My Sister-In-Law Is a Piece of Work…


My husband is extremely close to his sister’s son. Hubby and I never had any children together so my daughter and his nephew are like his surrogate children. So, it’s understandable that he wanted to stop by his sister’s house Easter afternoon to visit with his nephew. Hubby called his sister and said we’d like to come over to visit and she said…. no. Actually, she said he could come but she didn’t want me to come. Now, some of you may think, we don’t get along, she doesn’t like me, or perhaps, she’s just a bitch. But, that’s really not the case. We get along very well and she really isn’t a bitch. Her not wanting me to come over was not so much about me as it was about her. Let me explain…

My sister-in-law has OCD – obsessive compulsive disorder. This has sort of become a catch-phrase for people who are very neat but most people would be very surprised by the homes of someone who truly has this disease. In addition to OCD, she also suffers from bouts of depression (she’s divorced and has lost both her parents), bi-polar disorder, sleep apnea, obesity, and well, snobbery (I’ll explain about this last one in a little bit).

We’ll call my sister-in-law Wendy. Wendy’s house is a mess. I mean a REAL MESS. Trashed. Part of Wendy’s OCD leaves her unable to do a job, what she considers half-way. Cleaning the kitchen for Wendy doesn’t just involve doing the dishes and wiping the counters off. It takes Wendy an entire day to clean the kitchen. After she does the regular stuff, she then has to wipe down all the cabinets, the stove, and all the appliances with alcohol to sterilize them. Then she has to clean the floors and the phone and the radio and the entire refrigerator. Wendy cleaning her kitchen is an endeavor. So, most of the time, Wendy doesn’t clean the kitchen… at all. She will cook something and leave the remainder of the food in the pot on the stove. She will go to the grocery store and leave the bags on the floor with most of the food still in the bags because it’s such an ordeal to clean the packages before she can put them in the cupboard. She won’t go near the trashcan. She will have a lawn size trash bag overflowing and spilling onto the kitchen floor but she can’t go near it to take it out.

Now remember, this is just the kitchen. Wendy’s entire house is like this. For some reason, she doesn’t mind my husband seeing her house in this condition but she does not want me to see it. Oh, I’ve seen it in the past and I know all about it but she doesn’t like for me to come over when it’s bad. And, it’s bad A LOT. For example, I’ve been with my hubby for 13 years and in that time I’ve eaten dinner at Wendy’s house about 10 times. Wendy has eaten dinner at our house hundreds.

So, even though I understand what is going on and why Wendy does what she does, it still bothers me that she didn’t let my hubby come over to see his nephew on Easter. Hubby didn’t tell me she said he could come over but I couldn’t. He said he didn’t want to hurt my feelings and just let it go. He was talking to Wendy on the speaker-phone this morning and she mentioned it. Hubby called his nephew Easter afternoon and told him he was going to come over to see him but his mother wouldn’t let us. Wendy got aggravated at my hubby and told him this morning that he didn’t tell the nephew the whole truth. She didn’t know I was in the room and said she just didn’t want me to come. I said “Wow; thanks Wendy”. She didn’t say anything. Hubby said he was getting off the phone because she was digging a hole for herself and she just said “Bye” and hung up.

I hope Wendy feels bad but I understand why she did what she did. Families sure can be a pain in the ass, huh?


One response »

  1. I understand how she feels and why she did it but damnit after 13 years you’d think she’d have gotten over you seeing it. Its not as if you haven’t seen it all before.

    My mother has a friend that has OCD – except she does attack it all – ALL the time. She can’t leave the house, work or go away on vacation. She just can NOT walk out the door, she always goes back to wipe something else down.

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