Everyone’s family is a little strange. But some are stranger than others. Here, people share something their significant other’s family does that is straight up weird.
1. Why is that man following us?
They never introduce people. We were shopping with my mother-in-law and I thought we were getting stalked by this strange dude….turned out it was her new boyfriend who was joining us for the day. First time meeting my husband and me. Strange beyond strange.
2. Hard as nails.
Not my significant other anymore, but my ex’s dad would lay out in a lawn chair in the backyard, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt and listen to Iron Maiden with his straight from the 80’s boom box…and stare at the sun. Not the sky or clouds, the sun.
3. Watt are you doing?
Above all, this: My S/O’s father refuses to have more than ONE light bulb on in the living room after dinner when it’s dark outside. We just sit there in this large room, barely able to see one another, with only one 15-watt bulb going in a lamp in the distance.
One time I got up and turned on another lamp so I could read something, and he got up immediately – without a word – and shut it off.
4. Polar opposites.
My in-laws can get 14 people together at the dining room table (siblings, spouses, and kids). Some live far away and they don’t see each other more than once a year. Yet no one is talking – you can hear the clock tick.
With my family, with six people, there will be 5 different conversations all at the same time. It drives my husband bonkers.
5. Some music to move things along.
Well when my girlfriend’s sister poops she plays the recorder. That’s pretty weird.
6. Ever heard of the phrase “TMI”?
My ex-girlfriend’s family would straight up ask us about our sex life, like how often we had sex, and what it was like.
7. It just doesn’t make cents.
Soooo weird about money. Thank God my wife doesn’t follow their lead.
If my in-laws pick us up something from the store we need to pay them EXACTLY what it cost. $12.42, $16.81, etc. If it came to $12.81 and we have $13.00 total they WILL give us back the 19 cents.
Also, if we get stuff for them we receive the exact money in cash. $7.82, $11.41, etc.
Christmas? Yea, we all have to get as close as humanly possible to spending the exact amount on each other. If I spend $12 on my father in law and we were only supposed to spend $10 rest assured I’ll be getting $2 in the mail in the near future.
We have them over for dinner and we get a pizza, they will figure out how much their slices cost. So if the pie came to $12.50 and there were 8 slices and they have 4 total….yep we’re getting $6.24 from them. Doesn’t matter how much we insist on not taking money.
It’s comical at this point but still so weird.
8. What did you say?!
Not so much weird, more annoying. They talk really loud, if someone wants to say something they have to talk louder than the others so it basically becomes a shouting competition. With the kids turning up the volume of the tv, which makes them scream louder. They also think it’s weird that they don’t have good hearing ability.
9. Step 1: Step up your game.
Call to complain that they aren’t called enough. Maybe if you were fun to talk to we would call more
10. You can never have too many, I guess.
My mother-in-law is constantly bringing my wife books and often they are the same book. She has given her no less than 5 copies of the same book sometimes.
11. Ok, that’s just wrong.
Ok so everyone thinks their way is the only right way to load the dishwasher BUT my mother in law and husband seriously need loading lessons. SILVERWARE GOES IN THE APPROPRIATE SILVERWARE COMPARTMENTS NOT RANDOMLY STREWN ABOUT ON THE TOP RACK!
Or somehow she wedges 3 forks in one silverware space (our dishwasher has spots for individual silverware pieces). And bowls/plates cannot be literally on top of each other. I have to end up rewashing everything!
12. There’s a line. You crossed it.
They didn’t drive. Not a single one of them except the girl I was dating. They always relied on other people for rides. Then, after you said no, they’d try to guilt trip you into it after complaining that cabs are expensive.
It took about a month for me to realize that they did this to everyone they knew, and I could just say no. It was such a headache. Half the time my girlfriend was out running her family around. A bunch of manipulative jerks those people were. All hours of the night too!
“So and so needs a ride to the hospital because he has a headache!”. Then call an ambulance. Oh, wait, you want me to run you to Walmart on the way back.
“Hey, you have a truck, can you help us pick up a couch?” Oh, now you want me to stop at 3 more places, but you can’t actually load anything because your gout is flaring up? Jerks.
13. Can’t you just be happy?
When we go out to dinner, my GF’s mom ALWAYS asks to change tables. Sometimes she complains it’s too noisy, sometimes too cramped, etc. It gives me serious proximity embarrassment.
14. Honesty is the best policy.
My husband’s family gathers around the Christmas tree and opens gifts one by one…and if you don’t like your gift YOU GIVE IT BACK TO HIS MOM TO EXCHANGE IT.
This was horrifying to me and my brother-in-law (SIL’s husband). We were used to opening ugly sweaters, smiling and saying thank you, all while planning the Goodwill run in our heads.
While mortifying, she does it because she wants to buy exactly what you like while still having presents for you to open. At this point my SIL and husband almost never return stuff. Once I opened a pink shirt and took half a second too long to just say thank you to get out of the horrible tradition and my husband said, without blinking, “Oh mom, [my name] hates pink. You should do black or gray,” AND HANDED IT BACK TO HER.
15. Please make it stop.
Years ago, I had an ex who’s sister-in-law was an amateur opera singer.
Without fail, every time she was at the house she was corralled by the rest of the family into banging out an aria in front of everyone, a Capella.
To be fair, she was pretty good, but just standing in the living room belting this out in front of everyone, all cooing and clapping and whatnot…while I sit there, toes curling, counting the seconds till it stopped.
16. Imagine that.
They not only like each other, but they actively seek out opportunities to hang out together.
I don’t get it.
17. Nothing like a little song to get in the spirit!
They have a song called “The Christmas Song” that makes unwrapping presents at Christmas a very slow process.
Here’s what you do:
The youngest kid is in charge of getting presents from under the tree. The kid announces the receiver of the present, let’s call him Bob, and then the singing starts.
The song ends with “and an itty bitty present for Bob”, and now Bob can open his present. We all admire the present, and Bob thanks the giver.
And then we start over until all the presents have been opened. This usually takes what feels about three weeks.
18. They’re going by the Venus calendar.
They say that they’re coming up for a few days and then leave in a couple of months. An uncle came up, three weeks early, for a wedding August 15th and still hasn’t left. I’m on my last nerve.
19. Where can a guy find some affection around here?
My wife’s family does this weird thing where they act like complete strangers to each other. They are really nice, good, honest people, but their level of familiarity with each other is non-existent. They don’t say they love each other, hug each other, or show real concern for each other’s well being. My family is part Italian, so we emote at the drop of a hat. My mother gets teary eyed whenever I leave after Sunday night dinner. I live 5 minutes away.
One of her sisters lives like 10 hours away. She came down for a week. When she got there, there was no excitement to see her or anything. When she left, it was the middle of the afternoon and everyone was home, she just said, “Okay, I’ll see y’all”. I think her dad nodded, but other than that nothing. We didn’t see her again for almost a year. Most people would think they hate her or something, but it’s completely natural to them.
So I make it a point to be really happy and excited when I see any of her family, even her dad who we see like three times a week. They all get a real kick out it and seem to enjoy that someone was actually looking forward to see them. I think I’m breaking them down, her dad will actually come to the door to say goodbye when we are leaving now, which weirds my wife out.
20. Nothing like a good trashcan plate.
My in-laws are super frugal. Like almost to the level of extreme cheapskate TV show frugal. Case in point:
When my now husband and I were still dating, his sister got married. For the reception, his parents bought stacks of plastic plates from Sam’s club. They weren’t the super thin ones, but they were one time use plastic plates. Not made to be reused.
Apparently, my MIL decided that it would be a waste to throw them away, she wanted to reuse them. But they didn’t tell the guests this for some reason, so people were (rightly) assuming they were disposable plates and putting them in the trash can. Half way through the reception, my MIL and FIL are digging through the trashcans to find the plates, pulling them out, and putting them in a plastic bin to take home and wash. I thought my husband was going to have a stroke.
At the end of the reception, while I was mopping the floor in my heels (since we were too cheap to pay the $100 cleaning fee for the venue), my MIL and her sister were arguing about who was going to wash up all the plates. MIL won. She took them all home, washed them up, and still pulls them out for family events like Christmas and Thanksgiving. I refer to them as the “trashcan plates”.
When my husband and I got married a year or so later, she tried to give them to me to use at our reception, but thank God the venue had their own plates. I do my best to never eat off of the trashcan plates when we are at their house.
21. What is in a name?
Her dad calls sauce gravy. Pizza gravy. Spaghetti gravy. IT’S NOT GRAVY, GREG.
22. My question is, how many candles do they put on the cake?
They sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus on Christmas. They make a cake and everything. Apparently Jesus’ favorite cake is pineapple upside down cake.
23. You can’t walk on that floor, it’s my mom’s.
All the food is specifically someone’s food. Can I have some chips? No, those are my dad’s chips. Can I have a glass of OJ? Nope, mom’s OJ. It works for them, but seems completely selfish and unreasonable to me.
24. Language is a construct, anyway.
Not so weird, but my girlfriend’s mother invents a lot of words or nicknames for things, mostly portmanteaus. My girlfriend and her brother grew up using them as regular words, and she seems shocked when she realizes that “twiggle” is not a real word that is widely used.
25. Don’t be a hypocrite.
Feed the dogs from the table and then get pissed when the dogs are begging for food.
26. Spread the hug.
They show barely any sign of physical affection, not saying that’s bad, just strange to me. I come from a huggy family and when I hug my in-laws it’s awkward and makes me laugh.
27. Shhh! This is the best part.
The television is on all the time. It could be Christmas and everyone just sits there and watches All in the Family marathons.
Bugs me a lot. We’re here, let’s socialize! What’s the point of even going if we just sit there?
28. Mind your own beeswax.
They talk behind peoples backs All the time. About each other, about friends, about strangers. I was raised in a “don’t have anything nice to say? Then shut up” household.
It bugs my SO when I don’t engage in her trash-talking. She asks if I have anything to add to the matter and when I say no she thinks it’s because I’m taking their side but in reality, and I have to remind her of this, it’s because it’s none of my business!
29. Small mistake, big reaction.
I could go into details of the narcissism and general emotional abuse they purvey, but my wife’s mom fights with her husband about everything. She left Thanksgiving once because her husband said “quarter to 6” when it was actually “quarter after 6.”
This resulted in my mother-in-law screaming, crying, and running out to her car to drive around for five or ten minutes. Then she sat in silence at dinner, which was fine with me.
30. Just slightly inconvenient…
My boyfriend’s family stores all of the bath towels in the parent’s bathroom. Every time one of the kids wanted to take a shower, they would go to their parent’s room, take a towel, shower, and then return it. Keep in mind, the kid’s bathroom HAS TOWEL RACKS… they just don’t use them for reasons beyond me.
31. Please let me go.
They are the most dedicated lingerers I have ever met. It led to a serious talk with my boyfriend about what the “screaming with my eyes” signal means. I have to limit gatherings with his extended family because they’re so draining.
The shortest public dinner I have had with them was three hours (not counting the goodbye ritual, which is worthy of its own rant). About 75% of conversations are stories everyone’s heard before, a few of which are purposefully always retold as an unspoken tradition of sorts.
And then, not only is there this weird expectation to stay long after signing the check, rather than going somewhere else that isn’t closing up, but they will insist on staying when they’ve run out of things to talk about, sitting in a few minutes of silence until someone thinks of something to say (usually remembering another story to retell) and then falling back into silence.
The night will inevitably end with the mortifying process of being the people lingering after closing time, sitting in silence as the rest of the table is oblivious to the glares of the staff. Worse than table campers who just can’t find an end to their lively convo–no, the staff obviously sees us holding up closing so that we can sit in uncomfortable silence together.
And when my boyfriend and I say we’re tired and begin the goodbye ritual, even we are visibly struggling to keep our eyes open, we’re met with genuine surprise and a chorus of WHAT? SO SOON? LET ME RETELL THIS STORY BEFORE YOU GO!
32. Eighteen minutes…
Every Thanksgiving in Detroit, the local rock station plays Alice’s Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie (a fun 18-minute long folk song if you’ve never heard it) at 11am exactly.
My wife’s whole family gathers in the living room and listens to the song in more or less silence, aside from the occasional hum or chuckle. It’s their Thanksgiving tradition…
33. Postmortem celebration.
My in-laws sang happy birthday to my brother-in-law at a funeral viewing while standing around the open casket so grandma could be involved.
I had to leave the room. Weirdest thing I’ve ever experienced.
34. Yup, makes perfect sense.
Poop knives. My sister’s husband’s family didn’t have plungers when they were growing up, they had poop knives. Each member of the family had his or her own knife. Pretty self-explanatory, clog toilet => stab poop with knife => poop knife.
35. You can’t quit cold turkey.
My girlfriend’s family cooks the turkey the night before thanksgiving and then eats cold turkey on thanksgiving. WTF?
36. But why??
On holidays they have the same 3 or 4 people in the kitchen making food. They must put onions in or on everything. Ham, smothered in onions. Potatoes, filled with onions. Corn, filled with onions. Bread, onion bread. Jello, onions in it. Cottage cheese, onions stirred in it. To make matters worse my son and I are both allergic to onions.
We must bring our own food to eat. Several times we brought our own food and someone noticed the lack of onions. They stirred a bowl full in the dish/crock pot without a thought. We then had to make a trip to the grocery store, buy something, go back and cook it. What the heck is wrong with these people? Why are onions so amazing to them? Why would you see a dish without onions in it and immediately think, I need to add onions to this?