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Dear Madrone:

My mother in law constantly criticizes my house keeping, and my husband will not take my part. She makes me feel like a babbo. The other day, she came over for dinner, but before she sat down to eat, she ran a vacuum around the house, and did a load of laundry, ironed the sheets, made the bed, then cleaned the water tank in the upstairs toilet, and swept out the leaves and dust from the garage. All the while she was rolling her eyes and reminding my husband that he deserved the best. He has no intention of speaking to her about his, it's his mother, I understand. Other than that with my husband I have no beef.

Sign me stunada, from Pyramus

Dear Stunada:

The way I see it, you got two choices, .You can submit, she is the capo di tutti capo, and no one should get between a person and his mother, that's how it is, wait your turn, one day she'll die. Or you can take to the mattress and have her whacked, of course, the only way this can be done is in secret and by your own children. Which keeps everything right.

God bless, Donna.

Dear Madrone,

I have a busy life, getting my kids everywhere to this and that lesson and practice, you know how it goes, and with everything that goes on, sometimes I get a little behind schedule. Well, I pay good money to this gavone of a violin teacher who made a face at me the other day when I brought my Rosemary to group practice a little bit late, so what if they'd started? How can I make him pay?

Disrespected, Bayonne.

Dear Disrespected,

The next time the palooka gives you attitude, grab his violin and threaten to smash it unless he gets on his knees and thanks you for your patronage. Then smash it anyway. This will only work if he believes you are going to do worse should he rat you out.

God bless, Donna.

Dear Madrone,

My next door neighbor is always bragging about her recipe for peach cobbler. Which I can swear to you tastes like cardboard slathered with cheap jelly. So the other day, I was finally sick and tired of pretending she was Betty frigging Crocker , so I took a piece and left it on the ground for the dog, who wouldn't touch it. So now she won't speak to me. What do I do? Can I help it if the dog speaks truth?

Too honest in LaVinia

Dear Honest

Count yourself lucky. A true friend understands true friends. If she can't take this little helpful criticism how will she handle it when things go south? Like when she takes said pie to the pot luck and she has to take the pie back with just a slice or two gone, or worse people take it but leave it on their plates,after one bite only. You should try this with all of your friends, and see which remain in your camp. . That will tell you something, you need to know who is stand up and who isn't going to have your back at the bake sale.

God bless, Donna

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pamela Bongiorno Monk is a full time faculty member of Penn State University, where she teaches creative writing, both fiction and non fiction. She pursues freelance writing, authoring plays and feature articles. She has broken nearly as many rules of family as she has enforced.

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