Vacationing With Your In-Laws: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Jonathan Goldsmith, "The most interesting man in the world."

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They should have called you, "Mr. Lucky"

You are really something. You have lived a charmed life for sure. Some even say that you have lived a “storybook life.” You have said the right things to the right people, been in the right place at the right time, and opened the door each time opportunity knocked.

In high school and college, you were known as “Ace,” for always “Acing” every test and quiz. Girls of every size, shape, and background laid at your doorstep. You had your pick. There wasn’t a sport too physical or too violent for you. You shunned the title: “Teacher’s pet,” but when you were a senior in high school (and college), a lot of female teachers lost their jobs because of their burning lust for you.

When you grew older, fame and fortune only grew closer to you. When the ad agency approached you for the Dos Equis beer ads on television, out of your naturally-selfless heart, you said no and gave a needed-break to Jonathan Goldsmith, who needed the work.

In-laws sometimes butt-in to your business

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Does it seem crowded with in-laws along?

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Everything for you is perfect

When it was time for you to settle down, you married the right girl from the right family and again, it was as if you had a fairy godmother watching over you for her parents loved you on the spot. “Our daughter’s wedding will be “the” most-lavish, expensive social event in this state’s history,” your fiance’s dad bragged, and followed through on his boasting. He paid for everything—even the twelve trained Bengal tigers who laid on each side of the aisle in the huge cathedral where you were married. What a father and mother-in-law. Every man in America should live such a good life.

Although you were caught with these promiscuous teachers, they were the ones who resigned or got terminated. All of the school board members adored you. And it’s been this way since your first breath taken out of your mother’s womb.

Your father and mother-in-law even gave you and your bride a four-story home with marble and imported hardwood floors. The house, a show-place that Better Homes and Gardens called it in their ten-page spread when you and your bride moved in. You are not one to brag, but this very home is one-of-a-kind, specially-designed by an Italian designer famous for homes he has designed for king and queens.

Sometimes you wake up each day and ask yourself, “Is this all a dream?” Speaking of your super-cushy life. And as far as you can see, your life with that of your lovely wife, is only going to get better and better.

In a few short weeks you will curse the day that you made this brash statement.

Sometimes, in-laws want you to swim in unsafe water

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This father in-law has to prove he was in the Army

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In-laws are in every photo of you on vacation

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You are invincible

When it was time for you to settle down, you married the right girl from the right family and again, it was as if you had a fairy godmother watching over you for her parents loved you on the spot. “Our daughter’s wedding will be “the” most-lavish, expensive social event in this state’s history,” your fiance’s dad bragged, and followed through on his boasting. He paid for everything—even the twelve trained Bengal tigers who laid on each side of the aisle in the huge cathedral where you were married. What a father and mother-in-law. Every man in America should live such a good life.

Although you were caught with these promiscuous teachers, they were the ones who resigned or got terminated. All of the school board members adored you. And it’s been this way since your first breath taken out of your mother’s womb.

Your father and mother-in-law even gave you and your bride a four-story home with marble and imported hardwood floors. The house, a show-place that Better Homes and Gardens called it in their ten-page spread when you and your bride moved in. You are not one to brag, but this very home is one-of-a-kind, specially-designed by an Italian designer famous for homes he has designed for king and queens.

Sometimes you wake up each day and ask yourself, “Is this all a dream?” Speaking of your super-cushy life. And as far as you can see, your life with that of your lovely wife, is only going to get better and better.

In a few short weeks you will curse the day that you made this brash statement.

You have no alone-time when your in-laws come along for the ride

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Your in-laws even take-over your tent

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Your in-laws sometimes insist you ride dangerous rides

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"I don't normally read writers' websites, but when I do, I read HubPages."

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Your adversary, "losing" is coming

The setting: In your lavish den complete with heads of wild animals that you have killed bare-handed on the many African safari’s you went on with your father-in-law. In the village of Zantanzooki, an undiscovered locale in Africa, the villagers refer to you as a god for your sportsmanship in not shooting the animals. Certainly the work of someone from a higher-level of life.

You and your wife along with your fabulous and generous father and mother-in-law have just gorged on a super-delicious dinner that a French chef, who works for you, threw together at the last minute, are sitting, chatting and enjoying a fine, rare brandy that a world-explorer friend of yours from college sent you from a undiscovered settlement on the outskirts of Cairo.

You are all talking about “your” yearly-vacation that you and your wife have talked about, but not settled on which expensive place you are going this year. I mean, you have been almost everywhere in the world, so why the rush?

“More brandy, pops?” you ask you father-in-law.

He laughs and your Korean maid with a Ph.d in Chemical-Physics, who only works for you to make you happy for you were the one whose chemical formula that you whipped-up on a fishing trip in Key West one year saved her father and mother from a sure death from being bitten by a rabid seagull. Your love for chemistry inspired this young, Korean girl to pursue every avenue of education to achieve her Ph.d in Chemical-Physics to help make the world a healthier place.

“Have you kids decided on where you are going this year?” asks your father-in-law, “Pops II,” not a title of endearment, but his real first name because his dad was the first man to invent the pop-top for beer companies. Wealth at first try. That was “Pops,” Hindenburg.

“Well, uh, now, we haven’t really been able to decide on a place—with me and all of the companies I run and “Marsha,” with her club meetings and charity work, we have been too busy to sit down and choose a place,” you reply looking lazily out of your huge picture window in the den that has priceless German glass in the design, but price didn’t matter to your father-in-law, “Pops, II.”

Then . . .it . . .happens. That “one” apparently-harmless remark that was said with such mastery, that not even the genius legal barrister, Perry Mason, could have caught it.

In-laws like shark-hunting. Whaattt?

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"Losing" draws first-blood

“Well, son. The wife and I could . . .go along with you. You know. Make it a foursome to change things up. Whattaya say?” “Pops II” says smiling from ear to ear.

For the first time in your life that you have lived underneath a magical-umbrealla, you are stunned, speechless, totally-devastated for words. You sit and gaze at “Pops II,” for only God knows how long before you speak.

You swallow hard. Then reply, “Well, uh, honey, (talking to your hot wife), how do you feel about “Pops II, and “Hazellene,” going with us on vacation this year?”

“Well, dear me. What a simply-sweetie, sweet idea,” “Marsha,” your hot wife says with a giggle.

She obviously didn’t see your eye-signal that stood for “no.”

“Then it’s all settled,” “Pops II,” exclaims while clapping his hands. “Just let us know when the departure date is and we’ll be ready. Come dear, ‘Hazellene,’ we’ve plans to make, things to do—we need to be completely-ready when these kids get ready to leave.” “I can hardly wait,” he adds.

After a few, “Can you believe this?” and a few, “Never saw that coming,” you and your hot wife retire to bed where you both sleep in your $200,000.00 bed, hand-carved Norwegian wood and shipped piece-by-piece to your abode, a fitting-gift from you to your hot wife, “Marsha,” who really doesn’t know the difference between a Swede and a suede jacket.

“Marsha,” falls right to sleep. She has spent most of the day shopping and running-up your credit card bill and this makes a girl who cannot be bridled with such responsibility as marriage, tired from head to toe.

But you, my once-charmed, cool, and always-successful “Man of the world.” You clasp your hands behind your head and stare at the expensive ceiling hand-made in Spain costing “Pops II,” a big stack of cash. Numerous scenarios run wild through your troubled-mind.

“Foursome?” you whisper in anger. “Why now? ‘Marsha,’ and I have been married over 12 years—and “Pops II,” has had plenty of times to go with us, but he didn’t. What is he up to? I must not think like this. After all, he did give us this lavish mansion and pay for our expensive wedding.

“I’ve got it,” you sigh. “I will go along with “Pops II,” and hey, according to my past-life, what could possibly go wrong?” You think to yourself as you fall asleep.

So roll the title, “Cicero”:

Vacationing With Your In-Laws:

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?”

"You" are the work horse when in-laws travel with you

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Some in-laws insist that "you" drive on unfamiliar roads on vacations

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You are in the fight of your life

On the morning when you and “Marsha,” meet her parents, excitement fills the air. Then a discussion breaks-out whether to drive to Los Angeles (from the elite part of Aspen, Colorado, where you and your hot wife live) or simply fly?

You softly argue that you know how “Pops II,” loves to save money, and he laughs at you and stands for flying first class. You have also lost your first of anything. And you are stuck to pay for the four, first-class tickets.

During the flight, “Pops II,” orders plenty of drinks and you not only pay for them, but give the pretty flight attendant a hefty tip.

You are not worried right now. You have A1 credit on American Express. Remember that for it will come back to bite you in the buttocks.

When your flight lands in Los Angeles, you assume “Pops II,” will pay for the cab, but little did you know that he has phoned an expensive limo service to pick you four up at LAX and you, yes you, pay the tab. Now you are getting bit irritated. Not “Pops II,” “Hazellene,” and “Marsha,” for their fun is just beginning.

“Oh, uh, Pops II, I know how you used to like staying at Best Western before you retired, because you saved money, so how about we spend tonight in . . .”

“No!,” “Pops II,” bellows. “It’s our vacation and we are going to have a big time and that’s that. Driver, take us to the Golden Essex Townhouse on Fifth and Vine,” “Pops II,” says very firmly while you look like a dork.

“Marsha,” winks at you without her parents knowing it. Her wink stands for she ‘agrees’ that you look like a dork.

When you and “Pops II,” check in at the front desk, the efficient-looking desk clerk with a tightly-wound bun of hair behind her head says, “Twenty-two hundred dollars and fifteen cents, please.”

“Pops II,” rocks back and forth on his heels and winks at her. She winks back.

You are shocked. “Uh, Pops II,” can we, uh, I, get you to, uhh, split this with me?” you say without the desk clerk hearing you.

“Me? Split the bill? Son, I am old, tired and retired. I am not made of money,” “Pops II,” says very selfishly leaving you stuck Twenty-two hundred dollars and fifteen cents poorer.

On the elevator ride up to the 87th floor, you and “Pops II,” stare straight-ahead. Your mind is whizzing with questions about this great guy, your father-in-law, and the side of him you see now and how it is sickening to you for one guy to be so bold and cheap at the same time.

When you enter the room with “Marsha,” you speak to her from behind clinched-teeth, “You and I need to talk—now.”

“Uhh, sweetie sweet, what’s the matter? I have never seen you so worked-up?” she coos fixing her gorgeous hair.

“What is that old windbag up to making me pay for everything including this room that cost me almost three thousand bucks?” you say with blood in your eyes.

“Do you mean daddy is a windbag?” “Marsha,” says with her feelings hurt.

She then turns and slaps you sharply on the cheek and says, “Don’t call my daddy a windbag for he and mother are staying in this room with us!”

“What? I thought I bought him and your mom a room of their own?” You snap almost shedding tears.

“No, silly, daddy thought it would be great to see the sights in L.A. and us four stay in one room to save money and besides, three-days is not a long time to share their company,” “Marsha” says as you realize you are not only being used, but run-over like a thrown-away cantaloupe in the middle of the expressway.

“Pops II,” and “Hazellene,” waltz in and unpack their bags taking the best and most of the closet space. You only look at this scene and try to convince yourself that this is a bad dream.

“Let’s go down for dinner, kids? We eating in the motel restaurant, I saw that it was a five-star joint, or do you two wan to go somewhere else?” “Pops II,” asks fooling you with his voice that he might just spring for dinner.

“I think we will just eat in the restaurant below—I am famished,” “Hazellene,” says before you can suggest a cheaper dining establishment.

“Marsha,” agrees quickly and once again, you are out-numbered and losing ground fast.

“Pops II,” and “Hazellene,” order Maine lobster, pheasant under glass, the finest Russian caviar , Dom Preriogne wine, and escargot for an appetizer. And Caesar salad.

You, on the other hand, are up against the wall. You cannot order a cheap line of food from the menu otherwise you will look miserly to “Pops II,” and you cannot have that. Neither can your vanity.

“Marsha,” orders Maine Lobster, you order Prime Rib and house salads. Things go okay during the meal except how “Pops II,” is munching and grinding his food like a starved jackass hauling a gold prospector’s gear at Sutter’s Mill during the Gold Rush. It is rather fascinating how “Pops II,” has a lobster claw in one hand and a pheasant wing in the other—never caring how he looks to the other diners. “Hazellene,” must be accustomed to his barbaric-manner of eating, so she simply stares directly at her plate and eats quietly.

But you on the other hand, you are now wise to this senior adult. You are ready for when “the” upcoming event happens. Oh, you are the cool one just like when you were a junior in Duke University and paid a guy from a poor background to be “you” and take your classes for you while you slept-in all day long—playing video games, watching television and eating junk food.

Suddenly, with the force of Hurricane Irene, a pretty and petite young woman approaches the table. Your eyes twinkle like the top star on vintage Christmas trees. “Pops II,” is still filling his jaws with food and never pays her any mind.

“Evening. My name is “Sherry,” and I have your check and you can pay it whenever you like. Thank you for patronizing our restaurant.” “Is all of this on one, uhh, . . . “ she is interrupted by “Pops II,” who blows food out of his mouth as he yells, “No. That young man is treating us old folks tonight, sweetie.”

“Sherry,” winks and hands you the bill. You swallow hard. “Fifteen-hundred dollars not including tip?!?” you say almost rupturing yourself.

“Listen here, “Pops II,” I hate to be like this, but I simply do not have the cash to pay this!” you yell without caring who hears you.

Now more trouble for you as the manager walks to your table and whispers, “Problem here, sir?”

“You bet there’s trouble. He is refusing to pay for our meal after promising us a night on the town,” “Pops II,” says with a fake whimper. “Hellene,” pats him on the back for dramatic affect.

The manager doesn’t have to say another word as you throw your Visa card onto the silver tray with the bill. “Change, sir, or exact amount?” asks the smug waiter who is proud of how he handled you.

Needless to say that there is no conversation between you and “Pops II,” and “Hellene,” on the elevator going back to your room.

Finally you say, “When we get to the room, you and I are going to have a long talk and that’s that.” “Pops II,” looks at “Hellene,” and “Marsha,” who is embarrassed by your behavior.

You haven’t been to one tourist attraction on this vacation and you are out almost five-thousand dollars mostl on your in-laws. You think that maybe this is a practical joke being played on you by “Marsha,” and her parents. “Yeah, that has to be it,” you think to yourself and relax.

How can you be so naïve and at your age? Did you not know that in-laws who tag-along on vacations with their children and mates is a mixture such as oil and water?

So when you get back to the room, you are more-settled and you simply lay it out to “Pops II,” by saying, “I am going to be fair about this, but so far, you haven’t paid for one thing and to be honest, I feel used and I hate it.”

“Well, now. I can relate to what you are saying, son. “Pops II,” grins and offers you his hand to shake. “After we have a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast on me in the morning, things will look better, eh?” he says yawning as a signal that talking is over and he needs to sleep.

“Marsha,” comes back from the bathroom dressed in her pajamas and turns down the covers on your bed. Now it’s “Hazellene’s” turn to torment you.

“Hazellene,” is feeling pretty good after downing four glasses of expensive Dom Preriogne and wants to dance with you. “Marsha,” is now snoring, “Pops II,” is in the bathroom doing God knows what and you are stuck with this past-middle-aged woman, your mother-in-law, who obviously does not know how to hold her wine.

“Oh, uh, ha, ha, ‘Hazellene,’ I am no dancer, and see here, you need to . . .”

“What on earth are YOU doing?” “Pops II,” screams as “Hellene,” puts her arm around your neck putting you in a rather compromising position.

“Uh, now, look here, “Pops II,” you say exactly like the late Dick York, “Darrin,” on “Bewitched.” “This isn’t what you think.”

“What is it that I think, goober?” “Pops II,” says still under the influence of his drinking at dinner. “What’s wrong, ‘Hellene’?”

“Hellene,” whimpers and replies, “I wanted to dance and he got ugly with me, darling,” “Hellene,” says “looking” hurt.

“Now, ‘Hellene,’ that’s not exactly how it happened,” you start to explain. Before you can say another word, something sharp and hard smacks you on the chin. It was “Pop II’s” right fist and he knocked you on your butt making a fool out of you in front of his wife and now daughter who was awakened by your butt hitting the floor.

“Pops II,” dusts off his hands, grabs “Hellene,” and they head to their king-size bed—as he is still glaring at you like a hungry gator staring down his prey.

The next morning . . .

You are suddenly awakened by the smell of coffee. You twitch your nose to try and locate where the smell is coming from. “Marsha,” comes out of her slumber, stretches like an alley cat and asks you, “Hunney, are you a nut today? Why are you sitting up in the bed at 6 a.m. sniffing like a mutt?”

“I smell coffee and I think that your dad is in the bathroom using that small coffeemaker to make “him” a cup,” you answer. “I am going to barge right in there and get myself a cup. Man, does my chin hurt.”

“No, you don’t, ‘Mr. Bully,’ “Hellene” squeaks as she beats you to the bathroom. Now you are dying for coffee and your bladder is needing to be emptied.

From exactly 6:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m., you are forced to wait until your in-laws get finished showering, shaving, giggling, and “hogging” all of the coffee while you writhe in pain on your bed as “Marsha,” seemingly has turned on you by saying, “Serves you right by not treating daddy right at dinner.”

Even this juvenile comment doesn’t phase you as your in-laws enter the room. “Bathroom’s yours, ‘Mr. Pushy,’ “Pops II,” remarks sneering at you sitting on the edge of your bed in your underwear.

“You ugly pervert! Put on some clothes. Sitting here in front of my wife in your briefs! What a dork my daughter married,” “Pops II,” says laying on thick to make your day start off even worse.

To sum this up for you, dear reader. Breakfast sits you back a good two-hundred dollars that “you” have to pay—being taken-in by another one of “Pops II’s,” slick lines.

The day’s activities that consist of: visiting Sea World, Disneyworld and a great Shakespearean play late that evening, plus dinner for four at a noted steak restaurant costs “you” over two-thousand dollars and no offer from “Pops II,” to even pay for the limo service.

You are actually feeling the symptoms of having a complete mental break-down. And it’s just Monday night. Two more nights to go at the Golden Essex Townhouse with “Pops II,” and “Hellene.”

When you all return to your room, you excuse yourself to go to the bathroom where you can use your cell phone to call your bank to transfer some funds from your savings account to your checking account. At least when Wednesday gets here, you can suggest that so far, this has all been about “Marsha’s” parents and not you and her.

Plus when you play the “you want grandkids someday soon” card, and you might get out of this without a scar.

From Tuesday morning, “you,” pay for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a tour of the Hollywood stars’ homes and all in an expensive limousine all costing you a grand total of: Two-thousand fifty-five dollars and sixty cents.

Ahh, Wednesday at last. Time for the show-down. Everyone gets ready without much small talk. You notice that “Pops II,” is quieter than usual—probably cooking-up another slick scheme to get me to pay for something, you think as you summon the bellhops to carry the luggage to the taxi that you are paying for and is waiting for outside of the motel.

As you walk to the front desk to turn in your room key, the cold-hearted desk clerk that checked you four in is on duty and quickly points out that while you and your wife and in-laws were at the motel, charges for long-distance calls, ATM charges, drinks in the bar, all added up to more than twenty-two thousand dollars. And you see by the initials that it was “Pops II,” who ran-up these charges.

You do not cause a scene, but rather pay the bill and walk back to your wife and in-laws.

This next part, you would not trade for a million dollars.

“Well, here he is. Where we going today?” “Pops II,” asks as if nothing is wrong.

You look at him like a sly Alaskan fox.

“Home for you and ‘Hellene,’ and don’t worry. I will pay the cab and airline ticket. See ya,” you say as you smoothly hand him the bill you have just paid at the desk.

Looks like your charmed life has returned.

Guys, face it. "This" was what you had in mind for vacation

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Comments 10 comments

sheilamyers 2 years ago

The guy in your story put up with that nonsense a lot longer than I would have. The in-laws would've been on a plane after the first day if it was me.


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

In-law's... You gotta love em. My in-law's (really my mother in-law) was nosy, meddlesome, and controlling, but I loved her just the same. As always this was hilarious. voted Up! and shared.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. It all depends on the in-laws but most of them think they have been part of the family for years and know a whole lot better. This was a delight from beginning to end. Great pics. Passing this on.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas

Very funny. I wasn't even planning to read hubs today, but something brought me to one of mine and this was in the feed. It caught my attention. Glad it did!


Homeplace Series profile image

Homeplace Series 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

Thank you for sharing... a little long, but I couldn't resist... the most interesting man... and he reads HubPages! Neat! ;-)


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

sheilamyers,

I totally believe you. I wish that "I" had your courage for if this were me, I guess I would have bowed my head and swallowed it. Thanks for being a great writer, friend and follower.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, Dana Tate,

I thank you for your comments. I appreciate you taking time to read and comment on this hub.

I was blessed with a great mother-in-law and unlike our guy in the story, she never dabbled into our business.

I wish I had been blessed with this guy's house, companies and chef.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

My Dear GypsyRoseLee,

You are so sweet in your comments. And votes. What would I do without followers such as yourself? I do not want to think of it.

Have yourself a great weekend and please write me whenever you like.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, shanmarie,

You are a gem of a writer, friend and follower. What a nice comment. Thank you. I shall dwell on these kind words for a very long time. Come back to see me anytime you like.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, Homeplace Series,

Thanks for the nice comment and input. I agree that this was a bit long and that is what I am working on: Shortening my pieces. I think that you and my other followers would like that.

Thanks again.

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