Attention Chismosos

I try not to blog too much about la Suegra, porque bien sabes, the internet is a very small world. If my Suegra can run into random people in the United States that she used to know back in El Salvador, (which happens!), then a family member can easily find my blog and report back to Suegra like the little chismosos that they are. (Which is funny since they all talk behind her back and then pretend to be santos to her face.)

Well, sabes qué? Go ahead and tell then. Ya no me importa. I remember all the things you said about her, too – recuerdalo before you go tattling on me.

The truth is Suegra doesn’t like me, and so I don’t understand why I have to pretend to like her? I’m tired of the whole “respect your elders” thing. N’hombre. My respeto is EARNED with proper behavior, not given just because you’ve had more birthdays than me.

So go ahead, tell Suegra. Tell her I don’t like her either. She already knows it. Tell her I don’t respect her because she doesn’t act right. And while you’re at it, tell her that saying a little “gracias” once in awhile wouldn’t kill her. How many evenings have I made dinner for this family? My husband and children thank me for the meal every single night. Suegra? She wipes her mouth and leaves the table without a word. In my mind I’m screaming, “De nada!” but she’s completely oblivious to anyone’s feelings but her own.

All she talks about is her suffering, and granted, she has had a difficult life – but what about my suffering? I didn’t sign up for this. How did a “visit” turn into living with us on and off for a decade? Gone are my carefree years as a young wife and mother – almost every single one of those years was spent with her in the house causing drama.

Yes, tell Suegra – tell her everything. And tell her that when a man and woman’s bedroom door is closed and they are both on the other side with Reggaeton music on, you don’t stand at that door and call your son’s name repeatedly until he answers you. HE’S BUSY!

And it isn’t just privacy with my husband that I want. Rarely have I enjoyed time with my kids without her tagging along. If we so much as go for an ice cream without inviting her, all hell breaks loose. She cries and complains that we mistreat her, that she hates it here, that she wants to leave – but she never goes, at least not for very long.

Tell Suegra that I tried. For a good decade I TRIED, but sabes qué? I’m tired now.

Tell Suegra that I’m taking the kids for an ice cream today… and tell her she’s not invited.

(Image source)

28 thoughts on “Attention Chismosos

  1. Hey,
    I’ve run into your blog through Blo’s blog (hehe) and I love you way of writting.

    I follow you from now on.

    Kisses from Spain.

    Itzi ;)

  2. Hey! Well, well, well… I see not too much has changed lately!

    Maybe you should just let her in the room… that’ll give her better dreams ;)

    Here in NL we treat our elders with respect too and often as they age they move in with family but seriously… it’s not like that! They help and thus are loved in return. Maybe you should start locking her in her room for time-outs lol! Chase her with a slipper or something… a wooden spoon!

    You should all learn French… that way you can be sure she really doesn’t understand what you’re saying lol! I’m sure that would drive her batty!

  3. Señora López,

    I respect your honesty and totally feel for you! (and I’m loving your blog, by the way!)

    I don’t know anything about your husband’s and your suegra’s backgrounds, but being from Latin America, I can just picture la señora haciendo caras and being rude. It doesn’t sound like the behavior is justified (I can’t imagine it would be), and I’m not trying to make excuses for her, but is it possible that:

    1. She resents you because she’s not the alpha mujer in her hijo’s and nietos’ lives? (which she shouldn’t be, YOU are)

    2. She resents her hijo marrying a gringa?

    3. Because her hijo married a gringa and because la señora is not in her native country, she feels even more powerless and therefore lashes out with greater fury (again, not excusable, but I’m willing to bet money on it). In the native country, she would have a latina nuera who would know to step aside for abuelita even if la vieja está loca.

    So, I know I’m not offering much of a solution here, but my advise would be to have your husband step up and even if it goes against family hierarchy and tradition, tell his mamá to cool it; help her adjust to the cultural realities.

    Best of luck and email me for any and all life advise as my life is only mildly dysfunctional.



    • @ RUBÉN – I think you are correct on all 3 counts! You have really great consejos, (despite your life being “only mildly dysfunctional” LOL!) … Over the years my husband has begun to step up to the plate more often and tell his mother to “behave” and it has caused as much shifting as an earthquake. It’s definitely not an easy situation for ANY of us. Thanks again for your comment and for taking the time to offer such a thoughtful response.

  4. Between this post and the ice cream/dream post, I can tell things haven’t changed much since the last time she “visited” you.

    I’ve said it before, but you’re a way more tolerant person than I am. Stay strong, chica!

  5. Hahaha! I’m telling! Hahaha! That is ridiculous, not going to grab an ice cream with your boys and her throwing a fit. You are allowed to ignore her when your hubby isn’t there, just pretend when he is around, for his sake. :)

  6. Good one! Marianismo at its fines. From the observant male perspective it’s classic and funny (when at a friend’s expense) but when it hits close to home…ay chingado!

    Good luck with auto pilot mode, you’ve been doing more than your fair share on mending fences and playing nice.

    • @ Joe – Ay chingado is right. It can be a real mess. Thanks for that article you sent me on “Marianismo” – I might post about it in the near future. Should be an interesting conversation.

    • @ MJ – Unfortunately I can’t hold a grudge. I guess that’s supposed to be a virtue but it’s frustrating when I want to stay mad and just run out of the energy to do so. lol… Anyway, we’re pretty much back to status quo (civil but not overly friendly.) Who knows what the future holds as far as the living situation.

  7. Señora López, I truly admire you for being such a patient woman! I adore my mother in law and even though at the very beginning of my marriage we couldn’t afford a house to live in, she lent us her summer house, not because she didn’t want us at her home but because she respect us enough to realize that casados means casa-de-dos.

    I hope your hubby don’t read this blog, because I just wanted to say that I really, REALLY, dislike your suegra.

  8. oh my — be strong! Hold your ground!

    I remember hearing “While your living under my roof, you’ll obey my rules!” a LOT while I was a teen trying to be independent. Maybe that’s what she need to hear — FROM YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND. (I know he would support you.)

    By setting the house rules and saying — if she doesn’t obey them then she has to go — is actually giving her a great deal of respect! It’s telling her that you have faith that she is grown up enough to make real choices.

    And if she screws up you can act all disapointed in her performance and sad that you thought she was mature enough but too bad you were wrong — GET OUT!

  9. Oh My and Dios Mio! I love this:

    ” And tell her that when a man and woman’s bedroom door is closed and they are both on the other side with Reggaeton music on, you don’t stand at that door and call your son’s name repeatedly until he answers you. HE’S BUSY!”

  10. I agree with Ruben- time for hubs to step up. As the “bridge” between the two of you, it’s up to him, el hombre de la casa. There are ways to be respectful without being insulting, and to make her think she’s getting her way. Suerte, chica!

    • @ Evenshine – I was in a different place emotionally when I wrote that post. Thankfully, things have much improved since that day. I’ve adapted and Suegra has also made efforts to live peacefully. Not only that, but my husband has continued to mature and take his role as “hombre de la casa” seriously. He is the link or “bridge” between us as you say. Without him, Suegra and I wouldn’t be in each other’s lives to begin with, so it is partially up to him to help us get along. We’re doing well for now – with that little suerte you wished me, hopefully things will stay that way! Gracias!

    • Though it’s seriously sad, I’m laughing so hard right now… We moved out of state too — SHE MOVED WITH US.

      ROFLMAO. Dios ayudanos!

      • LOL! OMg…THAT…is seriously unfortunate! My MIL would probably have done that too…but luckily I have a cuñada with a much higher income who is willing to supply all her needs! Yes, cuñadas are good for something…she saved my life…and my privacy! ;)

      • “Seriously unfortunate” is one of the best descriptions I’ve ever heard of our living situation. ROFL.

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