Our vacations to visit my In-Laws are cursed. Plus they just generally suck.

In general, it comes down to this: we go there on vacation and for them to spend time with their grandchild and they act like it’s just another week of their lives, barely making any effort to do anything, despite being 75% retired (my FIL works part time). They pretty much refuse to venture more than a few miles from their home, which is within 30 - 90 minutes from multiple tourist destinations.

I don’t want to treat them like a B&B but that’s more or less how we had to proceed this year after *once again* being like, “Hey, want to go to the beach/water park/mini-golf/city/assorted other local destinations?” and them pretty much just being like, “Nah, gonna watch golf/read/work on my computer/get brainwashed by Fox News.” “Alrighty. Well, since we’re on vacation and our 5 y.o. doesn’t want to watch you sitting on your asses, we’ll see ya later!”

On top of that — and this is just terrible fucking luck — every year, something bad happens.

- The time their dog ate three of my used tampons and needed $3,000 in emergency surgery.

- The time our return flight was cancelled and we had to scramble to rent a car at the last minute and drive the 10 hours to get home.

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- The time there was a thing with the Tenant From Hell, who knew we were 450 miles away.

- The time Mr. Nom got pneumonia and I got strep. On Day 2.

- The year we rented a minivan for the week so we could all actually fit in one vehicle and do things together but my In-Laws more or less refused to go anywhere so we only all rode in it once.

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Which brings me to this year.

Day 2: FIL threw a tantrum about driving himself to his surprise birthday dinner location, refusing to be a passenger “in his own car”. Repeatedly demanded to know from Mr. Nom if we have a “problem” with him driving. I mean, we do, he’s blind as a fucking bat and can’t drive for shit, but we just countered with, “how are you going to drive when the destination is a surprise?” He finally acquiesced, only to get all smug about three miles in, announcing that he figured out we were taking him to Ruth’s Chris.

Day 3: Mr. Nom, LittleNom and I had gone out for the day. It was about 9 PM, I’m driving my In-Laws’ leased SUV, during a downpour. There was a construction zone and I hit a pothole and got a flat tire. I pulled over and there were already TWO other cars changing tires. The two other drivers came down to ask if I just hit “that giant pothole”. We called to alert my FIL, who made a big deal about asking if we were all okay, was anyone hurt, is LittleNom alright (before the end of the week, he would point out several more times how his first question was to ask if we were hurt; b/c if he demonstrates an iota of care, the ensuing yelling and dickishness doesn’t diminish his moral high ground, you understand). Before we had finished putting the spare on, THREE more cars had flats. Literally six cars on the shoulder in various states of tire-changing or waiting for a tow truck.

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Days 4-7: Dealership bullshit. Insurance bullshit. Loaner car bullshit. $2,100 in repairs.

In general, my FIL handled the car situation the way he normally handles these things: guilt-tripping, looking for a fight, taking it out on my MIL, lectures and just generally letting it cast a pall on everything. And on the one hand, it’s frustrating as hell, so I get it. But also, damn! It was a fucking construction pothole that took out 6 cars in 45 minutes. Like, maybe don’t take that out on your family?

I apologized. I expressed my sincere regrets over all the headaches and hassle it was costing (and between his dealership and insurer being assholes, it really was a more expensive and bigger pain in the ass than it should have been).

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But we will *never* hear the end of this. Ever.

And, the cherry on this shit sundae, at brunch on our last day, my FIL tried to pick a fight with Mr. Nom about how the “liberal media” was picking on Melanie Trump for wearing stilettos on her way to Houston/Harvey and calling her shoes “insensitive.” I just looked at him and said, “No one is saying that. You have an iPhone in your hand, Google it.” He found one article describing her shoes as “inappropriate” and I pointed out that he specifically said “insensitive”. He then spent the next few minutes sputtering about “no signal” while he looked at his phone and then announced he was disengaging from the discussion, which we had already moved on from (i.e. he had a fine signal, he just didn’t find any proof but was too chickenshit to admit it and wanted to pretend he was the bigger person even though he started it out of nowhere).

Fuck this. Next year, we’re going literally anywhere else.