The Palace of Rules

not my MIL *shakes head*

not my MIL *shakes head*

My Mother-in-Law has enormous brown eyes, with which she is infamous for giving the Bug Eyes.  She is a loving, devoted, gentle, kind woman.  If you have troubles, she will do her very best to help and she will always pray on it.
I have been the extra child at her house since I was a schoolgirl.  I have called her Mom since sometime in the late 80’s.  She’s like the mother I never had, because she actually stayed home, and she actually baked cookies, like the mothers in storybooks.


I used to stand in her pantry like I’d entered the gates of Heaven.

She puts lots of salt and butter and sugar in everything.

When my in-laws sold their beloved big blue house, they built a dream house twice as big.  It’s like a dollhouse for my MIL.  Every item has been carefully selected and placed.

Remember how I told you I know I’m not a neat freak?  Yeah.  Between The Mister’s mother and my own mother, that’s how I know I’m not a neat freak.  The MIL, she has some OCD.  OCD is a relative term, isn’t it?


I mean, I like that in her home, everything has a place.  I like that the dishes are clean, the towels are clean, and there are soap dispensers at every sink. 

I’m dramatically impatient with her dish soap.  The dish soap is in a pretty oil bottle with a jigger on the top.  I bleed faster than the jigger lets out soap.  By the time I see any soap on the sponge, it’s begun to disappear.  But I think I might prefer this to the previous soap problem: One mustn’t leave the dish soap bottle open, because it gushes out, but one mustn’t close the dish soap bottle entirely, lest it’s needed in a hurry, so one must keep the dish soap lid always half-open.
So yeah, this is an improvement.  Sadly, I view doing dishes as an emergency, and not something I want to spend a lot of time doing, but it’s always good to practice one’s patience.

I’m also not crazy about the abundance of air fresheners.  There was one in the guest bathroom that was on a motion sensor, which was a relief to discover, because for the first few days, I really thought it was out to get me. I’d shut the door, I’d sit down, and poof! In your face, “peach something.” *gags* It conflicts with the cloves and cinnamon in the hall, the i-dunno-what-more-cinnamon in the living room, and again, i-dunno-what-floral upstairs.  It’s a cacophony of odor, and I’m not sure what smells so foul that we need all these cover-ups, but *achoos* I’m keepin an eye out for a decomposing body.  Fortunately, she bought a new air freshener for the guest bathroom.  It just bes. I thanked her.

She’s a hoarder.  Yes, it’s true.  You will find no piles, and you will find no filth.  You will find bins upon and bins of shiny clean pretties for Christmas and whatnot.  There are bins everywhere.  The bins are also clean.  I can’t fathom the time it takes to clean all the fings.  Virgos, hmph!
The whole house is pretty and organized and decorated like Home Interior met Southern Living. It’s a lovely home.
The pretties are overwhelming. I’m not a collector of pretties.  I’ve no use for pretties.  I’m a clean surface person.  I’m a function over form person.  Here, every surface has pretties.
If I spill coffee on my kitchen counter, I just grab a paper towel and wipe it up.  If I spill coffee on her kitchen counter, I’ve got to catch it before it gets to the pretty drawer organizer, the pretty placemat, the pretty decorative pears… Needless to say, I try very hard to never spill anything anywhere, so I don’t have a panic attack and die on the floor of many pretty rugs.

puke cat

In my house, you can throw a ball for the dog, and the worst that would happen is a spilled drink.  Here, you can’t even put your arm out to throw the ball, or you’ll knock down a pretty glass sconce, a set of three pretty glass candy jars, or you know, plow into the mantle and kill a Thomas Kincaid.
I am a bull in her china cabinet.  It’s pretty scary.
When we first arrived, I was all alone in the living room and heard the crash of glass from the front of the house.  I winced and went to see what got broken.  Nothing. *whews* But, my cat managed to kerplunk a pretty out of the front window.  The pretty was a teetering iron-clad stand in which two glass votives sit.  They were filled with coffee and each one held a faux votive candle.  For the life of me, I couldn’t get it to stand back up in the window sill.
Wobbly pretty, ain’t nobody got time for that.


I had to wait for Drew to arrive.  Drew has grace.  I assume she acquired this grace while growing up in a china cabinet.
That decomposing body I’m on the lookout for probably belongs to someone who broke a tchotchke.

We sleep in the Doll Room.  Yes, she has a Doll Room, don’t you? It’s a room full of antiques, and it’s very girly, so I like the aesthetic, but it’s loaded with light colors and lace and doilies and there is no place to set anything that is not a doll.  Never mind the hundred sets of eyes that stare at you, because the room’s on the front of the house and the curtains are sheers, so you’d do better to be concerned about giving the neighbors a good show.


Anyway, there’s never a dull moment here in the pretty house of everything glass, everything fussy and everything good.   We call it the Palace of Rules, but we’re damn glad to be here.  Even if we get the Bug Eyes on the regular and I’m scared every time one of my children or my animals moves, it’s still a blessing — and the food is still killer!

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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6 Responses to The Palace of Rules

  1. Alice says:

    She sounds like a gift–and an interesting character. A doll room–I would get kinda scared…


  2. wilsonkhoo says:

    Wow, this could make an amazing introduction to a bigger household adventure. I like it!


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