Although she plays a starring supporting role in this book about a fascinating man, I’m not sure my mother-in-law gets enough credit. Something happened the other day that perfectly encapsulates the type of person she is.
All of a sudden, the hinges on the door that leads to our garage started squeaking. Like, something fierce—every time I went to put
8 empty beer bottles something in recycling it sounded like a horror movie. It
was absurd. I knew I needed some WD40 but I just hadn’t gotten around to
MEANWHILE—bear with me here—my in-laws bought our daughters a dollhouse. This was very exciting as it was the girls’ … (counting on fingers) … sixteenth dollhouse, the magic number that leads to a fail proof happy childhood. For reasons beyond me but that probably relate to their behavior at the time, we weren’t giving the girls the dollhouse right away. Instead, it would sit in our garage discreetly covered by a black garbage bag until SOMEONE HAD THE DECENCY TO PUT THEIR FLIP-FLOPS AWAY SO PEOPLE DON’T TRIP AND KILL THEMSELVES, or something.
Anyway, after an all-inclusive family train ride last Sunday during which we were shockingly not showered with complaints, the girls had earned a dollhouse they didn’t even know existed. My wife decided to record their reaction at getting the dollhouse so she could send it to my in-laws, and this decision didn’t disappoint—they went freakin’ nuts. All of the other dollhouses in our human-size house could have simultaneously burst into flames and the girls wouldn’t have even noticed.
Fast forward to a couple days ago when we had family over for coffee. I enter the house from the backyard and my mother-in-law, who had arrived a few minutes prior, calls me to the laundry room. There, she stands while staring at me and opening and closing the door to the garage repeatedly. At first I’m like wtf is happening and how do I respond to this, but then it dawns on me that the door is not squeaking at all. I look at her like Whaaaat? and she shows me the bottle of WD40, which is now mine to keep.
So what happened is this: During the video my wife sent, I’m emerging from the garage with the dollhouse. Despite the impending ecstatic reaction of her two cherished grandchildren, my mother-in-law was still able to fully process the squeaking of the door, at which point she determined the following:
- That sound is unacceptable.
- Who knows if/when Mike will take care of this.
- If I just buy him the WD40 there is still a decent chance there will be significant lag time before he actually sprays it.
- How can the girls live like that? With that sound?
- That’s it—I’m taking care of this.
The more I think about it the more fascinating it becomes. She straight Sherlock Holmes'd an otherwise innocent video to deduce something was amiss, and then, instead of just telling us about it -- assuming we already knew and had simply failed to act, which: yes -- decided to HGTV that sh*t herself. (And yes, I do consider the simple act of spraying a can as a home improvement project.)
These are the type of things my mother-in-law genuinely does out of the goodness of her heart that seriously, legitimately save me time and trouble. Lesser men than me might be offended that their 60-something-year-old mother-in-law is taking it upon herself to literally grease things in their house, but I find it both helpful and endearing. I’ve considered asking her to change the oil in my car, but quite frankly, I’m sort of hoping she already has.