Janisse loves birthdays! That’s why she wants to throw her husband a fancy dinner at home with their family and friends to celebrate his birthday. When her mother-in-law shows up and takes charge, things quickly go bad.
Having a birthday has always been important to me. My husband Carl’s birthday became something I looked forward to when I got married. Thus, I planned to have a party at home for Carl’s birthday with all of our family and friends. I just wanted to honor him with a fancy dinner.
Carl’s mother, Sally, had other plans for the night, though.
The day before, my mother-in-law came over to help me cook. Because Carl’s family had always been nice to me, I didn’t mind. I got along well with them.
I thought that was the case.
Anyway, Sally and I were cooking like crazy that day. Later that afternoon, she began to look through the fridge and sighed every few minutes. I asked her what was wrong, of course.
“I can’t find any ingredients for the cookies I wanted to make. I told you that I would make the cookies I’ve made every year for Carl,” Sally said.
“We have so many desserts and the cake as well. So, I think it’s okay. We can do it another day for him,” I told her.
“Janisse,” Sally sighed. “It’s really important to me, okay? It’s a tradition I started when Carl was only three years old. Can you go out and get the ingredients?”
Look, I would have said no most of the time. I had to finish setting the table, take a shower, and get ready because there was still a lot to do. But I thought it was very important to her, and the food store wasn’t too far away.
“Okay, I’ll run out and grab everything,” I stated.
When I get to the store, I quickly put things in the cart because I need to get home in time for Sally to bake it and fix everything else. I feel like a superhero as I drive home because I think I was a part of this birthday ritual.
It didn’t last long that high.
Carl rushed out of the house as soon as I opened the car door, as if I’d just done something wrong and he wanted to catch me in the act. He starts yelling at me and making charges all over the yard. He says I lied to his mom and ruined his birthday party because I left his mom to handle everything.
I get home and put all the items away. Sally is not to be found at all. When the guests come, I keep setting the table and cleaning up the kitchen.
I was embarrassed by how I looked, so I quickly went to my room to shower and get dressed. While I was in the shower, I felt like I had been hit by a huge pile of confusion. I needed to ask a lot of things.
How did I do that? Why was I being blamed for something that seemed like a plot from a soap opera? What did I miss while I was at the store?
After quickly getting changed, I went back to our patio to greet our friends and warm up the food again. Carl stayed away from me and only gave me mean looks all night. Sally didn’t even know I existed.
It looks like Mrs. Sally Hudson had a big plan. She sent me to get food just to make a fuss. There was no history. Her only goal was for the guests to show up and for her to be the host. She wanted to be the one who saved the day because her daughter-in-law was shopping and forgot about her husband’s birthday.
My mother-in-law sang to Carl as she brought out the birthday cake.
Carl wouldn’t listen to me when I tried to explain everything to him after the guests left and Sally went to bed. It was impossible for him to believe that his mother would have done that. He also thought it was silly of me to believe the “cookie tradition.”
But the next day, Karma chose to join the party. Sally sent the whole message to Carl by mistake while she was trying to brag about her brilliant plan.
He walked into our bedroom while I was hiding from them and put his phone up.
“You were right,” he said in a low voice.
I asked, “About what?”
The phone that Carl gave me was proof enough for us.
Carl then went to the living room to talk to her. It turned out she didn’t like me because of how I felt about family and faith. This whole mess was her way of controlling me.
Carl and I finally forgot about her mistakes after a while.
“We’re going to Bali to celebrate your birthday next year,” I told him. “No friends, no family, and absolutely no drama!”
I’m still not sure if she likes me or is done with everything. But I told Carl I would do my best to keep things polite.
That was the fuss about Carl’s birthday.
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What trouble have your in-laws caused you?
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