Thursday, July 1, 2010


I'm tired. Being "on" all the time is exhausting to me. So far the visit is going reasonably well, truly. I mean, it's comedic for sure, but everyone is, at least so far, on their best behavior, and there have been no shocking episodes so far.

But good lord, I'm tired. Thank god I have Twitter to turn to in order to remind me of exactly what happened yesterday that made me so tired. Let's see:
  • First (and while I was on a conference call), Torsten's parents dug out the vacuum cleaner and vacuumed the entire upstairs, which we had just vacuumed the day before. Also, they dug out the old vacuum cleaner, which barely even works. No wonder it took them so long.
  • When I got off the phone, I looked out the window to see them in the backyard. Which, fine, except they weren't, like, hanging out on the patio. They were marching around the yard, inspecting it quite thoroughly.
  • When I actually walked outside to see what was going on, they asked if they could mow the lawn. I didn't know what to say. Also I thought it was a weird question. And it was 90 degrees out and boiling hot. And Torsten wasn't there to help. So I said something about "heiss" ("hot") and pointed at the sun. I am a very effective communicator.
  • They said they wanted to buy some groceries for breakfasts, and also have lunch, so we sent them off to Whole Foods in their rental car with our GPS (thank god it can be set to German). We were a little nervous about their driving--the rental car is an automatic and Torsten's dad isn't so comfortable with that (he has always slammed on the brake while accelerating multiple times, thinking it was the clutch), and this makes him do other scary things like stop in the middle of the exit ramp to figure out what's going on, or drive at 40 mph on the interstate. So when they hadn't come back 3 hours later, we started to get a little nervous.
  • Finally they showed up, and we still don't know what in the hell they were doing at Whole Foods for three hours, but that does truly seem to be the only place they went. Then I was stuck awkwardly entertaining them for a couple hours until Torsten got back from his meeting. It turned out to actually not be that bad. Yes, as Sizzle pointed out, it is like playing charades, but at least we can use SOME words. Right?
But hey, for all the awkwardness and the struggles and the weird stuff, they are trying and so are we and they are being nice and so far it's going well. Also, they brought us Lindt chocolate that you can't get in the US, and fancy face cream for me and a really freaking nice watch for Torsten. And gifts usually help make most things better, am I right?


  1. Inlaws bearing chocolates and face creams? Sounds pretty good to me. ;)

    Hang in there. They are there for awhile, right? You all will settle down into some kind of routine eventually.

  2. I think it's pretty impressive that they're so self-reliant. Sure, they're cleaning up your house. But, if it makes them happy, let 'em. At least they're not standing over your shoulder as you try to edit some work!

  3. What do they think of MOntana?

  4. Gifts ALWAYS make awkwardness better, or at least that's my motto. When we visited Paris, we took my aunt and uncle a book of photographs of Chicago. My aunt speaks English (she's American-born) but my uncle doesn't, and it was fun to have pictures to ooh and ahh over without really needing to talk about them. Hope things continue to get better/be ok!

  5. Come to think of it, I could probably spend a couple hours in whole foods. They have so much cool stuff! And their deli is so yum.

    "It sounds like..."
    "It's two words. First word..."

    Ah, charades. ;-)

  6. Mmmmmm Euro chocolate.

    You are so right about being On all the time - it completely wipes me out when my inlaws visit for a quick weekend. I can't imagine doing it for three weeks! Although I'm sure you'll all settle into a groove after a bit. And being forced to rely on charades can (hopefully) give you all something to laugh at and bond over when you're stuck entertaining them.

    Failing that, I recommend hiding in the closet while devouring the chocolate, rubbing on the face cream, and googling Dog Repellant.

  7. I always forget about the language barrier you have with your in-laws! Yikes, I know what you mean about being tired after always being "on."

    The vacuuming and mowing must be a parent thing - my in-laws are the same way, god bless 'em.

  8. I'd love to have a camera on them (like a reality tv show) just to see what they got up to. And overhear their thoughts too - what's up with the cleaning and mowing? :P

    Mmmm. Lindt chocolate is so good, SO SO GOOD. <3

  9. I would have let them mow the lawn. You are nice though.

  10. I still predict some sort of hilarious story for us to read on Monday...

  11. What is it with those Germans and their hard-working-to-the-point-of-insanity thing? My parents are totally this way, Jim's parents are totally this way, and it's not any in-law visiting dynamic there. They're just ALWAYS that way. Anytime they're around I feel guilty if I don't have ten different projects going on!
    And yes, they're all of German descent, if I didn't say that already. Seems the gene finally skipped one on me, 'cause I only work hard to the point of craziness if I'm having FUN or, like, nesting for a baby or something. My mom, though... man, she'll come home on her lunch break to mow the lawn and stuff! The lawn that BARELY even needs mowed!

  12. You don't get Lindt in the US?! Oh no! Good choice of present by Torsten's parents then!