling their invitation to come down for a week's vacation at their new house in Florida. My son-in-law took a week's vacation to be with us and another one three weeks prior to help my daughter put any 'finishing touches' on their new home. We were so excited!

We arrived at the airport in Florida, all excited to see everybody. My grandson and son-in-law met us at the gate and he immediately started in. I caught the arm of the girl that had sat next to us on the plane and explained that "This is my son in law that works at the computer company and my this is my grandson that is in second grade and has a new house with a pool and my daughter will meet us at the elevators". My rude son-in-law looked right past me and asked this woman "Did she invite you over for dinner?". The woman just smirked and said "no" and then he said to HER "Well, give her a chance". Is that anyway to greet your mother-in-law coming to visit you?

When we got to their house it was lovely. And the pool was beautiful. My daughter and her father got along marvelously, but everybody kept picking fights with me. It all started when they said that "you can eat anything you want at anytime". Now I know that this is simply not true because leftover food is to be saved for the next meal. Besides, I'm a diabetic and a diabetic has to be very careful to eat at very certain times or they might go into a coma! These children just don't take my condition very seriously at all.

The first day we drove out of town to visit some relatives that also lived in Florida. Because of my diabetes, and my obesity, and the knee replacements that I needed (and have since had) and my sleep apnea which caused me fall asleep during conversations, I just could not get into the back seat of their van. So for the week it would be my son-in-law driving, me in the passenger seat, with my daughter and her father and son in back. Of course, if you are sitting in the front passenger seat it is practically your JOB to help the driver out watching for traffic, looking for addresses, etc.

We stopped at a red light and a car pulled up next to my side with two nice young women who were talking amiably and looking from side to side. Of course our windows were rolled up and the air conditioner was going full blast so I couldn't hear a single word they were saying! Naturally, they must have been trying to get my attention, so I rolled down my window and called out "Ladieeees...".

It was a little hard to get their attention because they had their music blasting and the whiff of cigarette smoke blew in and filled our van but I persisted "Ladieeees, do you need my help?" The driver turned her head toward me and flicked her cigarette ash out the window as all hell broke loose inside the van. My son-in-law was trying to raise my power window as my daughter was shouting from the back seat in one of those really loud 'stage whispers'. She was saying "What the HELL are you doing?". Of course by then the two nice girls turned down their blasting radio and flicked the cigarette butt out the window while asking me to repeat myself. I couldn't see their eyes since they were both wearing dark sunglasses but I repeated "I thought you were talking to me and wanted our help." They just looked back at each other then shook their heads and then drove off as the light had turned green and I could hear their radio already blasting again.

My son-in-law pulled forward and turned the car into an empty parking lot and I had never seen that look on his face before. "Don't you EVER...." he started when my own daughter cut him off. "Mother, what are you thinking? Do you know what kind of people are down here? How dare you put us at risk? You will be riding in the back seat or staying at home if you do anything like that again". Etc, etc, etc. I started to explain that I simply HAD to sit in front because of my knees and my obesity but she cut me right off! These children obviously don't understand that everybody wants to talk to ME. It's like its my job to listen in on what everybody says to anybody else and then to insert my own opinion into their conversation. I do this at home, why would they be so shocked that I do this on vacation? I do it to everybody in my own family, why would they act so surprised that I do this to perfect strangers, too? These kids just don't understand.

It was Easter time, and it was obviously going to be time to dye Easter eggs. The three of them have started quite a little ritual around these eggs, coloring them with crayons and decorating them like muppets or UFO's or hamburgers. Each year they do something different, but it is nothing like what we raised our daughters to do. In our family, you melt wax and use the round end of a straight pin to carefully place dots of wax in intricate patterns with religious themes all over each egg. It might take over an hour to do one egg, hunched over the hot stove, but it is a thing of beauty. These guys were just coloring eggs with crayons and dipping them so I jumped right in to be part of the movement, quickly slapping someone's name on one egg after another and dropping it whatever color was open at the moment. How could he ruin such a happy family time?

So my son-in-law starts to pick on me about this or that, and I finally say to him "Look! I don't even like doing the damn eggs. I hated doing them when the kids were little but they have to get done for Easter." Do you know what that rude man did? He stopped right then and there, stood up, and put the remaining undyed eggs back into the refrigerator still white! He sat there with that big false tight grin on his face and said nothing. Except to pull my daughter off to the bathroom (through 2 doors at this house) and run the fan (two fans at this house)! I guess our family celebration was going to be ten eggs short this year because that ogre can't contain his temper. That man is totally unpredictable and ruins everything that he gets involved with!

But I had had quite enough of their rude behavior toward me. After her father was out of the room, I got the two of them together and asked them point blank: "Do you think I'm stupid?" And they were speechless! I explained that "I know what you two are doing in there, locked in the bathroom, running the fan and whispering. You're saying things that you don't want me to hear!" There, I had said it this time, and it was time for them to explain themselves to me.

"Ummm, that's right, mom" was all he said. And my own daughter stood mutely at his arm and didn't say one thing to him about it. I just threw my hands in the air and turned on my heel and left the room. Later the colored eggs were picked up and joined the white ones in the refrigerator.

The next day we went on a car trip down to the pier area with the seagulls and pelicans. It was all so pretty with the yachts and fishing boats and cruise boats everywhere. We had a nice lunch and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

But my son-in-law set about to ruin the day for everybody. You see, I had brought my handicap parking permit but this ignoramus refused to use it. I would point out an available handicap spot, sometimes reaching my arm right across his face to point right at one and shout "There's one – park there!" while hooking my blue handicapped tag from the mirror on the windshield between us. But he would not listen to me. He would simply say that HE was not handicapped and that there were plenty of handicapped people in Florida. He would remove the placard from his mirror and hand it back to me. Then he would drop off the four of us right at the front door of every place we went then circle around to park in a regular parking spot. We might have to wait three or four minutes for him to join us while we waited for a table or in some line for tickets. He is so ignorant and arrogant that he will not let me help him!

But he was also sarcastic to me, and I saw right through it. Every so often he would pull into the handicapped spot. But only if a regular spot was open closer to the door. "Shouldn't I park in the handicapped spot, mom?", he would ask sarcastically and I would have to say "Now, honey, you know that the regular spot over there is closer so park in that one." He would then back out and move the car then repark it and HE insisted that we repeat this ridiculous exercise EACH AND EVERY TIME that we parked. First me pointing, them him taking off the ticket, then dropping us off and circling around. No matter what name I called him (stupid, ridiculous) he would just continue to ignore me. Even when I told his wife what I thought of him, even she would not order him to LISTEN TO ME.

But the worst was after our trip to the pier and children's museum. It was plenty hot in Florida that day and everybody was tired. It was getting to be late afternoon and traffic was already getting heavy. It was dangerous and difficult driving, and everybody was getting ill from dehydration. So from downtown, they drove off to find a quickee-mart for something cool to drink. They were still fairly new in town so my son-in-law took a few moments to study the map with the quizzical look he gets when he doesn't know what he is doing. He was mumbling and starting to shake his head up-and-down 'yes' like he had reached some kind of decision. He then reached across to the back seat to show the map to my daughter, completely ignoring me in the passenger side front seat.

They had decided that they were going to take us to their 'favorite beach' and that we should be there just before sunset and just before the park closes, the perfect time to see the ocean surf! So my daughter disappeared into the store and he returned to reading the map with that stupid look on his face when he doesn't know what he is doing. "What are you thinking about, honey?" I finally asked him in my sweetest voice, since he was obviously unable to make up his mind. So he showed me the map he was studying, one of those tourist maps that you get at the airport that only lists like twenty roads for the whole city.

"We're right here", he said pointing, "and we were just at the museum here. We're going to take you guys to see the beach here and I've decided to take you along the beach highway because it just looks so beautiful with all the seafood restaurants and high rise condos".

"So what are you thinking about", I asked him innocently enough, and he started to let me in on the little secret that I just knew the two of them had been keeping from me. "Well the beach road is only two lanes with a lot of lights and I'm worried that it might be a lot of stop and go. Of course I'll be driving so that is not a worry for anybody but me". Well what was I supposed to say to that?

I took the map from his hand and the answer was immediately obvious to me. I pointed to the main road that ran right down the middle of the county. "Wouldn't this road be a lot more direct and avoid all of that beach traffic?"

"Yes it definitely avoids the beach traffic and absolutely would be more direct" was how he answered my question. Then he added, "What do you think I should do, mom?"

"Well, honey, you should take this road to avoid all the traffic" and just then my daughter appeared with beverages for everybody. He started the car and we were all chugging down our juice and water and talking amongst ourselves when traffic just kept getting heavier and heavier. It was miserable and hot and the sun was blaring down on us. It was so bright you would get a headache just looking out the windshield and the traffic was backed up, bumper to bumper for at least half a mile behind each light.

At some point my daughter noticed the situation and stopped midsentence in her conversation with her father. She said in a very sharp voice to my son-in-law, "Where are we?". He took out the map and showed it to her and pointed while saying "Your mother said it would be better if we took this road, on account that she felt we would miss the beach traffic that way".

My daughter blew air through her nose and nearly snorted. "You know this road is impassable during rush hour!" and all he would say is "Well I'm new in town and, besides, your mother thinks its the best road for us". My daughter said we should cut over to the beach highway but he pointed out that we had gone too far in this direction to cut over or to go back and that the traffic was obviously snarled in all directions in this part of the county during the middle of rush hour. We would just have to sit in this awful traffic with the air conditioner blasting but the car still getting hot and creeping slowly almost inch by inch across the county while we all got carsick. My daughter was livid but that awful man just smiled and hummed to himself. It was like the worse the traffic got, the happier he became.

And you can guess the rest of the story. It took well over an hour and a half in that awful traffic, and by the time we got to the beach, it was after sunset and the park was closed. We were about 30 minutes late. My daughter tried rightfully to chew him out again but he just made innocent puppy dog eyes and when I added my two cents about how he had ruined things (again) he said he was just 'taking MY advice'. Like for the first time ever he took MY advice. So I told him, "If you knew my advice was bad, why did you follow it?"

He answered, "I was just trying to listen to you."

So the following day my daughter announced that she wanted to go to Targets and both her father and I jumped up to go along. But her husband and my grandson were just sitting on the couch and said that we should go on without them. Well suit yourself, I thought to myself, and the three of us took off. It was so nice for my daughter to take us first to Targets and then on to a grocery store. You know, I realized that it had been YEARS since she had asked me to go shopping with her. I showed her different things to buy but she only mumbled and looked away and we ended up spending less then $20 at the first store and buying barely one full bag of groceries from the second store.

When we got home, the two boys had obviously been busy. I quickly noticed the kitchen sink full of empty and stained coffee mugs and soiled paper towels and newspapers flowing out of the trashcan. While we were away, that man finished dying the Easter Eggs with his son. My daughter had not been shopping but only keeping us out of the house!

I waited until her father was off playing with his grandson and I sat those two down. I was livid! "DO YOU THINK I AM STUPID?" "DO YOU THINK I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND HERE?" Again, they were speechless. "You took us shopping just to get us out of the house so they could dye eggs"

And all that arrogant jerk would say was "but you said that you hate dying Easter eggs" which is completely beside the point. "You are treating me like a child and I will not stand for it", I ordered them. Then I left the room as she looked at the extra eggs that 'the boys' had done while we were at the store.

That day, he had been talking with my grandson about making Jell-O Easter eggs. It was a new experience, I could tell, since he kept getting that stupid "I don't know what the hell I am doing" look on his face. He kept asking the 2nd grader which flavor to put in first, second, third, etc. And they must have read the damn Jell-O instructions TEN TIMES! Is that man a total idiot? A second grader could read and understand how to make Jell-O. So I waited all day for them to start, but nothing came of it.

The evening had passed and both of us grandparents were getting tired. The little one had had his shower and was in his pajamas so we turned in for bed. Dad was already snoring and I was drifting off when I heard teeny-tiny clinks and clatters coming from the kitchen. Sure enough, it was the two boys on tip-toes puttering around the kitchen with some bowls and the teakettle. OH MY GOD! They were going to make the Jell-O eggs!

I was completely exhausted and almost asleep and it took every ounce of energy I had to drag myself out of bed. I must have looked like a monster wearing a tattered robe, face cream, a hairnet, etc. I believe my son-in-law actually gasped when I turned around the corner to face them.

I started off by saying "Now I now that you don't want my advice about how to do this but I have made Jell-O eggs before and if you don't do it just right you will ruin them." That stupid man just sat there and bit his lip and didn't say a single word. As he stared at me I tried to fill the empty air. "You've absolutely got to spray PAM into the mold or the eggs will stick and you have to use one-third less water or the Jell-O will be runny."

Then he blew his top. He turned off the teakettle and put the Jell-O boxes away in the cupboard and I could see in my poor grandson's eyes the fear of not knowing what his father was doing. All he would say is "go back to bed", as he continued to put away the items they had tried to quietly assemble while I was in bed. As I laid in bed, unable to sleep due to his rude treatment, I could hear them continue on the project, ignoring my advice.

Well needless to say, in the morning I got up and checked and, sure enough, the Jell-O eggs were completely ruined. But that moron went on and on, with anger in his voice, that the Jell-O eggs were not important (what a liar) but that the lesson for the 2nd grader was his only purpose for doing the project. He even layered in more bull about trying to teach his son how to "fail" so that he takes more chances in life. This is so much crap from a man that obviously simply can't admit when he is wrong! And I couldn't believe that my daughter was now starting to let him fill the brain of her own child, my grandson, with this nonsense.

During the time of our visit, my daughter and son-in-law were in the middle of some kind of contractual dispute with their builder and it was all coming to a head. Since my son-in-law travels out of town most every week, it is difficult for him to meet locally with people and he wanted to shield my daughter from as much stress as possible from handling this particular problem they were having. So on one particular morning both he and my daughter woke up early and were hovering around the computer in the living room drafting some kind of letter when I first got out of bed.

Now as I said, I am diabetic, and a diabetic needs to be VERY CAREFUL to eat all of their meals right on schedule or they might end up in a coma! So I was digging around in the fridge, to find a snack, and popped out to the living room to interrupt them. "I need to have a snack or my sugar will be off all day today", I explained to them and neither of them looked up but both waved and said 'just eat anything you want'. Now I KNOW they didn't mean that, since you ALWAYS save leftovers and odds and ends for other meals.

I went back to the fridge and found some Kielbasa wrapped in saran wrap and pulled out a piece. I went back into the living room and said "Does anybody want this kielbasa, because I need to eat because I am diabetic". Again, one kept typing while the other looked up and said "just eat anything you want, please, go right ahead".

But I knew better than that. I stepped four full paces into that room and stomped my feet on the ground to get their attention. With frustration verging on tears in my voice I exclaimed, "You kids don't understand that if a diabetic doesn't eat right on schedule they may go into a coma!"

Well that rude beast snapped his head around from his computer screen (that was distracting him from paying attention to ME!) and said in a raised voice, "Mom, we don't give a SHIT if you eat the kielbasa! Eat anything you find in the refrigerator".

Well I was shocked! I felt tears welling up in my eyes and through them I started to cry and say, "You can't talk to me like that. You won't listen to me. I'm a diabetic and you don't understand that a diabetic has to eat on a schedule or they ....". But he had already stood up and said to my daughter "you take care of her" and he left the living room and went into his bedroom and closed the door and didn't finish that letter. And if that damn letter to his builder was so important, then why didn't he finish it that day? I will tell you why. Because he's a big fat liar just full of bluster.

The next morning they were at it again. Him sitting and typing with his back to me and my daughter sitting at his elbow, eyes glued to the screen. I knew better than to encourage that rude man to insult me again. I didn't say a word, but I stood there, behind my son-in-law's back until my daughter looked up. I then made my point to her about who was in control that day! I held up both of my hands, extended my fingers, and put thumbs into my ears while sticking out my tongue and wiggling my hips from side to side. Well she certainly knew who was in control that day!

But do you know what she did? With that powder keg husband at her elbow? She had the audacity to POINT HER FINGER at me and exclaim "Mother! That's enough!". Of course the big dummy stopped typing on his toy and looked first at her and then at me. When he looked back at her she explained in detailed words to him what I had just done to her face and behind his back (I've warned her hundreds of times to never break her 'sacred trust' with her mother this way). She even had the nerve to hold up her own outstretched fingers and demonstrate to his face what I had done behind his back for her benefit. He turned to face me, then without saying a word returned to typing his so-called important letter. This is just how childish that man acts!

After breakfast at a restaurant the next day, my daughter asked to stop for a minute at the little drugstore next door. She needed a couple of quick incidentals, so I quickly followed on her heels and grabbed a cart to wander up and down the few aisles, picking up items that struck me that they needed at their home. As they checked out, they found me also checking out at the 2nd cash register. The stupid husband of hers starting talking to my daughter in front of me. "Why is she doing this" and "You take care of her" was all he said before walking out of the store to the car.

She told me not to buy any of this stuff, but I explained to her that I was using 'my money' and, besides, it was all stuff she 'needed' anyway. Why they would make such a fuss about a couple boxes of Kleenex, some air freshener, etc I will never understand.

Later that day, we had agreed to let them take us to dinner. They had picked out a restaurant they had read about in the paper. Before dinner, we went to visit some old family friends that we hadn't seen in years and were living nearby, just a couple miles from the kids new house. As part of the conversation, I mentioned privately that the kids were taking us out to dinner and asked what they thought of the restaurant that my son-in-law had selected. Well, I was so glad I asked! Fred laid it on the line that the restaurant was no good and that he and Mary would like to join us for dinner, but not if we were going to go there. Of course I asked Fred where he would prefer that we go and he had a ready suggestion.

Now all I had to do was straighten out this little situation with my son-in-law. As we were all standing up to leave, I put on my sweetest smile and asked my daughter, 'Do you mind if Fred and Mary join us for dinner'. Well of course they started to talk to each other (how that infuriates me!) so I chimed in, "and I asked Fred about the restaurant you two selected and he said it was 'stinky' and would join us if we went to this other one instead.

That son-in-law would say nothing, but shook his head. Luckily he figured out that Fred knew better and drove the group of us to Fred's preferred restaurant. They had been making a fuss about paying for some of the meals we ate, even claimed that they had specifically said that us allowing them to do so had been discussed on the telephone before we were invited down (just another lie that man made up!). Well at Fred's restaurant he finally wised up and let Dad and I pay the bill. Finally he was starting to listen to me.

On the way home, after we said good-bye to Fred and Mary, I reminded him that they had no REAL butter at home and that REAL butter tastes so much yummier on vegetables. After all the times he had said that they "don't use Butter" that week, he finally showed some respect and asked me what I wanted to do. I told him to pull into the approaching parking lot for a quickie-mart and he finally did as he was told. I told him to go in and get REAL butter and for once he didn't start in about money and how he makes more money than us and has more money than us and how we had (supposedly) agreed to allow him to treat 50/50 on bills as they came up this visit. As he stepped out to follow my directions, I shouted to wait and retrieved my handbag from the floor, fished out my pocketbook and pressed a five dollar bill into his hand. He acted deferentially to me, at last, tilting his head, asking me for exact directions as to what I wanted him to do, and going off to do as I said. When he returned with the change cupped in his hand and reached toward me to press it into mine, I graciously said "oh, keep the change, honey" and for once he didn't put up a fuss but finally did exactly what I told him. Well, it was about time!

Time for our trip was running out, and it was nearly our last full day to visit. My husband had taken his grandson out to the swimming pool and my daughter and son-in-law stayed behind and together come into my bedroom to have a little family time and talk. I was so excited that they were finally going to ask me for advice about what they were doing wrong but things went quite differently.

After a few pleasantries about their beautiful home, their kindness at inviting us and graciousness as hosts, and the delightfulness of seeing our happy grandson, they turned the conversation over to a lot of petty issues that I had put behind us. Why they would insist on dragging up these issues is beside me. That is the kind of hurtful and spiteful man he is.

He asked me why I did not let him 'buy' half the time. I explained that we were on vacation and that we were using 'vacation money' so it didn't count. Besides they were newlyweds and I remembered how tight money was when we had our three daughters. Only an ego-maniac would deny that they were in dire fiscal straights when the truth is obvious to me. Then he started in again on his lie that we had somehow 'agreed' to split 50-50, that it was a condition of the invitation, and my daughter (also sitting on the bed) chimed in that she had spoken to me specifically on the subject and that it had been a condition of our visit. Well, I straightened them right out.

"Why did you get up to supervise the Jell-O eggs?", he asked, adding ruefully, "You even said yourself that you knew that we didn't want your advice". How could I explain the obvious to this big dumb Polack? Like talking to a wall or trying to explain a sunrise to a blind man. I could tell that you were going to ruin the eggs, and I was right! But he started in on how he was trying to teach his son confidence by experimenting and failing. I was beside myself explaining to him that children should never fail and that it is a parent's duty to make sure that anytime you know something that you child doesn't know you are supposed to explain it to them and make sure they DON'T MAKE A MISTAKE. They didn't believe me that day, but I explained that they would learn what I meant as their son got older.

Those two kept at this for at least half an hour, picking and picking at issues that were in the past. "Why do you need to give directions when you don't know where were going", "Why do you order us to do things", "Why did you buy 'Kleenex' instead of telling us we were out, you might have bought a brand we didn't like or paid too much at a store when we know where the best prices are". I had to explain that they just didn't understand.

"What is it that you want from us?", I asked them, since they didn't understand what it means to be a loving parent.

"We want you to treat us like adults", was all the big dummy would say.

I pressed him on the issue, trying to get him to understand that he had no idea what he was talking about. First I explained that we were treating them like adults. Then I explained that, as their mother, I could never treat them like adults (and that they would understand what I meant as their son grew older). Finally, I explained that we were guests and we could do whatever we wanted and then explained again about 'vacation money' and 'my money' and how he had been so uncooperative all week.

He stopped me to ask a question, pausing and staring at the ceiling to compose his thoughts carefully. "Mom, if you were staying at Fred and Mary's, would you have bought Kleenex without consulting them and brought it into their home?"

"Oh, honey, that's different", I explained. "Fred and Mary are our age, and besides", as a crowning thought entered my head, "Besides, Fred and Mary didn't borrow money from us". And I knew I had finally boiled down what I had been trying to say. You see, when they sold their previous home and bought this one, my daughter had asked her father to loan them some money and he graciously did. This was what I had been trying to explain to him about how I was treating him like an adult but that it was different than for Fred and Mary.

He acted stunned, and stared at me in silence, then at my daughter. It was like he was counting to himself, breathing through his nose. He looked at my daughter, then straight at me and said, "YOUR DAUGHTER asked for that loan and I told her NOT TO DO IT". There was no anger in his voice, no emotion at all.

I then filled the silence by saying that we had finally come to understand each other and then an amazing thing happened. The blank look on his face turned to a small smile. He reached over across the bed and patted my hand like you would a very sick person in a nursing home. He finally admitted to everybody that he was completely wrong. He patted my hand gently and said, "Mom, I am so sorry. I've been asking you to change, to be somebody you are not. I do not want you to ever change for me. I want you to just be yourself." Then he added, "Your daughter will pay back that loan immediately".

Well, I chimed right in, it wasn't necessary to pay right away, etc, etc. But very quickly our conversation was over. There was not much to the rest to the trip, and before long we were on our way home.

The next few months were quiet, with my daughter barely speaking to me and my son-in-law even less. Not only that, but my manipulative daughter laid out in detail to her father what I had said about OUR loan to them and he immediately waved his hand and said it was forgiven in total. There was no more 'loan' on the books to the kids, I was informed.

It was about six months later that my daughter was stricken with a serious illness. She ruptured two of the disks in her spine and was laid up, unable to move. The weeks prior to the actual rupture had been a series of more and more painful episodes, requiring escalating pain medication, and resulting in her eventual inability to even get out of bed. My son-in-law, traveling for a living, coordinated for her care, transported her to doctors, found a very qualified surgeon, and even arranged for a handicap parking permit.

As I learned, little by little, about what was going on with them, I started to call my daughter almost everyday. I would cry on the telephone about how scared I was that she might never walk again. I would tell her stories about people that we knew that were stuck in wheelchairs and how much pain I had had to endure with various illnesses I had experienced. I had quizzed them about her doctors, medicines, treatments and results. I was beside myself that they refused to bring her HOME even though the BEST DOCTORS in the world are located right in the neighborhood where we live. (My son-in-law asked why, if she was going to be transported, wouldn't they go to the Mayo Clinic or Johns Hopkins, etc – he just didn't understand about HOME). They also refused my twenty different offers to fly down and take control of the situation. It was around this time that my telephone calls began to ring through to the answering machine more and more and were being returned less and less.

It was obvious to me that something was up, but what. Then it dawned on me. That evil man is using this illness to drive a wedge between my daughter and I. He is using her illness to essentially kidnap her from her family. I had always thwarted his previous attempts, so I would need to get on guard again.

As the episode became worse, she was finally scheduled for emergency surgery. I called down there everyday, sometimes two and three times and they were keeping me in the dark. They called each day with a progress report, but I knew there was something fishy going on. Then they crossed the line. My son-in-law took three weeks off of work during the final days before and first week after her surgery. He arranged for a visiting nurse and a hospital bed arrangement for the living room, but he would eventually need to go back to work. She called our house and asked to talk to her dad. They offered that HER FATHER should come down to stay with her while my son-in-law went back to work for a week or two. I wasn't invited (supposedly due to my bad knees, sleep apnea, etc). They even provided a first class airline ticket for my husband. And he was happy to go!

When she first got home from the hospital, I got my son-in-law on the telephone and read him the list of things that he would need to get for my daughter's recovery period. He claimed to have purchased several (but we would have to see if he actually did) and that he was in process of getting several others. He AGAIN turned down my offer of buying these items here at HOME and mailing them to him (since he probably doesn't understand what she will need and I have great experience in these things).

One particular conversation was very frustrating to me. I had a small Velcro pocket pack that could be fastened to a walker and help you carry around little 'necessaries' as you move from room to room. When I was recovering from knee surgery, I used a walker and the Velcro pockets kept all my little things that I needed with me. He said that they already had a walker for her recovery and that they wouldn't need the pockets. "Save the postage, and keep the pockets, we don't need them" he said half-cocked, adding "if we need one I will buy one for less than what it will cost to mail yours". When I reminded him that he might not find this exact item or that he may not have time to set aside to go get it, he said that he would call me then and I could mail it then. He just would not LISTEN TO ME.

"Honey, you don't understand, I have used a walker and she will need this, besides I am feeling better and can do without it for now".

After continuing with his stubborn refusal for two more exchanges, he finally said, "Look, just send it down here and I will throw it out and not tell you and then you will be happy and leave me alone". He had the audacity to say this to ME.

"Now, listen", I said to him, "you are being very difficult and I am just trying to help you. Why are being so difficult here?"

"Well, then", his voice suddenly softened, "why don't you mail us the pocket and I will hold onto it in case we decide we need it later. That way we will have it if we need it".

"That's better. That's what I was thinking." I said and I overnight expressed the pocket the very next day after making a special trip to the post office. You know, he never thanked me for doing it and on our next visit I was unable to find that Velcro-pocket pack. I guess they must have misplaced it in all the confusion.

After her father went to stay for a week, my son-in-law had another week off for the 4th of July holiday, so he took care of her. By then, she could take care of herself, driving the car to the grocery store but using the electric cart, etc. My grandson was a great help and I was very worried that she might die and he wouldn't know who to contact in an emergency. I often talked to my daughter about what calamities might occur and how she was ill prepared for them.

Over time, for the following months, my daughter was often woozy from pain medication, and everybody was very short-tempered with me for no reason whatsoever. The more help I provided (via constant telephone calls) the more brusque I was treated. Again, the fox was springing his trap. Soon, my daughter was refusing to take my calls, and that son-in-law would talk in her behalf. I wanted to hear FROM HER about the daily status of her pain, symptoms, medications, doctors tests and exams. I needed to know if she was getting bedsores or circulation problems in her legs, if she was moving her bowels or running a fever. But that man wouldn't let me talk to her (claiming that she didn't want to talk to me, that she was too tired, that she trying to rest, etc).

But I knew what was actually going on. He was DRUGGING MY DAUGHTER and keeping her from me! I figured it out on my own, but once I did, I told everybody here at HOME about what was going on. The final straw was that I simply had to tell our minister. Well, you see, we now go to the same church that they went to when they lived here so it is the same minister from when they lived here. I told the minister that it was very likely that my son-in-law was DRUGGING MY DAUGHTER and that she was being held prisoner by his evil trickery. The minister gave me good advice. "Maybe its time that somebody goes down to see what is going on". Very good advice, indeed. They may not have invited me down to visit, but I would go there to rescue my daughter from that evil man's plans.

But then a funny thing happened. My daughter invited us down to visit again. Throughout this time, she would only talk to me once a week, regardless of how often I called, sometimes 10 times for every time she called me. But she had been doing physical therapy, swimming an hour every morning and evening, going to doctor after doctor, and was finally sleeping in her own bed again. We would be there to celebrate my grandson's ninth birthday.

My daughter became explicit, almost ridiculous in spelling out certain 'conditions' before we visited. We would eat meals at home (she had trouble sitting up in a restaurant). We would primarily enjoy the pool and would relax and watch TV at night. We could take the grandson out with the car if we wanted, but she would need to stay home and rest, etc, etc.

When she invited us down, I explained to her how it was about time already and then told her about how their own minister (who knew both of them from when they lived here at HOME) had told me it was practically my duty to verify that nothing sinister was going on and to intervene if it was. When I arrived, they were both tired and ready to rest. The very first evening, I sat down with my son-in-law to tell him how relieved I was that I found nothing going on that couldn't be explained. I warned him how HIS OWN MINISTER was worried about how he was treating my daughter but that he should be pleased to learn that I would be reporting back that I found things to be alright. I believe he was relieved that I would 'clear the air', but I knew that I would stay ever vigilant in protecting my daughter from that man.

Oddly enough, he was only home for one day, then flew out of town for the rest of the week on business. My daughter failed to mention that he wouldn't be there, and he just said "I leave you to them and them to you" (to my daughter) as he took a taxicab to the airport. He would call home each night and I listened carefully to her half of the conversation, shouting in my additional comments whenever I had something to add.

He arrived back home that Friday night, then escorted us to the airport the next day and we were on our way back home. The telephone calls increased for a while, but everything settled down as my daughter regained her strength and her life returned to normal.

It was about six months later that they invited us again down to visit. Again, my son-in-law flew immediately out of town on business and returned just before we left. We didn't see him but maybe eight total hours, but in many ways the visit was a lot less confrontational and you could feel the 'family love' with just the four of us.

After our third trip in two years to see them, they started to take vacations on their own. With them traveling so much, they have been out of town whenever we might come down for a visit. They have not canceled any of their plans or rearranged any schedules to facilitate our visiting them. Nor have they offered us his 'frequent flyer' tickets like they used to. A matter of fact, I have been recently escalating the issue, frequently accusing them directly of making me 'feel unwanted' in their home. But I have concocted a plan. I have started to make travel arrangements to visit, not their town, but another one, a half-days travel away in Florida. They may not invite me to their place, but they certainly cannot stop me for going to visit nearby. I have already started to mention that we would like her to bring over our grandson to spend the time with us, and just as I predicted, she is being evasive with me. Again, I accused her directly, "You don't want us visiting you or seeing our grandson".

But she did the most unexplainable thing. She called her dad directly, and invited HIM down to Florida to visit and stay at their place (a belated thank-you for his help during her surgery recovery). He hasn't taken them up on their offer, yet.

The strangest thing happened just over a year ago, and it proves everything I've been saying about my son-in-law. It was sad when his mother passed away. We were not close with my son-in-law's parents, as they were considerably older than us. Actually they were quite close in age with my own mother, and they often visited with her and had dinner or played cards with her. While I had my three children before I was 21, they were into their 40's before they had my son-in-law. Over time, they visited with us very infrequently, only once a year or so.

So it was quickly going to be time for them to come HOME for the funeral, and I told them that the three of them could count on staying at our house. This way, they would have a place to unwind away from the stress of the funeral, and I could baby-sit my 9-year-old grandson while they did some family duties. Instead, I was informed that my daughter and grandson would not be coming to the funeral, and that my son, traveling by himself, would be staying with his distraught father instead.

Well I immediately got on the horn to Florida to start making arrangements, as he would be needing a lot of help. I called to ask my daughter what funeral home would be used, what time would services be held, had they requested a rosary, etc. Then she told me the most unexpected thing. She told me that my son-in-law had specifically requested that I not attend his mother's funeral!

Well, you could only guess my total shock at this totally unexpected rudeness. What was that boy thinking? I hung up the phone (to let things cool down) but called my daughter two more separate times that night to make sure that she hadn't changed her mind. Finally, the next day I informed her that a funeral was a public event and nobody could prevent me from attending. I told her how I considered his mother to be a friend, and that his family would feel insulted if we didn't at least visit the viewing. My daughter then said the most unexpected thing I have ever heard. She said, point blank, that (although my son-in-law hadn't specifically said so) she knew in her heart that if I showed up at the funeral home in direct disregard of her husband's wishes, that I would never be permitted to see or speak to her or my grandson again. Was she threatening me? Was that inconsiderate husband of hers threatening me? No, she said, but she fully understood that if I 'crossed that line' there would never be any going back. She added that I should do whatever I felt was right. Well I told my husband how rude and unjustified these children were being and he just said 'I don't agree with his actions, but I will respect his request'. When I suggested that I would just 'go over anyway', my husband all but ordered me to stay home!

Well during all the calamity, my son-in-law called to let me know how he was and try to explain his reasoning to me. His excuse was paper-thin and I could see right through it. He said that he didn't need any comfort himself as his mother had been very ill for quite a while and that he had already adjusted himself to her passing away for over a year. His only worry was about being available to attend to his very distraught father and he would consider my presence at the funeral to be a distraction, a situation requiring his attention, and of no comfort whatsoever. His only purpose would be standing by to help his dad and he would have neither the time or inclination to 'play host' for me.

Well, I explained to him that you just don't do that. That funerals are for everybody to help out and that I was needed to help his father, too. Also, I needed to grieve the loss of his mother, who was a dear dear friend, and that I wanted to meet his brothers and sisters and other members of his family, especially, at their time of greatest sorrow. He just passed off my words as if I didn't say them and continued to press his unorthodox request that I stay at home during the hour that he and his family needed me the most.

I was surprised that night when the doorbell rang and it was my son-in-law. He had brought over a spare floral arrangement and wanted to take a 'few minutes' to both apologize for his unusual request and let us know how things were turning out. He described the funeral a little and then he sat and patiently responded as I asked question after question about who attended, which were married, how many children did they have, how old was everybody, how was everybody taking it, where did you eat, where is your luggage, do you need a car, etc, etc. He patiently answered each question but I told him how all of this would have been totally unnecessary if I had just gone to the funeral in the first place to find it all out for myself. I explained that his father would be upset and hurt if he didn't see us at the funeral home. My son-in-law said his father barely knew his own name, needed to be escorted from room to room, to be chauffeured and told when to eat, what to wear, and to be reminded of some of his grandchildren's names. This exactly proved how I was needed to be there, but he would not accede.

My husband only asked him the simplest questions like "Do you need any help?" and "Can we do anything at all for you?" and then "How is your Dad?". My son-in-law talked directly to my husband finally saying, "Thanks, that means a lot" and "I don't need anything but I will ask for your help the moment anything comes up".

Well I talked to my daughter on the phone twice each day during this time but could make no progress. Later, that boy stopped by again and explained to us that he had specifically told his father about our wanting to attend and that we had stayed away only at his request. He even repeated to me his own father's admonition to him that "you don't do that to your in-laws, you don't tell people not to come" but in the same breath continued to stand his ground on his ridiculous and inappropriate request. Over the coming months, whenever I ran into his dad around town (grocery store, etc), the poor man would apologize for his son's unthoughtfulness and I would remind him that "I just don't understand your son sometimes", always, of course, in fun. I've invited his father over to our house often, but he doesn't come by, and that makes it very hard for me to get any information about what is going on over there.

During the summer, my son and daughter-in-law arranged for my grandson to come up and visit us for a week, using a 'frequent flyer' ticket. We were quite excited, although the child possessed many of his parents' rude behaviors, including leaving the room to take telephone calls and locking his luggage (what does he need to hide that I cannot see?). When he refused to answer one of my questions, saying it was 'in his personal space', I burst out crying, telling him through my tears that he 'didn't love his grandmother anymore', then composed myself to telephone my daughter in Florida and burst out crying again to report to her his rude insult through my tears again. She laughed me off and asked to talk to her son who only said, "Yes", "Right", "OK", and "Bye now" before hanging up and not changing his behavior at all, no matter how much I cried or how much I told him that he didn't love me.

At the next to last day of his visit, while we were eating dinner in a restaurant, my grandson saw an elderly man that reminded him of his 'other' grandfather. After being quiet and thoughtful and a little sentimental, he suggested that he would like to see his 'other' grandfather and that he would like to call him when we returned home from dinner.

As we walked in the door at home, my grandson headed for the bathroom so I raced to the telephone to call my son-in-law's father. He did not answer so I left a message about how 'his grandson' wanted to see him and he would need to come over to our house 'that night' since the child was flying home to Florida the very next day. My grandson walked into the living room while I was on the telephone leaving the message and, just like his awful father, lost his temper at me. Like father like son he had been trained to be rude. He stormed out of the room and refused to tell me why he was acting so terribly, then insisted on calling his mother from the telephone in the basement. It was nearly 15 minutes before he returned upstairs and explained the decision he made with his mother's advice. "Grandpa doesn't usually 'use' his answering machine, so I should call over again". He called and, sure enough, his grandfather answered and agreed to come right over.

Within 15 minutes the doorbell rang and we had a visitor. I offered to make coffee and to visit with him, but the two of them excused themselves to the front porch where they sat on our lawn chairs and just talked. About every 5 minutes or so I would pop in on them, make sure they were ok and ask if they needed anything. Of course, one time I brought my camera with me and took a couple of quick pictures of the two of them.

My grandson flew home the next afternoon, and I haven't seen him since (8 weeks now, and they were on vacation 15 days, but that is beside the point). In a couple of weeks, I got the film developed and mailed a set of the pictures to my son-in-law in Florida and his father who still lives here at HOME. Well, a week passed, and he never called to thank me. I called my daughter to ask if the pictures had arrived, and she said they had. After another half a week, I called and talked directly to my son-in-law. "Did you get something in the mail from me?" He thought for a minute, then remembered that, yes, he had received a couple of pictures of his son and father that I had taken. He brought up how that night I had won the race to the telephone and how life is full of choices, but it was beside the point then as it was now. I asked him why he hadn't called to thank me for my thoughtfulness. And he paused for a long time then spoke double-talk in an effort to avoid apologizing for being rude to me.

"Mom", he said, "you take a chance whenever you perform a service that nobody asked you to perform, that nobody will thank you when you are done. If you are not asked to help, you should only do things that would please you." Then he asked if I was happy that I took the pictures and mailed them.

I explained to him that it is rude when somebody sends a gift not to immediately call and thank them for their thoughtfulness, but he stuck to his ridiculous defense of 'receiving a thing that he did not request'. He ended the conversation by predicting that his father had not thanked me for the pictures, either, and, although he was absolutely correct, I pointed out that that is no excuse for HIM not calling to thank me. He suggested, indirectly, that if I was taking and sending pictures only to receive thanks, I should not take any next time. When I said that I took them and sent them because I enjoyed doing so, he indirectly suggested that I then should not be fishing around for thank-you's. That boy just would not listen to me when I explained how you act when you receive a gift. When I asked why his son hadn't thanked me, he handed over the phone and my grandson said that he had got the pictures and 'thanks, gramma'. But that is beside the point.

But the final straw was a few weeks later, on my son-in-laws 40th birthday. I saw a present that I knew was perfect for him. Well not only me, but I told absolutely everybody that I was going to get it for him and they all agreed that he would just love to get that gift from me. I told his wife (my daughter), my two other daughters, my granddaughters, my husband, and any neighbors or friends that I met about what I was going to give him for his birthday and absolutely EVERYBODY told me he was going to be delighted to receive that gift from me. I was so excited that I could hardly wait to hear how perfect the gift was. I sent it to arrive while they were away on vacation. I know that they called me from the vacation (twice), to see how I was and to tell me about their trip, but they are just so rude! He didn't call immediately to thank me! He is so rude! He has the social grace of a stupid farmer, and I made sure to tell my daughter every which way just what I thought about his rude, rude, rude behavior. After they were home two days, I could stand it no more, so I called my daughter and read her the riot act about what a rude and inconsiderate man her husband is and especially how rude he is to me. All she would say is "I told you not to buy it" and "You should tell him your feelings, not me". That's the kind of respect I get for changing her diapers and being there to give her encouragement and moral support each and every day of her life. Now I KNOW that she told me the gift would be perfect for him, because EVERYBODY said I had done such a good job of deciding upon it, so obviously she was lying when she said that she told me NOT to buy it. EVERYBODY said he would love the gift that I bought.

So I called my daughter again, the next day, to tell her again how stupid and rude that awful man is and, can you believe, she would do nothing about it. She called me the third day (after I reminded her ten times that she never calls me anymore), and so I let her have it again with both barrels. That husband of hers is stupid, rude and arrogant with no social graces at all! His parents must be so ashamed of him.

So on the fifth day he FINALLY called me, and he was so rude. Do you know what he said? He said he had GIVEN THE GIFT AWAY! How rude! EVERYBODY knew he would love that gift and I let him know just how many people he was offending. Here's what he said: "I wrapped up the book, packaged it with a couple other books from my own bookshelf, and donated it to a library". Then he added, "So in that sense, I'd like to thank you for giving me that gift".

In That Sense! Well I was tired of his insults and told him so directly, although I was practically outside of my mind with upset from his rude treatment. And all he would say was that I don't listen to him. I explained to him that I listen perfectly well and that EVERYBODY said he would enjoy my gift to him and that he was the only person in the whole world who didn't think it was a good idea. This just proves it once again that that man is as stupid as stupid can be.

After I hung up the phone, I started to remember. It started about two years ago, at Christmastime. He had simply refused my presents for him for the previous couple of years, just setting them aside on some shelf somewhere. I asked him for his "Christmas List" like I do every October and he flat out wouldn't give me one. Do you know that HE doesn't "feel like" Christmas shopping until late December each year? How stupid can you be? Everybody knows that all the good presents are gone by then. That's why I have to buy double the toys of normal to give to his son (MY GRANDSON), because his father tries to ruin his Christmas every year, just like he tried to ruin my Christmas that year.

What he said to me was so selfish. He said "Don't buy me anything, just take the money you might spend on me and donate it to a charity and I will be happy". It seems my daughter had done a similar thing for him on his previous birthday, and they had created a wonderful memory for themselves. So although this would mean extra work for me, since I wouldn't be buying stuff for him while I was out shopping for everybody else, I asked my daughter which charity he liked, and she suggested the Children's hospital where they had taken my grandson years before during an illness.

So that was easy enough. I contacted the hospital and got a man's name to contact. I called him for the hospital's address and sent off the check, noting conspicuously that my check was being donated in my son-in-law's name. I explained in my letter how they would need to generate a thank-you note / receipt for the amount of the check, naming my son-in-law but sent to my address. This way I could make sure the note was right (and also show it around here to everybody for a few days), before I mailed it down to Florida to be under the tree on Christmas morning.

Well this dope at the hospital was so disorganized that I could just spit nails! I ended up having to call him every day for almost two straight weeks until I finally got that letter / receipt. Now I knew that my son-in-law would want the receipt so he could take my donation off of his taxes. The letter finally arrived late and, after I showed it around only for a couple of days, I rushed it to them and when they opened the letter he called and tried to ruin my Christmas gift to him just like he tries to ruin everything that I do for him. He told me that sending the letter wasn't necessary and that he didn't want and wasn't going to use the tax write-off! That is some kind of thank-you for all the calls I had to make to that worthless man at the children's hospital. So right then and there I explained to my daughter's husband just how much work I had put into his getting that little letter that he had told me he wanted for Christmas. I told him about how I had to call that guy at the hospital EVERY DAY to get him the letter on Christmas morning! It was my opinion that I could do a better job than that man if I had worked at that hospital just one hour per day!

And how did my son-in-law thank me for ALL MY WORK! All he said was "You managed to ruin this, too". Not even thanks. Never brought it up again. And now he donated the damn book that EVERYBODY said he would love to a stupid library and tells me that I don't listen to him! I listen just fine. EVERYBODY said he would enjoy the gift and HE donated it to some stupid library!

Well can you believe that he got on the telephone the following day and was so rude to me. Luckily my eldest daughter secretly listened in on our extension here without letting that boy know. He started in on his stupid old saw about how HIS WIFE this-or-that and my eldest chimed right in. He seemed so surprised to hear her voice on the line, but she sure set him straight. My eldest EXPLAINED to that boy that while her sister may currently be HIS WIFE, well, she would ALWAYS be MY DAUGHTER. You would think that after being married for twenty years he would understand that my relationship would always be longer. Even when they are married a hundred years, she will be MY DAUGHTER for a hundred and eighteen. Can't he understand that mathematics proves this. And he claims to work with computers but can't understand something so obvious that even a five-year-old would understand it.

So suddenly he started calling me by my first name. Well, you can bet I jumped right on him about that. I told him point blank, you used to call me "Mom", and now your referring to me by my name, what has changed about YOU that YOU've decided to act this way. He kept trying to change the subject off of how rude he was being by talking about me, but I was way too fast for that.

I explained to him again, that he was not listening to me. He tried to twist my words and say that when I said "listen", I actually meant "obey" but I would have none any of that double-talk. He said that from now on he would tell me his opinions in French, which proves how crazy that boy is. I told him simply that I would not understand a word he was saying if he said it in French. All he said was that it would be no different than if he continued to speak English to me. That is the kind of stupid word games that that boy makes up, how my daughter did not throw him out over twenty years ago I will never understand.

Finally, I made to him the point that had been on my mind for several months now. I told him point blank that I know hundreds of people and NOBODY ACTS LIKE HIM. He was taken aback, even quiet for a moment, then proved to me that he missed my entire point. All he would say is "so what?" and that stupid saying about "if everybody jumped off a cliff", you know the one I used to tell my daughter (his wife) when she was a little girl. Of course, back then it made sense, but now it was just another stupid thing that he said proving that he wasn't listening to me.

I explained that I have friends and neighbors, people for church and from work, I even knew several men like him that came to the different offices where I worked to fix our computers and that nobody acted like him. He treated the whole issue with indifference, but I kept trying to make him understand that it makes it difficult or even impossible for me to interact with him if he doesn't act in the same way as other people act, and that there is something wrong with him that he is refusing to address and resolve. Sure, we had a long chat about the different people I knew; their ages, their education and intelligence, the age they were married and had children, the amount that they traveled and their ability to take control of their lives, but the boy just would not listen. I explained to him, time after time, that none of that mattered, only that I DID NOT UNDERSTAND HIM and that HE WOULD NOT LISTEN TO ME when I told him what he was supposed to act like. He was so rude. He would not listen to me explaining that he was not listening to me! It was like I needed to hit him on the head with a two-by-four to get through.

The conversation ended when he dared to raise his voice to me, telling me that I wasn't listening to him. Naturally I burst into a shower of tears and wails (like I always do when my children pierce my loving heart) and put his father-in-law on the line to straighten out his attitude. Dad really handled the situation by telling us to let things 'cool off' and within a few minutes we hung up the telephone. The way he won't listen to me makes me so mad I am beside myself. I am mentally exhausted thinking of what hurtful thing he is going to say and what I am going to have to say to him to get him to change to be what I expect. I tried to explain how I just cannot handle the stress of THEM constantly abusing ME this way, and how I wanted my daughter to act like the sweet little girl I raised her to be. I'm afraid that husband of hers is now beyond any hope.

But that was not the final straw. Leave that one to my disrespectful daughter. Of course, when you hear the story it will be as obvious to you as it is to me that he has her brainwashed to hate me, her own mother. Oh how I wish I could have back the sweet little girl that used to respect me and my wishes.

He's the one that started talking about her being "molested" just before they were married (now 20 years ago!). I tell you, they went into Marriage Counseling 10 years ago and this is the kind of lies and slanders that they started to make up about me. They said I should see a counselor but I explained that people from "my generation" don't believe in that stuff. Besides, I'm not the one being disrespectful and rude!

So he was the one that started it, saying how they had been married 20 years and had dated 3 more before that and how they had started dating just after my daughter had been "molested". Like just because he says it that makes it true!

Within a week, my daughter starts in. Oh the hateful lies! She tells me about a party at our house with my friend from work and his wife and kids. She was 17 at the time, and claims that he got her alone upstairs, held her down, and proceeded to "feel her out". Obviously, this did not happen. Only this time she gets way way too explicit. Like, "he put his hand on my breasts" and "he put his hands on my crotch". All I could say in response is that suddenly she is changing her story, so she must be making all this crap up. That's what they do in counseling, I know!

So after we hang up I call her younger sister and she tells me the truth. No way! She wasn't molested! She's always making stuff like that up. So when she calls back (about her rude husband not thanking me for his birthday gift) I'm ready for her. I tell her that it obviously didn't happen or if it did happen, it certainly didn't happen that way.

I remind her that if she had been molested she would have told me right away when it happened. She says she did tell me, but that I told her to keep quiet so her father wouldn't get mad at that guy. You see, the four of us had just recently at that time started hanging out together, going to football games, etc, and he was a lot of fun. I remember the fun at the party and I know for a fact that she didn't tell me that anything like that happened.

Then, as I thought about it more, I remembered how she had enticed him sexually and was now conveniently forgetting this little 'fact'. You see, I made sure we had lots of fun at these parties by playing games like "spin the bottle" and "blindfold" games where people touch each other and stuff. I remember how we all had made such a loud joke, carrying on and on about what a nice ass this guy had and how, on a scale of 'one to ten' he was definitely a 'twelve'. A matter of fact, that lying daughter of mine even helped me make a gag gift for this guy, some sexy underwear that was monogrammed with a "12" on the butt cheeks. My daughter was right at my side as my good friend put these longjohns on (over his pants I might add) and pranced around and showed off his nice ass. How convenient for my daughter to forget how she egged this guy on sexually. And now she says that this 40 year old somehow got it in his head that he could get away with "feeling out" the private parts of my own 17 year old daughter? Right in my house? While I was downstairs laughing and carrying on at a party? Obviously, nothing like that could have taken place during THAT party!

So during our next phone conversation I reminded her how she had played him on with lots of sexual innuendo and encouraged him sexually. You know that all she would say was "I WAS ONLY SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD!" That's the kind of screwed up logic my own daughter tries to use against me.

Then I reminded her that I, too, was molested as a child. I laid out my long story in great detail about that old wretch of a guy that used to hang out around our house when I was little and how gross it all was and how her little thing (which probably never happened anyway) was microscopic next to mine! She actually told me to "Shut Up". I had to remind her that she had better remember the manners I had taught her, not the ones that her rude and stupid husband had brainwashed into her.

I told her that things like this simply happen to young girls and that she was always a crybaby about this kind of stuff. Besides, nobody wants to listen to talk about dirty things like this. And you know, you never hear his little sister complain about being "molested". You never hear her older sister complain about being "molested". So how come I she's the only one complaining about being "molested"? I'll tell you why. Her own little sister said it best, because she "doesn't remember right" and likes to "make stuff up". Its both sad and obvious that you can't believe a single word that this girl says.

Besides, I told her, how come she waited 20 years to suddenly remember this (as if she didn't make it all up in 'therapy')? Then she said that she had told me 10 years ago. If she did, how come I don't remember? She then says she also told me 8, 5, 3, and 2 years ago, too. But how am I supposed to believe her when she says she even told me the very night that it happened and EVERYBODY has already said that she made that up.

So she asked me, "If you never heard me mention this before, how could you accuse me of 'changing my story'?". Is that anyway to talk to your own mother? Suddenly she is going to use 'lawyer tricks' on me? And then she got real angry, and even raised her voice to me and said "Just tell me if you believe me or not!". So I tried to calm her down and explain that there's no proof and she nearly yelled, "That's right, mother. No Proof. No Witnesses. Just MY WORD!". Then she takes a breath and said "I give you my word that I was molested by that man, mother, do you believe me?".

Well that sure is dirty pool, now isn't it. But any mother's heart would be filled with pain to hear her daughter ask such a hurtful question. And what was I supposed to say with no evidence, and no witnesses, and with EVERYBODY saying how she makes things up all the time. I know what happens in 'counseling'. So I told her nicely, "If you want me to say that I believe you then I believe you honey". Just like I would say to her when she was a nice little girl in elementary school.

But this time she cut me off. "Not because 'I want you to', mother, just flat out do you believe me". I thought for a moment and said lovingly, "you want me to believe you so I believe you".

And she didn't say anything more.

After a minute or two of small talk the conversation was over and we hung up. It's been a couple of weeks now that she hasn't spoken to me except in passing about the most inconsequential things. And when we do speak she's not interested in anything I have to say. Its nice not to hear her blaming me for her problems anymore, but Ann, I need some advice, what should I do to get my grown daughter straightened out? I want my sweet little girl back.

.....Disrespected Mother




Dear Ann Landers --TABLE OF CONTENTS




Praise #1


His Seventeenth Birthday Party


Their Wedding (I'm the last to know)


Accused me of Yelling / His Wife / Move Away


She's Living in a Pumpkin Shell


Move Back Home / "Men Will Stray"


Told His Parents to Buy Groceries


He Didn't Want a Stove and Fridge


They Tried to Ruin Christmas for Everybody


Praise #2


Time to Change the Diaper


He Took the Newborn Baby on a Trip


Baby in the Hospital -- Give Him his Christmas Presents


They Took My Eldest Daughter With Them to Disney World


His Stock Tip


Vacation Visit -- Beautiful Home (Praise #3)


Vacation Visit -- Dad Wanted to Go Home


Vacation Visit -- I Bought a Pie for Dessert


Vacation Visit -- Thanksgiving Prime Rib


Vacation Visit -- Putting up the Christmas Tree


Another Vacation Visit -- No Fun the Second Time


Her Old Boyfriend Called -- That Husband is So Jealous


They Took a Week-end Trip and Didn't Let Me Know


They Move to Florida (Praise #4)


Florida Visit -- He Started at the Airport


Florida Visit -- Talking to the Other Car


Florida Visit -- I Don't Even Like to Dye Easter Eggs


Florida Visit -- My Handicap Parking Permit


Florida Visit -- He Got Us Stuck in Rush Hour Traffic


Florida Visit -- They Dye Eggs While I'm Shopping


Florida Visit -- Making Jell-o Easter Eggs


Florida Visit -- Can I have this Kielbasa? (Moose Ears)


Florida Visit -- I buy Kleenex, Ask Fred About Dinner


Florida Visit -- He Finally Listens! (Buy Real Butter)


Florida Visit -- Pow-wow in the Bedroom


Nobody is Talking -- Dad Forgives The Loan


My Daughter Gets Sick -- He's Up to Something


They Invite Dad to Help After Her Surgery


He Spurns My Help With Surgery Supplies


He's Drugging My Daughter!


He Goes Back to Work


We're Not Invited Back -- I Have a Scheme


I'm Forbidden to Attend His Mother's Funeral


My Grandson Visits Us -- No Thanks for the Picture


His 40th Birthday -- An Old Christmas Present


He's Not Listening -- Dad Tells Him to Leave it Alone


My Daughter Claims That She Was Molested

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First Upload: April 16, 2000
Last Update: June 30, 2001