Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Swistle requested a list of quirks that I have that Torsten thinks are cute enough to tell his mother about, only to find that she deems them horrifying rather than adorable. And since I am one of those bloggers who aims to please, I decided to provide such a list. Keep in mind that many of these things aren't quirks, per se. So this is more a list of things I do (or don't do) that Torsten finds cute but his mother does not. Note that the commentary after each item is projected from me and may not actually be going on inside his mother's head. Depending on who you ask. Let's see:
  • I don't clean the house very often. This is not a quirk. But it's something that Torsten likes to talk about, and something that upsets his mother.
  • I have a very dry sense of humour. I make inappropriate jokes and comments that are so "adorable" that Torsten feels the need to translate. Then his mother stares at me before smiling weakly and quickly turning away.
  • I burp fairly often. Sometimes quite loudly. Which does not fall under the category of "Charming Future Daughter-in-Law Behaviour."
  • I sleep really late on weekends. Until it is no longer morning, sometimes. This is a huge waste of time. I could be up at 4 and have spent an hour at the gym and several hours cooking for Torsten and scrubbing the apartment if I used my time wisely.
  • I drink a ton of water and as a result, have to pee quite often. Sometimes we're late because just when we're rushing out the door, I decide I have to pee and have to go back in to the bathroom. This segues into...
  • I am not always on time. This is extremely inefficient and therefore un-German of me.
  • I don't always save money at every opportunity. I will take the bus home instead of walking even if it costs me a $0.35 transfer fee if the weather is bad or I have heavy groceries. I will buy expensive leather boots instead of the $15 pleather versions. I often order Diet Coke instead of just water at restaurants even if it costs $2.50. This clearly means that Torsten and I will wind up in the poorhouse. Also, our children will be sorely neglected.
  • While I am perfectly capable of grocery shopping by myself, I much prefer to do it with Torsten and will often make him leave work early to meet me there so we can shop together. This is a clear demonstration of my lack of wifely abilities to keep the household running.
  • While I am quite responsible, I'm not an overly cautious person. I don't scrub my hands every five minutes and I don't think it's necessary for us to oversee every movement our kids make. In fact, I think it would be better for us to give our kids a little distance to learn how to problem-solve on their own. This apparently means that if our kid falls over and lands on its head on a concrete floor, I will leave it lying there bleeding until it figures out how to get up by itself.
  • I'm not an aggressive driver, and I don't take out my driving frustrations by driving offensively, but I do swear at and tell off other drivers when they do stupid things (only with all windows securely closed). Sometimes if I've been stuck behind a really slow driver in the left lane of the interstate for a long time, I'll accelerate hard when I finally get around them, just for the satisfaction. This more or less amounts to putting both of our lives in danger.
  • I want many aspects of our wedding to be purple. This is extremely un-frugal of me, as it would be much cheaper to get everything secondhand in whatever colour I happened to find it in.
  • I love bad TV and make Torsten watch it with me. This pollutes not just my mind, which is bad enough, but also his, which is much worse.
Okay, your turn. What are your quirks or habits that your significant other loves but that their parents dislike (or would dislike if they knew)?


  1. I love how you said you are not overly cautious. That is exactly how I AM, but I have never been able to put it that succinctly before.

    I think my in-laws don't like that I am not Loud and Boisterous, as they are. I think they are getting used to the fact that I am Awesome in a quiet, inside voice kind of way.

  2. Hubby loves the fact that we are independent, rather than codependent like the rest of the family. The family would prefer we needed them more/met their needs more.

  3. Hey Jess,
    It's Suz from CFS. I just wanted to let you know I'm obsessed with your blog and read it all the time! Congrats on getting engaged and all that jazz, and I'm really happy to see you're doing so well! I love your writing! Keep it up. I'd like to drop you a line by email some time. You seem to come to NYC fairly often and I'd love to have coffee with you some time.

  4. Yeah - a second hand wedding would be niiice. :-p

    My MIL doesn't like that I have simple taste. Her house is jam packed with collectibles, designer this and that and closets full of expensive bags and shoes. My house is void of knick-knacks, and I tend to buy things I like, rather than things with an impressive label. Besides that, I think she likes me better than my husband!

  5. I loved this whole post! Especially the part where I said, "Gimme!" and you said "Okay!"

    I don't buy new clothes/shoes very often (for myself), because I don't really like to. My mother-in-law thinks I should--or, rather, that I should SEW clothes for myself.

    I don't clean very much. She thinks it's important for a woman to do so.

    I don't go to church. She is appalled.

    I don't buy the low-salt versions of things, because WE don't have salt-related health issues. She DOES, so she thinks THE WHOLE WORLD should be on her low-salt diet.

    I call Walllllmart "Walllllmart" instead of "Walllly's World."

  6. Oh, and I got married with just Paul and me and the minister and two witnesses. She thinks "my mother" must have been disappointed and upset. (My mother loved the idea; it's my MIL who was disappointed.)

  7. I should add that one reason we did our wedding that way is that my MIL said she would have to stay with us for two weeks after the wedding, because otherwise it wouldn't be worth the plane ticket. We were having a "stay at home" honeymoon. Who DOESN'T want a MIL on the couch during a honeymoon? FOR TWO WEEKS.

  8. Tessie--I love the post you wrote about this. And I agree with the Awesome with a capital A.

    3carnations--Sounds to me like you guys have a pretty good situation going on, regardless of what the family thinks.

    Suz--Wow, I had no idea you read my blog, and thanks for all the compliments... I'm flattered. My personal email is on my Facebook account, so you can email me that way. I'd love to get coffee next time I'm in NYC, though I don't know when that will be.

    LoriD--Wow, it sounds like you have a pretty good MIL. I'm jealous. Although mine is probably better than I sometimes make her sound (and certainly she's great compared to Swistle's).

    Swistle--I love that you needed three comments to fully express what you wanted to say. Also, oh my god MIL honeymoon sounds beyond hellish. I can see why you chose to get married the way you did.

  9. My boyfriend's mother hates that I can't cook. My bf is an excellent cook, so I figure why try when he can do it better. We're working through it though...now she gives me gift certificates to favorite restaurants for my birthday/holidays with a snide remark in a card about my lack of domestic abilities.

  10. I am SOOOOO thankful for my MIL after reading about the ones y'all have. Mine is always in my corner, even when her son is in the opposite one. I guess I have the only MIL in the world who knows her son isn't perfect, and is grateful SOMEONE (me) was willing to take him. Then again, she does have seven sons (and 2 daughters), so maybe when there's so many of them, the whole 'perfect' thing wears off.

  11. haaaaaaaaaa oh i loved this. i have been reading swistle's posts avidly as well. as someone without a MIL, i'm not sure why i love this topic as much as i do, but hee. it sure is fun.

    also: dude. if your kid is bleeding from the head, there's no point in coddling it. maybe throw some robitussen or a box of bandaids at it if you're feeling extra sympathetic. ;-)