19 November 2006

purls before whine

behold the sock

And now the whine.

Feel free to click away now. I probably shouldn’t use this forum to bitch about family but hey it’s my blog and I need to vent.

They’re gone.

Who knew two weeks could feel like five? Poor Mr Soup is mortified, as they are his relatives. As he said once or twice out of the corner of his mouth, Now do you see why I left the country as soon as I came of age?

These truly were the Houseguests from Hell. In two long weeks, they didn’t cook a single meal, offer to buy takeaway to give us a break from cooking for them, wash the dishes, empty the dishwasher, contribute a cent towards the groceries, offer to do any housework apart from a bit of ironing on Day Two, or get off their backsides when at the end of a long day at work we would come wearily home, wash last night’s dishes and prepare another meal for us all.

One morning as we were all in the car taking the children to school, me to work and dropping them off at the station so they could go into town (never a please or thank you either), they leaned back in the car window and said "Are you doing any laundry today?" I pointedly looked at my work clothing and said through clenched teeth "No. I will be at work all day. You are welcome to use the machine though." Him: "Oh we’re going to be out all day too."

Right then.

On their penultimate evening with us (which was spent as usual with us sitting in our own lounge room listening to them bicker and whine) (I got a lot of knitting done. See picture), I said "Are we doing anything tomorrow night for your last evening?" thinking this might prompt them to take us out for a (preferably slap up expensive) Thank You Meal. And so we arranged a night out at the local Asian restaurant. No mention of whose treat it would be.

Can you guess what their "gift" to us was (apart from the calendar from the Two Dollar Shoppe, that is)?

They offered to "go halves" on the bill, even though there were four of us (Son #1 was away at camp) and only two of them. Never mind the fact that we all drank water and they drank beer after beer after beer, all of which went on the final bill.

Clench clench clench.

This morning, instead of waking to bickering and overwrought children who, surprise surprise, have picked up on the stress levels around here, I found Son #1 making french toast and the other two sitting quietly knitting.

We all looked at one another. No one said a word. We smiled. I unclenched.

Peace reigns again.

And we are very thankful.

sunrise with large dog

Postscript: She left her personal diary here. Several frantic phone calls have been received by our answering machine.

We are not picking up.

Karma, baby.


Heather said...

See, this is another good reason to knit - isn't it nice to have those lovely socks to show for an otherwise unpleasant-sounding time? I consider this one of the many therapeutic aspects of knitting.

I loved that a personal diary was left behind, that made it a little like Jane Austen or Edith Wharton somehow. Heroines were always having to suffer atrocious relatives in those books, weren't they?

daysgoby said...

I even like the pink socks better than the blue and green ones!

After the company leaves, isn't it amazing how quiet your house is?

daysgoby said...

And I'm bad - I'd wait a week and then call and leave a message on her machine saying you can't find the diary.
But you'll look for it when you have time.

blackbird said...


tiel s-k said...

Oh I love a good whinge!...and listening to one is just as good. Sounds like they were a barrel of laughs. Anything good in the diary?

Stomper Girl said...

They didn't take you out?
You deserve an enormous medal for keeping yourself nice during that ordeal. Or jewellery from Mr. Soup? Or maybe some serious Christmas presents from the housepigs? Oh well, at least they gave you a calendar. You must really treasure that.
You were clearly under-appreciated :(

On a brighter note, I certainly appreciated the laugh, and the pictures of (1) those gorgeous socks, and (2) the mental image of domestic harmony after they'd gone, your cooking, knitting, smiling family.
Oh and the post title. Very good.

BabelBabe said...

oh my god, evil evil people. at least mr soup is embarrassed for them, poor man. apparently you even have to do THAT for them!

love your sox and your title.
and you, of course.

MsCellania said...

I am speechless, just speechless at their incredibly poor behavior.

That diary? Would end up in the bottom of the deep blue sea. Or read it, and EDIT IN RED PEN. Yes, Karma.

I do love those new socks. I would call them the Suffering Socks.

And may you never have such Houseguests again. You have to set up rules! And be ruthless!

Katy said...

Purls before Whine, Comment Version:

I love the socks! Did you use magic yarn or do the colorwork by hand? Either way they are great! Your gusset looks great, how it all ended up as the black and white section.

Did you read the diary? I absolutely would... but maybe that's not a good example to follow. I like the suggestion about correcting it in red pen. If you haven't already gotten them something for Xmas, send them coal! And if you have, return it now and get them all dollar store calendars and stale chocolates.

Katya said...

I love those socks. You were a saint! I don't think I could have lasted without possibly killing someone.

Eclair said...

Good grief! What odious guests!

I should build that diary a little shrine, douse it with a dash of vodka, set fire to it and swig out of the bottle while dancing around the blaze whooping with glee. Guaranteed black-magicky remedy for nasty house-guests (this also works with hair-brushes, mobile phones and left-over laundry they stuffed behind the bed)- it works! Ask me how I know!

I bet she wrote something uncomplimentary in that diary and now will be too embarrassed ever to return in case you read it.

Deny ever having found it. She'll never take the chance on looking you in the eye again!

jojo* said...

I've had bad houseguests before, but yours definitely win the prize. Unbelieveable! You should publish diary excerpts on your blog. Ha ha.

Joke said...

OK, since everyone else is too morally paralyzed to say it, I will.

Post from the diary here. I, for one, am searingly interested in the mental happenings of a 63-year old, criminally inconsiderate thong wearer.

You can change the names if you have an issue with guilt. Hell, I'll bet you'll get enough people interested in this to PayPal (thereby helping defray the expenses of having hosted your husband's Philistine relations) you a tidy sum as incentive to post.


Shula said...

Joke, you are a genius.

Share the love, Suse.

I dare you.

I double dog, triple whisky dare you.

nutmeg said...

2 WEEKS! That's just TOO long with guests like those.

In the first instance I thought Joke's idea a good one; but on reflection I don't know if said bickering, lazy, whingey, thong wearing, bear guzzling, TOTALLY PAINFUL guest would have anything remotely interesting to say. Unless, of course, it's a whinge about yourself and that you would just have to share. But, that would mean reading the damn thing and life is just too short to read bad books..... :-)

Suse said...

Am SHOCKED that you are all assuming I've read the diary, being a morally upright person such as I am.

Shocked, I tell you.


Stomper Girl said...


Did ya?

herhimnbryn said...

I bet you did!

Thank the powers that be that they have gone. Get the Gin out! Hurrah!

I can hear the silence at your now harmonious abode! :)

Stjernesol said...

Oh yeah, THAT'S karma! I think I would have said or done something horrible, if it was me who had to be a good hostess to them!

And I love those socks, I truly wish I could knit :)

Now, relax and breath :)

h&b said...


I would have read the diary too.
Those people were pigs ( i'm on the 2nd week of a GOOD houseguest .. the difference is unfathomable )

Jo said...

Yes, yes, yes!
Do it. Post it. Just the good parts. Not the parts about "Dear Diary, bought new thong from $2 shop today". The real "bitch's". And yes, just change the names to protect the innocent - ie. YOU! Did I mention my father in law arrives to stay tomorrow .....
PS. Is the tension in your knitting really tight ???

Martina said...

Breathe. Relax. Forgive. Huh, who am I kidding? Post the diary!!

telfair said...

Those socks are tremendous! I hope, though, that every time you look at them, you won't be horribly reminded of the terrible awful two weeks.

I think I probably would have read that diary cover to cover by now.

I'm so glad your guests are gone and you have your private lives back again.

Joke said...

I would have been hiring illustrators and book agents and editors to publish the diary: "Confessions of a 63 Year Old Thong Wearing Lout."

Hell, you couldn't stop me with powerful machinery.


BabelBabe said...

is it a real diary, or just a calendar-y type? either way, POST : )

String Bean said...

Love the sock! It's pretty long; are you going to have enough yarn for the second one?

What a horrible five, uh, two weeks you had. And I thought my relatives were bad! My aunt jabbers on constantly, but she always helps with the dishes, cleans the kitty litter and buys loads of groceries.

Time to say Thanks for Good Sons.

Inquiring minds want to know: anything good in the diary? Or, if not good, mildly interesting? Spill its guts!

capello said...

(note to self: some have WAY WORSE in-laws than you do.)

good golly, you are wonderwoman for going through that and not losing your nerve. i would have sent the packin' on the second day.

Ramona said...

I'm sorry for such a bad visit but I abslutely love the socks. Sometimes it takes a little bad to help create a lot of gorgeous!

Stuntmother said...

I'm in love with the knee socks too. I need a more patient approach to my knitting.

And yes -- your inlaws are worse than mine. Which is saying a LOT. The best thing about such visits is that lovely awareness when they're gone - of the peace that is normal life. Ah.

Mary said...

I would say 2 weeks is pushing it even with good house guests so the last 2 weeks must have been hell. Not even a thank you dinner? Not good at all. Still, at least you finished some good socks - plus you acquired some new reading material...

craftydabbler said...

Oh, Lord. Thank goodness they are gone. You have amazing patience. Hopefully because they live so far away it won't happen again.

The socks are gorgeous. I love the colorway, just like candy.

Jessica said...

You make me want to knit! I love the new socks. Glad your house is now at peace. Take Care.

Surfing Free said...

Fark!! What horrors they sound! There is nothing worse than lazy, ungrateful houseguests. They make you seethe with resentment!!!! I bet you all appreciate the lovely quite solitude a lot more now ;)

Surfing Free said...

PS. I agree you should post choice items from the diary! Oh please, please!!!

And I would be flipping through the pages of that thing within a nanosecond of finding it, so don't hold back!

Em said...

Blessed KARMA. I love it.

Hulai said...

i say be onry and read the diary!!!
Love the socks by the way! Absolutely gorgeous!

My float said...

Having tantalised us, Pea Soup, you must now deliver! She'll never know. We can all snigger away. Sounds like a fair deal for all you had to endure! (But please, omit any references to thongs! I don't think I could take it.)

Mr Soup owes you, oh, does he ever! I'd ask for a looong holiday, to recover. The kids, too, poor little mites, how they suffered! Pour on the guilt NOW while he's vulnerable. Hee hee...

Kim said...

Hurrumph. I wrote a comment on this post and was the first. And it's not here.

Bloody blogger.

Elizabeth said...

I feel your pain Suse! We just got rid of a cousin who came all the way from Australia to spend an entire week sitting on the sofa in our VERY small London flat. I kid you not: no sight seeing, no day trips, not even a venture to the lovely Hampstead Heath. But the the thing that ticked me off the most, when she left she packed her cans of coke (the only item she purchased all week) and took them with her! Peopple are strange!

nicole said...

LOL oh thank you for the punchline. Karma indeed. BTW nice sock.

Lee said...

Worst in-law visit story I've ever heard, bar none. You win! But did you have to torture me with more pics of those socks? Too wonderful for words and totally out-of-reach. Oh well. I suppose it does me good to want something I can't have, right?

xmasberry said...

A great sock born from lousy guests. If they were short on cash, an excellent home-cooked dinner (with groceries they purchased themselves) was at least in order, with dishwashing and a foot massage for all, i would think.

Can you send the diary back postage due?

sueeeus said...

Mercy me! You are a SAINT to have endured so peaceably. If I ever come visit, I promise to help, and I won't drink any beer. ;)

sherry said...

Oh my. . .Things that don't kill you make for great stories later. This was definitely a "remember when. . ." sort of visit. Colossally irritating, and TWO WHOLE WEEKS? Oh my.

The sock is lovely. The colorway reminds me of Neopolitan ice cream.

Gone Knitting said...

The socks are to die for! The visiting family story is unfathomable! If you were even thinking of giving them any thing for Christmas an etiquette or manners book would fit the bill.

Sharon said...

Thats why you can choose your friends BUT not your relatives...

Karan said...

It seems to me that this is an opportunity to pour some wine and share the read with your husband....and then publish the thing here so we can all enjoy it.

Joke said...

Oh, by the way, I am not assuming you have read through the diary. I am, instead, exhorting you to do so.

Verrrrrrrrrrrrry big diff.


danielle said...

While I do have a "vacation with the in-laws" horror story that might rival this one, I am glad to say that my in-laws make *acceptable* guests.

And I guess I have to go to bed without my dinner, cause you better believe I'd be reading the thing.... ;-)

shellyC said...

Oh My!!! You really are amazing to have survived the two weeks!! Your boys are just wonderful to be able to restore your calm so perfectly!

yep - I would have read the diary too!!!! Or given it to someone else to read and then asked them what was in it!!!!!

knitabulous said...

Is there any possibility that you might be married to my husband's long lost brother?

Your houseguests sound EXACTLY like my in laws from the UK, but they stayed for 6 weeks. I was pregnant and she watched me with her hands on her hips whilst I was on my hands and knees mopping up the ants from the sugar she'd spilled all over the tiles that morning - saying 'oh, ants! How intriguing! INSIDE THE HICE!(accent added) Well I certainly know I'm in ORSTralia now don't I darling? Heheheh'. I too had been at work all day, and cooked and cleaned and slaved over them for six weeks.

What's more, they didn't even LOOK at the children, (whom they were meeting for the first time) preferring to kiss and cuddle the dog instead, like he was a baby.

I made my husband take us all to Hamilton Island for a week so at least I would get something out of it.

Thanks for bringing back the memories!

But she didn't leave her diary behind - drats!