Tag Archives: FIL

Real Competence

For a long long time I did not write any stories about my dear mother-in-law or the rest of the crazy bunch. Sure I did mention some of it in the post “Three Months Survived” but that was more or less just the basic stuff you might expect anyways from her. It is not that nothing happened all the time but I just did not feel like writing about it. I can’t say whether is was due to the fact that it all is so ridiculous or that I might become just a lazy blogger.

You all have read over the past years that my mother-in-law is a bit unique. She has her own view towards how the world functions, she is always right about everything and she brings chaos wherever she goes. Guess how it is to have such person also being responsible for some of the distribution process of our business activities in China. Yes you read it right, SHE is responsible and as you might imagine it is not going really smooth. To describe her tasks in a short and simple way: She receives boxes from us in which different products are already sorted in a way that she just needs to put them into a new smaller box and sends them to the customer according to the instructions given by my wife.

I have everything under control!

There is really no way anything could wrong, am I right? I mean it is all sorted already and never anything went wrong when FIL was still doing it (he started working again this August so he can not do it any longer). I guess both my wife and I were just too positive and spoiled with the great work FIL was pulling off. There is currently really no week without at least two things going horribly wrong when MIL is doing the work. Remember everything is already sorted in those boxes we send to China and all she has to do is follow the instructions my wife sends her via WeChat about who receives what products and what little gifts to pack. I don’t even know where to start describing this whole disaster which brings my wife near insanity. I will give you only few examples which I can handle right now as thinking too much might give me another migraine attack.

I do everything right, even this dog agrees!

So how can dear crazy MIL do anything wrong? Oh that is so easy with her! Remember I just mentioned that she simply needs to follow the few instructions my wife sends her via WeChat such as which of the pre-packed products belong to which customer and the address. Nearly every single time it happens that some products end up at the wrong person as she never really reads the entire instructions. To make it worse she even has the nerve to tell my wife that she didn’t tell her good enough and it does not help that my wife even resends the same message again to show that everything was explained. Of course then MIL just blames her husband, even when he wasn’t around because it can never be her fault.

Look at FIL’s hairs, at least now we know why he lost them all ever since getting married…

Another classic is that she just takes stuff out of the sorted products and gives them to some other people.  Yes, she just takes out some items and gives them to others not even seeing any problem that might cause for us when the customer is missing here and there some bought stuff.  Her excuses are usually “No no, it was not with the other things, it was just alone there so I thought it is not meant for anyone”, or “I gave it to X and Y so they can try it out, they might buy them also later”. With these fine ideas she has made my wife always so happy. Whenever I see this kind of disbelief in my wifes eyes I know that it has to do with her mother. That woman has a real competence in driving other people insane.

#Nathancuty in the claws of MIL
#Nathancuty in the claws of MIL

Last but not least of her showing real competence is that she does not even send some of the boxes, just keeps them at home. Then it is either the customer complaining after a while that nothing has arrived or actually FIL asking my wife why so many boxes are still at their home. When asking dear MIL why she hasn’t sent the boxes it is either “You didn’t tell me where it should go”, or “I didn’t realize that there are some boxes here”, or even “You stupid father has been hiding them!”.  In the end it is always either the fault of FIL or because my wife didn’t tell her what to do. It is just amazing to see what she is messing up all the time with this. We really would love FIL doing MIL’s job again but he started working full-time because “I can’t stand being whole day with your mother”. We know what he means so we can’t say anything about him working again at some company.

Do you know a person who can mess up pretty much everything?

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The Silent One

Last week I wrote about the often unpredictable behavior of my crazy Chinese mother-in-law. In the comments I was also asked how her husband is dealing with it all and I have here something like an answer.

First time carrying his grandson #Nathancuty

All the general info about him I wrote already down in two other posts About Father-in-law and The Love for Table Tennis. For the ones who don’t want to read it all I give you some short summary. He is in his mid fifties, loves to play table tennis, eats tons of sweets, as an OCD when it comes to cleaning and is able to eat about double the amount of food for lunch and dinner than the rest of the family combined. In the post About Father-in-law I wrote that he is working as a driver in one of the city’s bureaus. This is no longer true as the whole department has been shut down by the government to safe some money. Now he is unemployed and bored as hell every day at home. For him it is not about being unemployed and not earning money but that he has too much time on his hands out of nowhere. Worst of all for him is that he is whole day home and so is his wife!


Watching over Nathan

Wheras MIL is a very strong person he is more the weak one. He easily gives in when his wife has something to complain about and most of the times I think he is doing so in order to escape the endless annoyance of MIL by making her think she won once again and shuts up. I know this might sound mean but once you heard one of her charades you will understand. Come to think of, his wife always has something to complain about him but usually it is actually something she did wrong herself. She pushes down by accident some vase? His fault because he placed it there and so on. So how can he partially escape the madness called his wife? He plays with his phone some weird farming games or does so on the computer whenever he is not cleaning the apartment or watching sports on TV. The good thing for him is that MIL loves shopping and goes dancing and thus is often gone for many peaceful hours. I think he is always looking forward when MIL stays with us for three months…

Though he is very invisible when going around as his wife wants to be the center of everything he still shows his presence when needed. When we need something he goes off and gets it for us in an instant. When we want to cross the street he will go ahead and wave to the cars to let us through. When he sees my wife looking at something in the shop window he will immediately gives her money (though my wife always takes the money she returns it before flying back to Europe without anything spent). He is very caring but sometimes way too much as he gets afraid that something is not good enough. Everytime before buying something he will carefully check the item he wants to buy to make sure that everything is 100% fine. When going out to eat he will clean each cup, bowl and the chopsticks. At home he is cleaning the apartment twice a day, each time done three times. Because he is so worried all the time that everything works fine he has high blood pressure and from is former afro hairstyle nothing is left.

Meet Afroman

Of course we want to give him sometimes some nice presents but that is a futile effort. Not only does he not want anything but when he actually gets something from us he will store it safely away because he wants to wear/ use the old things first until they are broken. During MIL’s days as a model she often got some nice clothes and also gave him some. These days are over twenty years ago and still the clothes he received are originally packed and stored in his closet. Few years ago we bought him a new shaving machine, it took over a year until he used it and only because MIL threw away his old one as even threatening him that she will give the shaver to me would make him use it. In the end all I can say about FIL is that he is a very reliable person who prefers to stick to the background and is thus the exact opposite of MIL.

Do you also have a more quiet person in the family who is always there when you need her/him?

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About Father-in-law

Today will be only about my father-in-law. I had so many stories about mother-in-law through which you probably got an idea how “not normal” she is most of the time. FIL however was mostly left out because he likes to be more in the background and basically doesn’t do any (most of the time) crazy things his wife tends to do.


FIL3He is now in his mid-fifties and still works in the city’s bureau which is responsible to give shops permission to open etc. There he does not have a simple desk job but drives higher officials from the bureau around when they need it or assigns other drivers for similar tasks. Long before he got this job he was a taxi driver and these days each time we take a taxi he has much to talk with the drivers. Enough about this kind of information let’s go to the more interesting ones. As I mentioned in many other articles he likes to clean. I believe it is partly because he wants to have everything clean but also due to his OCD. This means that he is not simply cleaning everything once a week or every few days, no, he cleans the entire apartment each day and each cleaning his done three times. So each day when he comes home the first thing he does is cleaning for nearly two hours before getting some rest and eats his dinner.


However this cleaning is greatly reduced when his wife is not at home, for example when she is on some holiday trip with her friends. Then he cleans much less and I pretty much know why. Because he likes to clean he was also a great asset last summer when my in-laws visited us in Finland as he could help in cleaning and polishing my car! In China my in-laws don’t have an own car because they live right in the city center of Xi’an and can reach everything very easy either by bus or taxi. Whenever they do need a car, FIL just borrows one from his work place for a few days. Even though he does not take as good care with these cars as he does with his own property, he still keeps them in a pretty good outward appearance.


FIL2As mention in the other article, he loves table tennis. Usually you would think that he has with his crazy working and cleaning schedule no time to follow his sport but you are wrong. Because his work is most of the time pretty easy he has a lot of free time in which he goes to the sports hall at his work place together with other workers and play table tennis. I guess he plays nearly every day when we are not visiting. Why not when we are visiting? Because in his free time he usually comes to help us out by bringing some boxes of drinks or fruits or goes eating with us for lunch.

From this point on you can also see his very caring and always tries his best to do something nice for his daughter and son-in-law (ME!). Sometimes he is also overdoing it a bit. For example whenever I say I liked this or that drink he will bring next day several packages of these drinks and carries them alone to the apartment (these boxes combined are damn heavy, even for me). It seems also because he always tries his best he also worries a lot. Actually, he worries about everything and this might be also a reason why he started to lose hairs and the few remaining turning grey in his twenties.


Now to his other interest: Sweets

Whenever we go to China we bring a lot of chocolate with us. These sugar/ fat bombs are mostly for MIL to give to her many friends but also for FIL. You see, he is a real chocolate destruction machine. I have never seen anybody eating more sweet stuff than him. It appears that his body does not need anything else but chocolate to keep running. Because he likes sweets so much he also brings us some traditional Chinese sweets 点心 each time we are there. I know he means well but most of these sweets are really so dry that I have the feeling of eating dust (but there are some good ones as well!).

As you can see, my father-in-law is a pretty usual guy, nothing compared to his wife. Maybe because he is so normal I prefer having him around rather than noisy and crazy MIL.

Shiny car