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Ask Aunty Pam

Ask Aunty Pam

Pam Stone

Dear Aunty Pam,

Please, please help me. What few hairs I have left from pulling them out are now gray. My Mother-in-law has kicked my Father-in-law out of the house after she found out he’d been having (at least one) an affair and, ta-daa, he is now living with my husband and me.
Aunty Pam, the man is impossible. He is a real bully and secretly, I think that’s the reason he got kicked out by my MIL. He’s verbally bullied her for years and I believe she was glad for an excuse to give him the boot. He’s like a cross between Archie Bunker and your co-star on ‘Coach,’ Hayden Fox. He is ALWAYS right, and spends most of his day pointing out what I do wrong and actually told my husband the other day that I need to learn to be quiet and listen so I’ll “learn something.”
We went to the lake last weekend to cruise around on our pontoon boat and even though I’m the one who bought this boat and have been handling it for the past decade, I was told I “don’t know what the hell I’m doing.” I wanted to push him overboard!
I’m furious because my husband isn’t stepping up often enough to defend me. He just stays quiet or goes and hides in his office. I’m also angry because my husband has two brothers who haven’t even offered to take their father in for a few weeks to give us a break.
It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even want to come out of the bedroom in the morning. He complains about my coffee, he hates that I watch ‘Good Morning America,’ and offers loud, obnoxious political opinions without being asked.
I’m at the end of my rope. My husband says he can’t just throw him out and I say yes, we can. We’re doing fine, financially. We could even afford to set him up in a small apartment somewhere, but my husband says I’m overreacting, and I should just let all his comments slide off my back. I’ve tried and I can’t.
Help me, Aunty Pam!!!

Going Crazy

Dear GC,

Wow….that’s just…wow. Archie and Hayden? That’s like a cross between…actually, Aunty Pam can’t think of a worse cross. I was going to say a Pit Bull and a Lobbyist, but you’ve got me beat.
You realize, of course, that Captain Bly is a screaming bundle of insecurity, right? Bullies are always insecure, for whatever reason, although usually familial, and feel the need for complete control every moment of the day. Of course, knowing this doesn’t make this any easier when you’re the target of his assignation of blame.
I want to put your hubs in a headlock and give him a rather painful noogie for cowardly suggesting you let hurtful insults “roll off your back.” Everyone knows (and those who don’t know are self-medicating or have an unregistered stash of assault weapons) that insults never ‘roll off’ anyone’s back. They are absorbed into our brains where they stomp down our self-esteem and confidence like golf spikes.
More than likely if you turned on your FIL and let loose a verbal torrent of abuse he’d back down in a hurry, but then you’ve got to deal with a big, messy scene and who wants that? So, Aunty Pam suggests that you begin to hit him. I’m not kidding. You know how in couples’ therapy couples are sometimes given giant pillow-like, spongey clubs so that they can vent their anger on each other without inflicting pain? That’s where I’m going. Golden Corral makes THE best yeast rolls in the world (and if any execs from Golden Corral are reading this, I’m all about a coupon for some freebies. It’s below me but I’m not above it.)
Either bake some or buy some, but arm yourself and give him ample heads up: “Look, Buford, you’re a guest in our house and I’m going to be honest, I’m not thrilled about it. IF you behaved like a human and less like a barking Gila Monster, I’d be happy to give you some sympathy. Starting today, there’s new ground rules. If you don’t like the way I do something, tough. You can do it your way on your own time, capiche? And every time you pick on me, I’m going to throw something at you. Might be a yeast roll, might be a cinderblock, depends on my mood.”
And follow through. No empty threats: when he carps, “Your coffee tastes like crap” SPLAT! Yeast roll between the eyes.
If that doesn’t work, it’s time for the big guns. Turn off ‘Good Morning America” and switch over to ’The View.” It’ll probably give him a heart attack, but let’s face it, it’ll be a mercy killing.
Cheers, dear!

Aunty Pam