How have you been lately?

The closer mom in law’s arrival day for her next visit gets, the more my wife gets frustrated. Not so much by the fact that she will have to endure her own mother for three months, oh no, it’s the calls and messages she receives from her mom. It goes even that far that my wife tries to ignore the calls at some days or not even looking at the messages and the reason is very simple: She knows exactly what her mother will ask her again.

Let me give you an example of a normal conversation those two are having

Mother in law: “You are everyday home, why you don’t call me?”
Wife: “Because there is nothing new to talk about, you ask me the same things over and over again every single day!”
MIL: “I see, so how have you been lately?”
W: “Exactly this mom!! You just asked me the same yesterday and the day before yesterday and all those days before! You think I wouldn’t tell you if really something would happen here?”
MIL: “I see, but what should I bring with me? I have no winter clothes yet, what winter clothes do I need?”
W: “Again mom! I know already for half-year that you don’t have winter clothes and we will buy everything necessary here, so stop it.”
MIL: “Are you sure? What should I bring for my grandson?”
W: “…”

And the conversation goes on …  surprisingly even though my wife loathes those calls they can take several hours a day.

I am especially amused by the part of winter clothes which comes up in every call. Not just because of the constant repetition of it but more because I know how much mom in law loves shopping (soon she might be a shopaholic). So each time she asks her daughter she tries to get something like a “permission” to go on a winter clothing shopping frenzy. Granted, she needs winter clothes but for the short time until we buy clothes together, she will get some stuff from us.

Mother in law in Stockholm with Royal Guard
Mother in law in Stockholm with Royal Guard

Do you have similar stories about calling your mom or family?

2 thoughts on “How have you been lately?”

  1. Very similar situation with my family. I was left alone in our flat for two weeks when my parents went on holiday recently (Hooray! House to myself! Quiet times! Eating ice cream out of the tub!). Every single day without fail, my mum called and asked me the same questions in this order: “So how are you?” “What did you eat for lunch/dinner?” “Is there anything else you want to tell me?” I was always very amused by the third/last question.

    I am only speculating, but I’m guessing this Asian parents’ concern for their offspring is an Asian thing. Family and pro-creation are very important Asian virtues, at least for the older Asian generation. Sometimes it is as if Asian parents can’t bear to be apart from their children, needing to know every single detail in their offspring’s lives. Some may call such behaviour over-protective, but I reckon it’s more of an over-concerned thing. Or perhaps the Asian parent is lonely and wants a chat.

    1. It seems that most Asian families are similar when it comes to keeping contact with their offspring.
      But then again, my parents are complaining as well as soon as I don’t contact them for a week or so. Maybe it is just the worries parents have when their children have left their homes.

      Oh, before I forget, my wifes mom is only like that during winter time, as all her usual dancing activities are on break. During the warmer season she is busy at least 5h a day with dancing so she does not call that often 🙂

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