Meet Patty, Part II

By: Ben

So, Tate and CC have a special person named Patty in their family.  So do we.  Our Patty is my mother-in-law.

My mother-in-law is like our own personal Toodles (you know, that excellent helper from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse who the characters always call upon when they’re stuck or need help.)  That’s our Patty.

Let me tell you about her–she’s the most self-LESS person on the planet.  Even though I’m typically sarcastic–in this situation, I am not.  She is the most loving, giving person I’ve ever met.  She’s amazing.  Her favorite phrase is “I can do it” because there is literally nothing on this earth that she cannot or will not do.

When our water heater flooded our hallway the week before our wedding, I let out a bellow from the hallway ordering anyone who heard to “call a fucking plumber!!”  My wife calmly said, “I’m calling my mom.”  The next day, she came to our house, while we were at work, took out the old water heater and installed another.

When my bathroom’s toilet got clogged, I started shouting loudly about “selling this GD house!”  (You see a pattern?  Everything tends to be an emergency with me.)  My wife called her mother.  Patty came to our house right then, pulled the toilet, cleaned the clog out of the pipe, put a new wax seal (she had an extra just laying around) and reinstalled our toilet.  Easy, peasy.

She also painted the nursery for us when we found our we were expecting (I hate to paint) she laid the wood floor in the room that was once my home office (now a craft room), she cooks dinner for my wife and I EVERY NIGHT, she is our own personal Nanny for the baby (free of charge) and she irons the shirts that I wear to work each day. And folks, this isn’t all.  I have neither the time nor the space and energy to convey all that she does for everyone on a daily basis. We could devote entire tomes to her works.  My wife’s students say she is one rung below Jesus.  I’m not sure how my wife and I would do our “adulting” without her.

BUT.  She has one flaw.  She loves to throw me under the bus.

Each Sunday, my wife’s extended family gets together for Sunday lunch at her 87 year old grandmother’s house (Patty’s mom.)  We live in a town of 900 (ish) people and I would swear that about 450 of them are related to my wife. If fifteen people show up–it is considered a small Sunday lunch.  It’s usually 25+ people.

One Sunday, we were gathered around one of the dining tables (there are three in the enormous dining room) and I was feeding my daughter off of my plate.

One of the desserts was a cherry chocolate cake.  I was eating some and decided that my daughter needed a bite.  Now, I knew that I wasn’t supposed to feed my daughter chocolate.  As I spooned the bite into her mouth, I realized there was a microscopic piece of cake with the cherry I was trying to feed her.  I thought to myself “I’ll have to tell JA (my wife) that I fed the baby chocolate.”

Before I had a chance to say anything, my mother-in-law, who remember is a wonderful woman, threw me under the bus.  A Greyhound bus.  Big time.

From THREE SPACES away at the dinner table, Eagle-Eye Mitchell (Patty) turns to my wife and whispers (I’m using this term loosely–it was a loud whisper) “Ben’s feeding her chocolate!” I just glared at her.  I’m a socially awkward person anyways and severe introvert.  I have to psyche myself up to attend lunch every Sunday.  You know, give myself a pep talk in the mirror.  And here she was, calling me out in front of everyone.

The piece of chocolate was microscopic folks, and she scoped it out from three spaces away and before God got the news, I was being run down by a tour bus chauffeured by my mother-in-law. This is just one instance.  She’s pretty good at it.

I guess that’s the price I pay for all that she does for me and my family.  But, if you know me…you know I’ll never let her live it down.


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