More on being an asshole

(Not to be confused with this rockin’ mama over here, you understand, but I believe there’s enough asshole to go around.)

Recently those of us participating in BlogHerAds were asked to state for the record whether or not we could commit to profanity-free writing as—go figure—some advertisers would rather not spend their dollars on pottymouths. Although I didn’t have to think twice about checking the “I do hereby solemnly swear to use my genteel language and only fart butterflies” box over on Want Not, after some thought I decided that I wasn’t comfortable making that pledge here. Because although as a writer I generally feel that there are better ways to express yourself than profanity, sometimes nothing else will do.

Sometimes you just have to be able to say, “God. I’m such an asshole.”

The post I wrote this weekend about the car was meant to be funny, and I guess it wasn’t. Sometimes that’s what happens when you’re an asshole.

I apparently deeply offended both my in-laws and my husband, and there really aren’t words to express how mortified I am at having done so. In my mind, it was a light-hearted poke at my current vehicular situation (see this post and also—if you have a time machine—the first part which I will be sharing at some point in the future). In reality it came off all wrong; instead of reading as “haha have some humble pie, Mir” I guess it was more “wow, nothing is good enough for me.” I mean, I didn’t see it that way but what I meant and what was inferred clashed, badly, which is a mark of lousy writing either way.

And while I’m fully willing to cop to being an asshole (Hi! I’m an asshole!), I also felt like a huge injustice was perpetrated while I wasn’t looking, and I turned around to discover an angry mob at my door. That was unsettling, to say the least. This may come as a shock but even us assholes have feelings. (I know! It’s shocking!)

Otto and I had to have a couple of Big Serious Discussions about all of this because, you know, I kind of dig him and I don’t like it when we misunderstand each other, and hooboy if you could somehow quantify how many misunderstandings he and I managed to stuff into this particular weekend you would be tempted to liken those few days to the clown car of time, what with all the fucked-up communications or lack thereof we managed to cram into such a relatively brief period of time.

And on the one hand, getting three months into our marriage before having such a stereotypical “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” run-in is probably pretty good. On the other hand, I like to think that we are both working pretty hard at this whole marriage thing with mindfulness as the watchword of the whole shebang here, and the reality is that we both failed pretty miserably the last few days and that just sucked all around.

Otto’s brother Wild Thing already doesn’t read my blog because he feels like it’s somehow spying on Otto and/or too personal (he’s told me both, on different occasions) and thanks to the visit this weekend and my acute case of foot-in-mouth I hesitate to consider what he must think of me now. In fact, thinking about it sort of makes me cringe, which is the part that I think is hardest to explain.

When I was married before, I felt like my in-laws never really liked me. Things were said and done—some overt, some less obvious—that made it patently clear that I was NOT One Of Them and also that I was merely being tolerated. Now, I’m not saying that my in-laws were awful to me. For the most part they were fine. There was one particular incident where there was unquestionably some inappropriate behavior, and while FOR ME that was the end of any pretense that they cared for me, there were years beforehand when they really tried to conceal their distaste, and years after that when they accepted my distancing without questioning (maybe they were relieved).

I didn’t have much in common with my ex’s family and maybe all of that was to be expected, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me. Particularly in the later years of our marriage, when I felt like I was really putting up with quite a lot, it was aggravating to me that I wasn’t given ANY credit whatsoever. Of course, then we got divorced and now they view me as the devil incarnate, but at this point I don’t care. While I was doing my best to do right by my ex, though, I found it hurtful.

My new in-laws are great, and we actually have quite a lot in common (I mean, besides Otto even), and getting along hasn’t been a problem. At least not to my knowledge, anyway; maybe I’m becoming more oblivious in my old age. And they all know about the blog so it’s not as though they are unaware that I am a giant dork who tells the internet about my boobs or whatever.

What I realized this weekend when I apparently offended everyone and it took Otto a while to get around to talking to me about it was a couple of things. First, I think I suffer from Post-Traumatic In-Law Disorder (PTILD). I have a somewhat pathetic need to feel like Otto’s family likes me, both because I like them and because ONE family finding me distasteful could be a fluke but TWO families feeling that way is just proof that I’m an asshole. (Don’t you love my specious reasoning?) To say that I was crushed to hear that my words were taken the wrong way would be minimizing it. But in the midst of being embarrassed and sad I was also irrationally angry that no one thought to give me the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I don’t deserve it, but I dunno, I thought I did.

The other thing I realized is that I am still grieving, deeply, for my old life. What I need in this time of transition is a bit of patience, a bit of understanding, and yeah, maybe a pass or two on some less-than-perfect behavior because in addition to being an asshole, I’m highly imperfect on my best day and kind of a jerk on my worst. Otto asked me last night (for not the first time) if I want to go back home, and I had to explain how frustrating I find that question, because it implies that if I am not happy RIGHT THIS SECOND that I will never be happy here, and even I (deep in my fish-out-of-water cocoon of homesickness) know that’s not the case.

I don’t want to go back to what I had, I just want to feel comfortable in my new life, and unfortunately that takes time. We have an interesting phenomenon going on here wherein when the kids are falling apart I am worried about them but more or less at my best, because they need me and I rise to the occasion. By the end of last week both kids were talking about school and new friends and getting invited on playdates and settling in, and I breathed a sigh of relief and then quietly started to unravel from the last two months of pent-up anxiety.

Me, I think that’s perfectly normal. Sucky, sure. Unpleasant, absolutely. But normal. Otto took one look and decided it was a sign that I was depressed and miserable and hating everything and wanting to go home.

Throw in a few miscommunications and you have a recipe for a few really unhappy days, I guess. (Oh, we worked it all out. Everything’s fine. There’s just some residual stinging. Maybe I should put some meat tenderizer on it.)

None of this excuses me or changes the fact that I am, basically, an asshole, who is sort of wallowing. But I guess the point is that I’m an asshole dealing with a lot of things and I have basically good intentions despite somewhat lacking execution. And that and a couple of bucks will get me a cup of coffee.


  1. Jeanette

    I totally know where you’re coming from.

  2. chris

    I think there is a huge gulf sometimes between the way we intend for things to come across and the way that they are perceived. And it always has to do with our own baggage, the person writing, the people reading…

    I read your post and laughed and didn’t think you were being the least bit ungrateful. Because I love me some sarcasm. And l knew that was how you were writing.

    But from the point of view of someone who has given a gift maybe it wasn’t so funny? Maybe their baggage is feeling like they are never appreciated and so they read with those glasses on? I am just speculating here.

    The other possibility that exists is that you are all assholes, in which case you have married into the PERFECT family.

  3. Woman with Kids

    Oh Mir, I’m sorry. It sucks when things just go wrong, intended or not.

    And you guys? The thing both of you need to realize: This *is* home. Good, bad and ugly; welcome home.

  4. daisy

    I’m a bit of a lurker, but I wanted to let you know that you aren’t alone with the “foot in the mouth” disease. I have it and frequently it rears its ugly head and I feel horrible about something I said that was meant in jest but not taken that way. Sometimes people just don’t get “my funny” and I can’t believe they didn’t know I was just joking.

    Of course isn’t it wonderful that you and Otto were able to talk about it and work thru it. Hopefully his family is as wonderful as you think they are and they will see that some of us just flub up when we’re trying to be funny (probably like me now).

  5. Ed

    Wow, I hate miscommunicating with my wife. Unfortunately, it happens all too frequently.

    We, too, have a car given to us by my mother and it has somewhat been a source or friction in our home. It’s not the nicest car in the world, but in our current situation, it’s a FREE CAR!

    I always thought your situation with the blog might at times be a little odd: anonymous, yet not (to some people). It might comfort your in-laws to know that most of us out here have no idea who any of you are. I know your first name and that you live in the state Georgia. That’s it. So, it’s not like you told a close friend or relative (who knows your in-laws), “I got this crappy car”. THAT would have been insulting, because it would have been apparent that you really didn’t like the car or the gesture. But, that’s not what you did. You told a bunch of people that don’t know any of the players involved, “I got a car that’s not perfect and I got stuck at home for a day”. To the 250 million other people in this country, a perfectly innocuous statement. And hopefully, nobody is mortified, because really, everyone is still very anonymous.

    I hope you in-law relationships continue to get better, because we’ve all had our share of run-ins with the “out-laws” and they’re really not fun for anyone involved.

  6. dad

    I don’t think this is the first time ever you have suffered from “foot in mouth.”
    It sounds like you’re on a twelve step program to being a recovering asshole. And it’s much easier when you have someone to provide support and understanding.
    Yea Otto!

  7. ChristieNY

    Oh Mir, you are NOT an a$$hole. You are a wonderful woman who makes lemonade out of the lemons in life and invites us all to sit around and share a glass.

    You NEED time to unravel and then build up your relationship here in your new home with your new family. You have been living changerously, so many huge changes in such a short time. You’ve endured so much and have managed to shine through most of it. Yeah, so things got a bit dirty this weekend. It happens. Let it happen now so it doesn’t happen later.

    Your family will be just fine, and by Thanksgiving I bet you’ll be happily kissing babies and enjoying laughs with them. Please, don’t beat yourself up over this. I’m sure they will get past it, because they know you are worth it. And Otto? He knows you are worth it too.

    Happily ever after, Mir. It will all be fine, and welcome to your new home together. From here on out, “HOME” means right were you are, with your family, in your new house with the pool and gazebo and new memories being built. (Got that Otto? ;))

    Hugs to you both!

  8. mar

    OMG – I love your dad!

    And I for one, didn’t take your (first) post as being anything more than poking fun at yourself and your situation. But I’m a little warped, so …

    When I moved, it was over a year before I really felt like it was “home”. Something about doing everything for the second time (like raking leaves and knowing where to dump them, getting ready for the holidays and knowing where the tree should go, etc.) made it seem more like home. Before that, I was homesick – for stupid things like friends I could drop by for just a 15 minute visit, to my favorite chocolate croissant at my fave bakery. And it was a lot simpler for me – same state, no kids (at the time). You have some extra “challenges” to work with. You and Otto will be fine as long as you keep talking. After all, Otto already knew this about you and married you anyway, right?

    Good luck!!

  9. Therese

    When I read about your car situation, I picked up the light sarcastic tone right away. It’s not that you were complaining–it’s the nature of your column. And since I’m a rather sarcastic bugger myself, I would not have been offended in the least.
    But Otto’s family will love and accept you, because they love Otto and want his happiness. And you, my dear, and your kidlets are the source of that!

  10. LadyBug Crossing

    It’s amazing how something so virtually insignificant can be blown all out of proportion. You are absolutely normal… okay… so maybe not absolutely… but you are normal. The feelings you have are normal. As soon as you start to meet more people and get involved in school activities, you’ll feel more at home.

    We moved a lot when I was a kid, so for me it was different. I just left it all behind and went. I did that with this move, too — except email keeps me connected with those two or three people I adore. The rest of them, I can live without. The italian coldcuts — those I miss!

    As for the residual stinging – I think bacon salt will make it all better.


  11. Katie

    Sorry to hear the in-laws are upset. I thought the post was hilarious but I like sarcasm too. And irony, I love me some irony.

    Blogging family stuff can be such a minefield. Even my husband who knows that I like to exaggerate and use sarcasm takes my writing the wrong way some days. So while I loved your post, I wouldn’t dare write anything even close to it about my in-laws (but I wouldn’t go as far to say you are an asshole. Just a little brave and naive). Therefore I blow as much sunshine and butterflies up my in-law’s asses on my blog as possible. lol

    As for settling in, honestly the hardest part for me was about 6 months in. Give yourself a year at least though, you’ve made a HUGE change.

  12. Burgh Baby's Mom

    I’m a wee bit sarcastic myself (OK, OK, I’m a lot bit sarcastic), so I’ve been down this path myself. It does hurt to know that something that was intended to be funny didn’t come across quite right.

  13. Not The Mama

    I’m sorry. Miscommunication is one of the hardest things in the world, especially for people for writing and communicating is an intregral part of their lives. For the record, I thought your post this weekend was hilarious and it never occurred to me that it might offend someone. But I suppose it is always different when you are a subject in the story.

    I sympathized with this line so deeply, “Otto asked me last night (for not the first time) if I want to go back home, and I had to explain how frustrating I find that question…”

    My partner and I are in a similar situation. She grew up in Georgia and her whole family and all her friends are here. After almost a year here, I do truly love Georgia (most of the time anyway). But the first few months were REALLY hard and there are still times when I am homesick or I feel like all my friends are HER friends who just tolerate me and I miss my REAL friends. Or I just feel out of place or whatever. And if I complain or let me feelings show, she has a tendency to overreact. She has repeatedly asked me if I regret coming here, or if I wish I could move home or whatever. And it makes me SO MAD because a single bad day (or even a bad week) does not outweigh the overwhelming happiness I feel otherwise. Overall I am so happy and so in love and it’s just that every once in awhile, I need to vent my sad or lonely feelings so I can move on.

  14. Traci

    I just wanted you to know, the car thing aside (which I found rather funny), I completely hear you on the moving situation. I, too, have just left my comfortable and familiar life in Southern California and am now a Texan (or so they tell me). I have had a few meltdowns recently now that the kids are semi-settled. It’s not that I’d change the move…I just want some feeling of comfort for myself. I miss my old friends and routines and know that the things I do and say make me sound like an chronicaly depressed jackass. Maybe I am. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone with feeling a bit like a fish out of water and it is indeed tough!! Hang in there knowing that there is a Californian feeling very strange in the middle of boot and cowboy hat country.

  15. Leandra

    Yikes! I’m so sorry that happened this weekend. Great birthday weekend, huh? I guess I’m kind of with you in that it seems like they should have cut you a little slack — I mean, you’ve been through two of the most momentous events that one can have in one’s life — getting married, moving halfway across the country. Plus, you’ve got kids which sort of ratchets it up to the equivalent of 3.5 events, possibly even 4.

    That’s one reason why I’ve been very, very hesitant to write about family. Now I’m even MORE hesitant!!

  16. Janis

    Hang in there. It totally sucks to be misunderstood and then have to fix it with Big Serious Discussions with your partner, but hopefully it’s all downhill from here on out. With any luck ya’ll will laugh about the car incident at the next family gathering.

  17. shaz

    wow, good luck! I once offended my cousin’s wife (un-intensionally, of course) and they made me look like the biggest looser in the world! To me, I felt really sad that they thought so little of me as a person – I mean how could they even think that I would intensionally try to make her look bad. It was just so stupid, I was actually glad it happened because at least now I know what they think of me (I do still talk to them of course, but I don’t feel close anymore). Obviously your case is different, I imagine they are just getting to know you. People who don’t understand blogs usually hate them!

    take care,
    also an asshole

  18. Summer

    If suffering from the People Don’t Get It When I’m Joking Disorder makes one an asshole, then I’m practically Queen of Assholes. Just ask my first mother-in-law! (I have two MILs simultaneously, thanks to the wonder of parental divorce and remarriage. MIL2 thinks I’m awesome. MIL1 sometimes thinks I’m an asshole, but luckily I have produced a very cute kid and that somewhat compensates.) For nearly eight years of marriage, and the six years of living in sin before that, I’ve been successfully negotiating a relationship despite frequently saying things that get me in trouble with the family, so it’s with some authority that I can tell you that it’s a very GOOD sign that you and Otto have been able to communicate your way through this misunderstanding. As much as the serious talks suck, it’s ever so much better than letting things stew.

    A really nice Christmas gift for your MIL might be a good idea, too. Something thoughtful, with the clearance price stickers carefully peeled off. (See what I mean about the humor? I can’t stop.)

  19. Bob

    despite your history with each other, this is still a new marriage. It takes time to cement a relationship and to build it up to the level where he’ll automatically recognize when to give you a free pass ’cause he knows you’re just stressing. The same thing goes for in-laws.

    while giving shouldn’t be wrapped up with expectations of a “proper” reaction from the recipient, it often is – and in our culture the more expensive a present, the higher expectation of gratification from the recipient.

    and then add little ms. sarcasm to the mix and kablooie. that doesn’t make you an asshole, it just makes you who an unfortunate victim.

    I’m sure they will get over it soon and will be expressing their undying admiration for you once again.

    maybe by buying your house.

  20. paige

    Sounds like it’s been a rough few days. I’m so sorry. It does sound like you’re working past it. The whole “it’s a process” thing really sucks sometimes.

    Maybe if you sprinkle bacon salt on something really yummy and present it to Otto? Or maybe send the in-laws a case of bacon salt?

    (I’m waiting for my bacon salt to arrive. If you couldn’t tell.)

  21. Aimee

    I read your blog every day — as you know — and I didn’t take it your initial post as a slam at your in-laws’ gift at all. I took it as “Yay! We have two vehicles, and so what if the one I’m using isn’t perfect, it works!” The way you wrote it, the gratitude came first.

    However, one thing that is true about writing is that people can and do read all kinds of tone into what you’re writing, whether or not it’s the tone you intended. I’m really glad you guys worked everything out. Oh, and my then-boyfriend, now-husband asked me the “do you want to go home” question once after we moved to San Diego, and I had the same reaction you did. This *is* home, but it’s not easy being so far away from everyone else I care about.

    Be patient with yourself. You’re not an asshole. You’re human.

  22. mar

    BTW, if, as your dad mentioned, you do have a 12 step program for recovering assholes, please, please share … as a matter of fact, I bet you could make a good bit of money selling one! I’d be one of your first customers!!

  23. jenn

    I still love you, even if you are a (recovering) asshole. I myself am a bitch. Not even a recovering one.

    This too shall pass, wise and pretty one.

  24. Jessica

    Oh, I’m sorry that the post, which I thought was funny, was taken the wrong way. And moving is HARD. I am from the northeast, and b/c my husband and I were in the military we moved a lot–we were in GA for 6 months, 2 different times, and I didn’t love it–I felt like it was a different planet. Now we live sort of in between there and “home”, and itsbetter, but sometimes its still hard. I love my house, my neighborhood, the school system, the parks nearby…love it. But we have been here 2 years and I still get homesick when I talk to my best friends, and they are all 500 miles away, and hanging out together. And I am not…I have friends here, but not the kind I can call at the last minute and say I NEED YOU and they’ll be there right away. I am working on it though, but it takes time. You guys will figure it out too. Good luck!!!

  25. becky

    you know, i took it as your sense of humor and kidding. maybe because i think we have similar senses of humor? and also, i’m used to the self-deprecating way you write (i mean that in a good way). maybe the in-laws just haven’t been reading long enough for that?

    glad you worked it out. it’s still an adjustment period and hopefully everyone’s realizing that right now. i remember the first disagreement with my hubby. i thought the world was ending. but when we actually talked it out rationally, it wasn’t all that bad.

    we just have to remember that men are NOT mind readers, nor are they good at subtle hints of how we feel. we have to actually TELL them outright. imagine that. ;)

  26. Genevieve

    When my husband moved down the coast to live with me, I felt very guilty whenever he was longing for New England things, expressed that he missed his old home, or expressed dislike for things about his new locale. I felt like I had inveigled him down here and it hadn’t lived up to his expectations, and that when he was saying things like that, it meant he was disappointed in me and the place I had lured him to.
    It took me a while to realize that he could dislike some things without being sorry that he’d moved with me. And also that it could take him a while to adjust to leaving the area where he had spent his entire life, and that that was normal.

  27. saucygrrl

    Mir, I’m sorry your last post didn’t come across as you intended it to for your family. Personally, I found it very funny and I didn’t think you were sounding bratty or ungrateful at all. But then again, I’m not them.

    I know I’m new to your site, but one of the reasons I love coming back here is that I feel like I can relate to you. So when I sit here and feel like it’s me against the world I’ll pop on over here and read what you have to say for the day and I feel comforted. So, I guess what I’m saying is that I’m glad you are the way you are. ;)

  28. Laura

    I took your car remark to mean “It’s not perfect, but it doesn’t have to be perfect to be perfect: it has ice-cold air.” That’s all that matters – Texas, Georgia or wherever you are.

  29. Sheryl

    Yeesh, I hate those cringe-worthy moments. I hope Otto’s mom knows that you’re really grateful to have the car, because I know you are. All the stress you’re feeling is perfectly normal. I felt the exact same way every time we’ve moved, and I wasn’t even trying to adjust to a new husband/step family. Hang in there. Eat some pie.

  30. EmmaC

    The line in your post about ‘still grieving for your old life’ really struck a chord with me. My life also went through a huge upheaval a few months ago and while I’m MOST DEFINITELY happier, more healthy, and more truly my Real Self now, I definitely still grieve for that old self and old life. It was safe. It was comfortable. I knew where all the trap doors and monster pits and secret places were. Now, everything is new. Exciting and dynamic and wondrous, but also scary and unknown and shaky. And sometimes (often late at night and after I’ve accidentally consumed a bag of chocolate chips. And maybe a beer.) I start to doubt myself and my decisions, and I really really crave the comfort of that old me.

    Big hugs to you.

  31. Karen

    You are not an asshole. You are human. You are a great mom and a great wife. Sometimes people will take what you say out of context or the wrong way, but that it as much their fault as yours.

    You know it just takes time to adjust. You and the kids will be fine and laughing at these days – eventually.

  32. Heidi

    I think “asshole” is way too harsh of a term to use. That would only apply if you PURPOUSELY caused someone hurt. Foot in mouth? Well, yeah, that’s probably a better fit. (I should know, because my size five-and-a-halfs fit so NICELY in my mouth.) Just like you’d tell your kids, though: Try not to beat yourself up over something that’s already happened; try to learn from it and move on. [Gently removing self-flagellation device from pretty Mir’s hand.]

  33. LuAnn

    Think of it as a cosmic balance. For each asshole moment, you get an angel moment at some point to balance it out. :)

  34. aharris


    I understand.

    I get asked, “Do you want to go back home?” all too frequently by The Mr.

    We just moved FROM Pennsylvania TO Colorado. He’s employed; I’m not. It sucks, yes. I get bored, I wish I had something to do, and I get grumpy because of many factors – no income, haven’t gone outside in DAYS, etc etc. (We don’t have kids.)

    But he’ll ask me that question, and like you, it’s incredibly frustrating. I try to articulate that to him but it comes off as snippy and mean, like I’m picking a fight. Like you said, maybe I’m not happy THIS very moment, but that doesn’t mean I won’t BE happy soon in the future.

    I’m still adjusting to The Great Westward Move, and it takes time, but it’s hard to convince someone else otherwise when they’re already adjusted and feeling cozy in their surroundings.

  35. Ayla-Monic

    Throw some Bacon Salt on that humble pie, Mir… it may as well taste good goin’ down.

  36. Kati

    Oy. This is exactly why I’m so afraid to start blogging myself – my tendency towards hyperbole is sure to put me squarely into the “asshole” category for sure.

    And it’s OK to grieve and be a bit cranky for the old homestead. It took me almost a year to adjust to a move from Hip City to Modest-Town-by-the-Gulf, and I only moved a few hours away. Without any kids. So I think you’re doing just fine.

    Tangential thought – as I was reading the post, I had a soundtrack playing in the background in my mind. It was Dennis Leary’s “Asshole” song. Anyone else remember? “I’m an asshole, eee-yooo, eee-yoo, e-yo-e-yo! A! S-S! H-O! L-E!” Imaginary soundtracks while reading blogs – that’s just how I roll.

  37. mama speak

    Mir, I too have suffered the case of foot-and-mouth disease, and with family! I wrote about something related to one family member (my mom) and the example I used involved other family members (my sibling family). My example was to point out a difference in the way we were treated, but my brother’s family took as a dis to them. *Sigh* Even with the best of intentions foot-and-mouth is hard to overcome. So I understand your pain, and while it won’t make you feel better, at least you know there’s a support group for you. (Alas, I am also a beyoch and there’s no program for that.)

    Not that it matters, but I read your post (and just reread) and did not take it that you were dis’ing the car or your in-laws on any level. I just took it that you were explaining what a spaz you were for not getting the keys. I see why your in-laws got upset, but honestly, if they could take a step back and try to read it from the point of all those who don’t know you, they might be able to see that you were focusing on your forgetfulness and gratefulnes for AC.

    This is why most of my family doesn’t know my blog URL. Only my SIL, and I know she doesn’t read it at all now.

    Now, go have some bacon w/a side of chocolate while sitting in front of an AC vent.

  38. jp

    I always wondered about people we know IRL reading our blogs, you should be able to be as open and honest in writing. Having to censor yourself is sooooooo not the point of Blogging………….right?!?!?!

    I find your writing to be hilarious for the most part, but then again sarcasm is such a huge part of my own families leisure activities, so maybe I’m not the best judge of what is offensive??? My In-laws, both deceased, never quite got my sense of humor and it did make for quite a few discussions about what was actually meant at the time!

    Tell Otto to hang on, the next 50 or so years are gonna be the ride of his life!!!

    Be kind to yourself, you need it!

  39. jess


    I comment very little (on anyone’s blog), but I have to say that I didn’t feel that your previous post was rude or asshole-ish, just grateful. Maybe it’s because it sounds like something I would say in an attempt to be funny whilst I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I have a hard time showing how grateful I am because I never feel that “Thank you” is simply enough, but I can never figure out exactly what IS enough.

    The main point of your whole post, to me, was “I am thrilled to have a set of wheels again.” That said it all for me.

    Misunderstandings can abound with new relationships (or when relationships change into something else), but it just takes time to settle into a new family (such as the in-laws). I’m still getting used to the idea myself. I’m sure they understand what you were getting at (and, if not, I hope this post sets them on the right path), and that they will LEARN to give you the benefit of doubt when you seem to say/do/write the “wrong” thing.

  40. Angela

    Please know you weren’t totally misunderstood. In your situation a free car is fabulous no matter how craptastic it is FREE. And Foot-in-mouth is horrible and it seems most of us relate that things come out wrong. Anyway here is one more person who didn’t think you were being a jack.

  41. AmyM

    “Throw in a few miscommunications and you have a recipe for a few really unhappy days, I guess. (Oh, we worked it all out. Everything’s fine. There’s just some residual stinging. Maybe I should put some meat tenderizer on it.)”
    I’m thinking Bacon Salt would work better.

    Anyhow, miscommunications happen. It’s cool that he talked to you about it instead of pretending everything is well and good. Which is awesome. Talking about it helps get over the bumps, instead of making them bigger.

    Also, you are not an asshole. Not all the time, anyhow. Most of us are assholes some of the time! It’s just human nature.

    And finally, I’m really glad you decided to not commit to not swearing here. Because I agree, sometimes, a swear word is the ONLY word that will do.

    Good luck with the in-laws. I hope you can all come to an understanding there.

  42. Karen

    {{{{ HUGS }}}}

    Stupid miscommunications. Just for the record, I do NOT think you are an asshole, you are doing the best you can with the circumstances that came your way.

    But I also know that it is remarkably easy to beat up on yourself, I have done it many more times than I care to admit in public.


  43. MsShad

    I too didn’t read that you were dissing on the car, but I’ve read you for a long time.

    What hurts the most when it’s happened to me is the fact that the hurt party didn’t talk to me first to find out whether I really intended to be an asshole. I mean … they KNEW me – did they really think I meant to hurt them on purpose?

    Then again, it takes a brave person to do that, and your in-laws are just getting to know you. Family dynamics … so hard sometimes. My rule on my blog for friends and family is “Read at your own risk, and then talk to me first before you explode”. So far, so good.

  44. Allanna

    I was wondering why you had added that addendum to the previous post. Since I know that you’re not mean or terrible or anything. You’re Mir and lots of us ADORE you!

    I knew from reading that you were really thrilled to have a vehicle that you could pick up the kids from school without getting lightheaded from the heat.

    I’m sorry that people didn’t get your sense of humor in it. As someone who’s put her foot in her mouth on multiple, multiple occasions, I fully sympathize.

    (Also, your dad is made of awesome. Can we start a fan club for him, too? ^_^)

  45. Sarah

    People are funny creatures, especially when it comes to their perception of others. I have had some run-ins with my own in-laws, but I didn’t think your post came off as being asshole-ish at all. I can see how it would be taken that way, but even just from reading your blog for awhile, I feel like I know you enough *not* to take it that way. Additionally, we just recieved a car from my mother-in-law, as well, and while there were no strings attached, I sometimes feel like there were.

    I hope you all stop stinging soon. People take time to adjust, and you’ve made lots of changes recently. Frankly, I think you’re amazing for holding it together for so long, and in that case, you’re entitled to fall apart every so often. Communication skills also take time, but it sounds like if you’ve worked things out, you’re moving forward, which is what counts.

    Good luck with everything!

  46. janie

    Oh Mir, I completely understand, sympathized, and live this from time to time. It sounds just like some of the conversations with my husband since we were married 3 1/2 years ago (both our second marriages). Good thing for you, it sounds like Otto is a lot like my Steve, so even though these things happen from time to time, they are few and far between. Although, they are still frustrating and irritating (to put it mildly) when they do happen.

  47. kate

    Huh, she says incredulously. It sounded to me like you got a car that wasn’t brand new and yet still has killer air condidtioning. Sorry everyone got upset, I hate it when that happens. (BTW I’m sure that crow will taste better with the Bacon Salt.)

    Paco and I have moved seven times in the 13 years that we’ve been married. It takes me a good year before anywhere starts to feel like home. Working at home, being the grown up and the mom, you don’t get to go to school and meet new people and make new friends. It’s hard at first, like being in a foreign country- everything’s the same but different. It really does get easier, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be lots of tears or loneliness or homesickness along the way. I hope Otto understands and gives you copious amount of hugs accordingly (and stops asking about going home. You are home. Duhhh!).

    You’ll get there. The whole internet(s) promise you!

  48. Rache

    So sorry to hear about miscommunicating with your in-laws. But “funny” is a fickle thing, and is not the same for everyone. I know this will all blow over soon enough. And yes, moving and adjusting to a whole new life takes time. It doesn’t mean you’re not happy because I know you are, just not fully adjusted yet.

  49. Kim

    I’m sorry to hear about the communication misunderstanding:o) I hope all is clearing up and they will not hold it against you forever. I hate it when people interpret what you say differently from what you mean, so not fun!!!

  50. Stacey

    I was surprised when I read your original post. It did not sound like the you that I thought I had come to know in this Blog. Actually, I shrugged it off and figured I wasn’t hearing you right. Good luck moving on from here. Don’t let things eat at you. It would be nice if they had given you the benefit of the doubt…unfortunately, we don’t always do what we should. Move forward, don’t look back–don’t let old baggage affect your future.

  51. Manic Mommy

    You wrote you got a new car and then couldn’t use it. Everything else was like a game of post office.

    I don’t think you’re an asshole. Say you’re sorry, mean it, and move on.

    I’m sorry I made fun of you. And I mean it.

  52. Stacey

    P.S. I also think your willingness to share things like this from your life is what makes your blog so real…so must-read for all of us. Who hasn’t been where you are now. I can’t stand it when people just want to sugar-coat or show the pretty of their lives. Everyone has things that don’t go as planned. Thanks for being able to show you’re a real person.

  53. Lisa

    I have moved a lot. It does take time and not some small little amount of time. I have lived in my current location for 3 years. This past year is the first year I have found people to go to lunch with. I have read your blog and you have already accomplished that! It’s like having a baby. It’s a bit of a car wreck for the first year and then you find your feet and can make it work. Good luck. One deep breath and one step at a time.

  54. Jenni

    I think it’s always hard for husbands to understand that it’s okay and normal to be sad sometimes. They don’t have to fix it. They can just hold you and wait for it to pass.

  55. Warrior Knitter

    I also took your post as humor with satire. You weren’t complaining, you were telling us a story with your usual flair and wit. Good on you and Otto for listening to each other and talking.

  56. Tracey

    Oh please, please stop calling yourself an asshole. That is so so harsh – and if you’re an asshole, what do we call the _real_ assholes in this world? Your humour was misunderstood. That’s all. I am squirming for you, because I think I’ve read you enough to know that you would be totally devastated that your new in-laws, AND your beloved had taken it the wrong way and were offended.

    Of course the whole move is a difficult thing – particularly with the wellbeing of the kids to worry about. Throw in extra dramas, like the car being run into, and, my god, either you deal with it with humour and sarcasm, or you fall apart at the seams. I’m so sorry it all backfired on you, because you don’t deserve it.

    What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

  57. Mary

    I’ve become addicted to your blog, so just in case you get freaked out by the in-law thing and start moderating yourself – Don’t. Enough with the calling yourself an asshole, too. If they don’t get you’re sorry by now they never will. I get it and I don’t know you – but oh, my gosh I feel these huge surges of emotion sometimes when I read your blog. It’s kind of creepy in a way, to get so excited or upset over a stranger’s life…but human drama is so satisfying. You are an excellent writer. Hang in there!

  58. Chookooloonks

    Attagirl. And for the record, ditto on the “you’re not an asshole” comments.



  59. Chris

    I personally thought it was a great post and it just showed how the whole car thing is going down. I didn’t think you offended anyone. Does that make me an asshole too? Cause I can be one at times myself.
    Good luck in however it shakes out. I’ll be thinking about you and praying for it to all be good.
    I think you are some good people and it WILL be fine. ;)

  60. julie

    Dear Mir’s New In-Laws,
    Mir is SO not an a**hole. We who read her and do not “know” her, understood that she was expressing gratitude for the car and frustration for her situation. She writes to express her situation in a funny and entertaining way. Don’t take it personally. We know you are wonderful people… obviously. You produced Otto! And he loves Mir, so he’s a pretty smart guy. We love him. And we will love you too, if you let us. ;}

  61. Suebob

    Dear Mr & Mrs Otto Senior,

    Mir is a nice girl, but she is a bit of the class clown and very excitable to boot. She is very intelligent and is always eager to help in the classroom.

    She will be on detention this week due to the Car Incident, but I am quite sure that she has learned the error of her ways and that it will never happen again.

    Miss Suebob

  62. Meg

    Mir, you may be an asshole sometimes, but you’re a very pretty asshole.

    With love from one asshole to another.

  63. Meg

    And, um, I didn’t mean it that way, but when I said pretty asshole, I instantly started thinking about decorative frilly little thongs and perhaps a mini flower garden out the front, with a crazy paving path, and a white picket fence that’s falling down a little but has been looked after lovingly, and a cheery little dog in the front yard, and oh dear I think my brain just exploded.

  64. Deputy's Wife

    I too suffer from “foot in the mouth” disease. Maybe there is a support group out there?

    When reading the car post, I thought it was very funny post and a very thoughtful gesture by your in-laws. If it matters any… I thought you conveyed your appreciation and the humor of the situation very well.

    I have only just recently started reading your blog. The one thing I love most is I laugh out loud when reading your posts. My favorite thing to do!

  65. Chuck

    Mir, I think you’re being to harsh with yourself. All moves are stressful, everyone says things that get misunderstood at times, and any new living arrangement (especially when there are kids around) is bound to have a difficult weekend here and there. I don’t think you’re mean, vindictive, or uncaring, and someone has to have those qualities before I consider them to be a member of the hole club.

  66. Tree

    I sent you an e-mail earlier today expressing my opinion on your situation. Since I am just an occasional poster (mostly lurker), my opinion probably doesn’t matter. But I had to post. I can’t let it go.

    Hopefully if your new family was aware of, and are even remotely open to your blog, the posts here over the past 12-14 hours should serve to emphasize the spirit of your blog. Stop beating yourself up. You said what you said in the manner in which you say things. That’s it. This has recieved so much attention.

    In time, everyone should understand. Until then, try to sleep well at night knowing that you meant no harm. I know some a-holes and, believe me, you are NOT one of them. A-holes never spend so much time and effort in retrospect.

    Give yourself a break. Have a piece of pie. Or, if you switch to quiche, you can sprinkle some of that there bacon salt on it and call it a good day in hog heaven.

    Keep doing what you do….based on the outpouring of support you’ve received here today, what you do makes a difference to many people. And your Dad DOES rock.

    – Tree

  67. jean

    Ok, it’s over and lessons were learned by everyone. The lines of communication often break down. Yes, it happens to everyone. All these words of wisdom and lots of hugs for you, Otto and your in-laws.

  68. amy

    I just wanted to offer my two cents since I have just had the same situation happen (albeit with a different family member). I personally believe that nobody we know and love should read our blogs if we write in a funny or sarcastic manner. As one of my readers wrote: “It is the fall in “Pratfall” that is interesting in the blogging world.” It is not the nice happy stuff – sorry to say. When we write in a joking way, we exaggerate and make stuff funny for our readers but that does not always go over well with those we love and who we hope love us. No amount of explaining will take away the hurt they obviously felt in your post. I am certain that they understand now that you did not mean anything really at all except to write something funny, but I would not risk it again. Your relationship with your husband and his family is a lot more important than your blog I am certain. Personally I would keep his family and even him out of the blog unless you are certain that he sees things exactly as you do. I would hate for those misunderstandings that are certain to crop up in the early months of marriage to lead to any lasting hurts. That is my advice. I personally am on a blogging hiatus and removed a lot of posts since the incident with my family member so I am really contemplating this whole thing right now.

  69. carrien

    Been there, done that, with the in-laws, only they are still kids and I felt like crap for days because I had no idea what I had said upset them. They’re big on forgiveness though, and so am I so it’s better.

    I still have moments months later though where I feel like screaming, “I’m not that bad, it’s not like they were perfect either, don’t I get to tell you all how much you piss me off sometimes?” But I don’t, because I suspect it’s immature to do so.

    They have never mentioned it again or acted weird or anything so it’s really my own problem now. Anyway…Hugs.

  70. Lady M

    I’m sorry about the tumult. You’ve had so many big changes – I would be nuts by now.

    And by the way, I think you’re nice, not an asshole. An award coming your way, at my place. :)

  71. MomCat

    I loved your post, Mir. I also thought it was funny, not ungrateful.

    My sister-in-law has always taken everything I say and do the wrong way and assumed I meant to be hurtful, so I know those cringe-able moments well. It took me years to figure out that I’m not an asshole – she’s got a self-esteem problem.

  72. tori

    When I read what you wrote, I took it as sarcasm, exaggeration and humor. But maybe I am just an asshole too. Everything I write is true, and I’m sure everything you write is true, but spinning a story out of it to make it interesting to read sometimes requires some work, right? Cheer up Mir! This will be ok! You are not an asshole at all from what I know of you!

  73. Brigitte

    How people take a written message (or even a verbal one) sometimes depends what mood they’re in as well. I never saw your entry as ungrateful, but maybe whoever saw it first was in a down mood already and read it wrong.

    I sometimes think of those “Biorhythm” things from the 70’s, sometimes my husband and I are completely in sync and don’t even have to finish our sentences, other days he’s reading a “tone” into everything I say and having total spaz attacks about who knows what, and I have no idea what he’s talking about. And this is after 15 years of marriage!

    And maybe it’s a guy-thing to take your wife’s unhappiness personally. I’m just depressive in general, and it often has no bearing on any outside factors, and the hubby gets defensive and wants to know what he should do to make me happy. I reassure him that I could win the Powerball, have everything I want, have everyone in perfect health, etc., and I’d still find things to complain about, that’s just me!

  74. Sophie

    You might feel like an asshole, but you aren’t. 73 of us are sure.

    In-laws, you say? Baggage, you say? My blood pressure goes up just reading those words. I told my husband from the beginning that I had lots of baggage from my first marriage. I failed to scare him away, but I sometimes have to remind him of the large baggage from my first marriage — not the least of which involves the ex-in-laws.

    Good luck; the first year of marriage is always tough. I should know; I’ve done it twice!

  75. Lisa

    Coming out of lurkerdom to ummm play a little perhaps devil’s advocate. Mir – I know you’re a writer and a great one at that, but in your present situation it may not be beneficial for your new marriage to share with the whole blog world delicate matters such as these. I’m thinking If I were in Otto’s or the in-laws shoes right now I might be feeling a bit ganged up on – on top of the already bruised feelings. It’s obvious the blog world loves you. Although you may not be posting such matter to gain support behind your position – the count is now about what 80 against 4? Just something to think about.

    Having said that I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t have because I love reading about ALL your antics – the good, the bad and the ugly!

    Anyway, just saying…

  76. Stephanie Chance

    They should have a little more empathy, what with you changing your whole life and all, which has been a tad bit frustrating to say the least, and all of that because you love their son and brother so much. And you should be more forgiving of yourself. We are all going to suffer lapses of judgment, and no matter how empathetic you are to everyone’s feelings most of the time, sometimes you just want to think about you. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. Hang in there! You’re doing great!

  77. Chris

    Coming out of lurkdom just to say I read your first post and laughed. I never thought, “Boy, a free car and she’s complaining and whining because it’s not a BMW. What a pain she must be in real life.”

    I think it’s great that you apologized to them, though, simply because it’s the loving and gracious thing to do if one inadvertently hurts someone’s feelings. I can’t imagine you doing anything less.

  78. cardiogirl

    I agree with Chris, I thought the post was funny. Period.

    p.s. Found you ad Blogherads. Enjoyed the ride (no pun intended).

  79. Jenifer

    Well, if not Meat Tenderizer, maybe Bacon Salt??

  80. dorothy

    Fighting is communicating. A wise friend once told me that. I’m glad you and Otto are communicating well. It’s a good sign.


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