Monday, April 29, 2013

A Rude Awakening

Today is Monday. On most Mondays, you can find me wrangling poorly-behaved Korean kindergarteners for cash. But on this Monday, school is closed. It's closed tomorrow and Wednesday too. Thank you, Chinese Labor Holiday!

Every student and teacher has off right now. I wish every weekend could be 5 days long! They should be, I'll say that much. Anyway, Jeremy headed out the door just before 7am to go play soccer. Later on, for lunch, we'd be meeting up with some of those same soccer chums of his to enjoy lots of food and beer while our kids happily played. But as the clock hit 7am, I snuck back under the covers, hoping to get a little more sleep. Raelynn was blissfully occupied with cartoons and some breakfast breads. It was perfect!

Until I heard the tinny ding dong of our doorbell. I didn't need to look through the peephole to know just what was waiting for me in our dusty hallway, disheveled and mismatched as ever...MIL.
(I know, I know. I've used this photo of MIL a thousand times on here but I'm too lazy right now to go looking for more recent ones on my computer. Plus, her trotting out of our kitchen with dumplings is very fitting.)

Why is she here? I'm gagging to know this, given that the entire country is on a holiday this week, which is common knowledge among all Chinese people. I'm quite sure my husband has told her I wouldn't be at work either, hasn't he? He better have, I think to myself, plotting which part of him I'll kick repeatedly if this is his fault.

Gingerly, I open the door and summon my most polite smile. She sees me in my pajamas and then she says, almost rhetorically, in her hillbilly voice, how I'm not at work today. Well, duh. She tells me Jeremy didn't tell her. I tell her he's not here...he's off kicking a soccer ball, and I'm all the while thinking of kicking some other balls. Simultaneously, Raelynn has heard her grandma and pokes between my legs to say hi. "Hi Gramma!" she says, sweetly, and we smile at her. MIL gestures at a bag of vegetables and things, which probably consist of some improperly refrigerated meat, and says she'll come cook us something. Despite being insanely annoyed, I keep up my polite demeanor and thank her but refuse, explaining that we would be going to a friend's house for lunch and her cooking would be unnecessary today. She nods and clucks that she understands. I must have done a good job for she doesn't look hurt or offended in the slightest, and she bids us goodbye. And she leaves! WOOHOO!

When Jeremy came home, I told him all about it. He saved himself by telling me he had in fact told her I didn't have to work until Thursday this week. He told her Friday night when we'd gone to their house for dinner. See, 2 weeks ago, we had to have dinner at their house to celebrate Raelynn's birthday, since they weren't allowed to go to her party. And this past Friday, my husband insisted we go because of the Chinese holiday. Naturally, I wasn't happy about going 2 weeks in a row, but I used it as an opportunity to negotiate for things I wanted. Marriage is all about compromise, folks. Incidentally, I should also mention that I sincerely suspect, even though my husband denies it, that MIL has been taking cooking classes. Something is up with her. Because those 2 dinners did not suck. At all. Seriously. I know. I'm as shocked as you are, believe me.

In any event, now I'm wondering why MIL came over today. Did she simply forget what her son told her about my not having to work due to the holiday? How could she forget that if the whole country is on a break? On one hand, I think maybe she was trying to be pushy and steal from my time with Raelynn but if that were the case, she would have forced herself into our home. She's a pushy old troll and she could have easily pulled her "but I'm a bossy old cow and I'm making you dumplings whether you want me to or not" routine again. But she didn't. She just took her bag and left without incident. Is she really going senile now? Oh dear Lord are we in for it!

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