Sunday, July 17, 2011

"I Am Marie Barone...."

       My mother in law uttered those words to me on the phone one day. 
I said "Hello" and she said "I"

      My mother in law (MIL) never watched "Everybody loves Raymond" during it's actual run on TV. She instead came across it in reruns, a full season in a couple of days, which is probably not the best way to view Marie Barone. All those obnoxious behaviors and the put downs cleverly aimed at her daughter in law. Once a week, pretty funny. A couple of episodes a day for a couple of weeks? A little too much Marie.
        Let's get something straight. My MIL is NOT MARIE BARONE. If she was, I wouldn't be laughing and writing about this in a post. Instead I would probably be in therapy somewhere. That being said my MIL, after watching all these episodes featuring Marie at her finest, felt the need to call up and confess her similarity and apologize, a lot. It got so bad she would call up to tell us about the latest episode she watched and what horrible thing Marie had done. She was horrified by the behavior but at the same time, incredibly entertained by it. Once Hubby made the mistake of answering the phone and she immediately went into convulsions trying to tell the latest escapade. Hubby, not being aware so much of his Mom's new obsession with the show, didn't catch the beginning of her story. He was horrified at the story she told, especially when he believed it to be something his mother had done to his wife. He was about to go into heart attack mode when he finally got the real story. 
       All that being said (and again I LOVE my MIL) she's had her Marie like moments:

  • MIL likes to give her opinion on lots of things and for the most part it's fine. But there are days when you may not feel completely like taking said advice. During one such occasion, MIL (who is very aware of this quirk she possesses) put her hands over her ears and said "La la la la....I can't hear you!" Which of course sent us into hysterics. It's now every one's catch phrase when they don't want to hear something. 
  • Hubby and I stopped to visit his parent's one evening after dinner at a restaurant. Not feeling well from something I ate, MIL offered me some Maalox. Me -"Ugghhh why does this medicine taste funny?" MIL - "Mmm I don't know. Let me see the bottle. Oh, mmmm, it expired in 2002" (it was currently 2004 if I remember right. I could write a whole other blog on MIL's love for all things expired.) Had I not known better, I might have thought she was trying to do away with daughter in law.
  • Whenever MIL stops at our house she likes to putter around with things, especially in flower beds, gardens, etc. She has a bit of nervous energy that prevents her from sitting still. So, she often will dead head my flower bed for me. Which would be fine would she take the dead flowers with her to the trash. But oh no.....picture this. Woman bent over in your flower bed, dead heading and flinging said flowers behind her, all over your lawn. When I pointed this adorable quirk out to her she said "You'll eventually just grind them up in the lawnmower so it's no big deal." I always know when she's been over as there are dead flower heads covering my lawn. Gives her away every time....
  • And our favorite moment, the Great Pumpkin Caper - The first year hubby and I were in our house I was sooo excited to have a little front porch that I could put pumpkins out on. We went all out in corn stalks, and pumpkins of various sizes. Because it looked so nice we decided to leave it out through most of November (reminder to those who think pumpkins are only for Halloween - they are great Thanksgiving decorations as well.....I'm just saying.) Anyway, MIL became concerned that others in the neighborhood had removed their pumpkins after Halloween while we continued to display ours. She was so concerned in fact that she decided to stop by during the day when no one was home to confiscate said pumpkins. The pumpkins still looked extremely healthy, however they had become a tad soft. So therefore when Marie, err, I mean MIL tried to pick them up, they broke apart all over the steps. So now she's really stuck. Now she becomes concerned that I may be upset about this. So instead of just throwing them into our trash bin and being done with it, she decides to put them in the trunk of her car. That way if we are really angry she can just give them back to us.....oh how her mind works. She called her sister to confess, before contacting us. Her sister's only response, "Oh dear, you're going to cause a divorce." Now, I'll admit I was a little miffed over this but once again we turned it into a running joke as now whenever we see a house with pumpkins out past Halloween, we ask if she'd like us to pull over so she can inform the occupants of their faux pas.

But for all of these things that she thinks make her Marie Barone, there are so many others that show she is not. 

  • The time I came down with a horrrrriiiibbblle stomach flu and Hubby was out of town for work. She showed up at my door (with no concern for her health) bearing Gatorade, bananas, Popsicles, chicken broth, and saltine crackers. Ditto when I became sick on a family cruise and she got them to open the infirmary after hours to make sure I was taken care of as soon as possible.
  • She makes a gift basket up for every holiday for my cats including sending oyster crackers through the mail for Daisy (one of her loves...) 

  • She will drop whatever is going on in her life at the moment to help family, friends, neighbors, etc with whatever they need.
  • She raised Hubby to be the extremely caring, loving person that he is and I'm so lucky to be her DIL...
Oh, and just in case you think she's joking about the Marie Barone references......did I mention we live about 15 houses from his parents????



  1. FROM THE TWO of US ; OMG this is a funny one and really great reading, and knowing MIL makes it all the more so.....Your gift with words makes it even better because all of us laugh about it including MIL...We also feel you are so lucky to have a very caring MIL, sometimes a bit pushy but !!!!!!!Oh, by the way we do look forward to reading your latest rendering, VERY GOOD, keep them coming...LOVE YOU BOTH

  2. @ The two of us....careful on the pushy part as it takes one to know one DIL. :) :)

    But yes I am extremely lucky to have such a good MIL - one with such good gardening skills, decorating tastes and who loves me and her grandcats so much. :)

  3. Having been such a big fan of the show....I totally see where all of this came from! Obviously the "pumpkin situation" did not cause a divorce.....but so funny that I was laughing so hard I was in tears! I too am lucky to have an awesome MIL as well who treats me as her own daughter (she even gave us an anniversary card to prove it that said
    "To Daughter and Son-in-Law"). She realized when we opened it that it was a mistake, but I loved it! But knowing your MIL is a treat because she is a special lady and a real gem! And she raised a great son and your lucky to have him!

  4. @ Jackie - I remember when you got that card for your anniversary. Perhaps your MIL was trying to tell your Hubby something! :) I agree that my MIL is a gem....hee hee!

  5. My hubby remembers that card as well....he just as soon forget about it though! My MIL still gets a chuckle out of it when we talk about it.

  6. I wasn't a follower of the show, but I can't imagine my MIL...which I loved! living that close to me. You are a saint!

  7. @ Barbara - What can I say? We loved the neighborhood! :) My sister in law, who lives out of state always reminds us that it was our choice to live where we do, when things the pumpkin caper. :)

  8. Love the show, love my MIL and love this post! My MIL is nothing like Marie Barone either, even though she has her moments! I can not imagine life without my MIL.

  9. @ Brittany - I guess we both lucked out in the MIL dept, which is a good thing as I have heard some awful stories. :) Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

  10. I found your blog on Google, while searching for something about Marie Barone.

    Your post made me laugh. The deadheading the flowers part had me cracking up the most.

  11. @Anonymous -

    I'm so glad you got a laugh out of it....someone should benefit from it. :) The deadheading is a sight to see.

    Oh and I did an update in a recent post - the pumpkin bandit struck again this year. She watched our cats recently and decided she needed to "check" on the pumpkins as well...One of them did meet their demise. She just can't help herself.