By Lisa Kanarek of Working Naked
Newlyweds Clarissa and Ned recently shared how shocked they were that during her week-long visit, Ned’s mother did not rearrange one piece of furniture in their home. “I was ready with a squirt bottle to spray her at a moment’s notice,” said Clarissa. “I used the same aversion training to teach my cat to stay off the kitchen counters.”
Ned described a few close calls during the week, especially the time Clarissa was convinced her mother-in-law was ready to move their over-sized sofa to the opposite wall. (According to Ned, his mother has been taking weight-training classes for several months and can bench press more than his father.)
As the couple watched his mother serpentine her way around the sofa, slither between two chairs, and then finally cross the kitchen threshold, they breathed a simultaneous sigh of relief.
“Her trip though the living room that morning was a close call and still makes me shudder when I think about it,” said Ned. “I could see Clarissa’s fingers twitching, ready to grab the bottle and squeeze the trigger like an outlaw from the Wild West.”
Ned admitted he has always been a mommy’s boy, but now that he is a married man (Clarissa was his first and only girlfriend), he realizes he needs to side with his wife, squirt bottle and all.
According to the National Apartment Furniture Association, two out of five mothers-in-law rearrange at least three pieces of furniture per visit, not unlike a dog that instinctively marks its territory. The association spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied rumors that members are working on a device that flashes a blue light and sounds a high-pitched alarm when furniture is moved, yet is undetectable by a judgmental mother-in-law’s eyes and ears.
Ned’s mother-in-law is planning to stay with the couple in six weeks. Clarissa has already scheduled a post-visit appointment with the top Feng Shui expert from Ikea to help re-energize the home in case her mother-in-law makes any changes to their existing Zen-like furniture layout.
Clarissa also plans to buy additional spray bottles to spread throughout their home. According to the new bride, “You can’t be too careful.”
About the Author
Lisa Kanarek is a freelance writer, the author of five books about working from home, and writes the work-from-home blog Working Naked. Her work has been featured on various sites including Grown and Flown, Ten to Twenty Parenting, and SheKnows. She lives in Texas and is the mother of two sons in college. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.