I block my MIL on Facebook so she doesn’t read this article, for starters. Or, like, anything else I release out into cyber world.
I lovingly (not maliciously) block her. For her own protection. For my protection. And for the sake of all future family reunions. I swear it’s a digital gift, just in disguise.
Here’s the thing: When you “friend” your MIL on Facebook, she will inevitably pour over all of your posts. Especially the ones involving her precious grandbabies. She can’t help it — she loves those damn kids. Facebook and pics of cute grandbabies = MIL Heaven.
However, some of your posts will probably piss her off. Likewise, her commentary will probably piss you off in return. Self-righteous and sanctimonious snide remarks will volley back and forth between you both. Snarky digs here, snarky digs there. You’ll accidentally smash each other to smithereens on social media in front of all of your closest Facebook friends and family.
All of this hypothetical social media mudslinging with your MIL will eventually lead to a spectacular rant fest to your husband. He will then go friggin’ beserk ’cause how dare you talk about his mama like that!
It will be a bloody mess.
I block my MIL on Facebook. And Instagram. My Twitter feed is public, so I’m fucked there. But at least I only have 140 characters to do damage with.
I’m not the easiest person to be virtual friends with. That much, I’ll cop to. On social media, if you’re down with me, you gotta be down with OPP: Outspoken Profane Posts.
I have opinions out the wazoo on basically everything. I show no mercy to bigoted, racist, or sexist comments on social media. I shut them down in real life and on the internet because those types of comments are unacceptable everywhere. And I’m a real bitch about it.
I post pics of my green hair and tattoos — which usually gets some of the family members talkin’.
I also post pics of my very full-to-the-brim wine glass promptly at wine o’clock (the time varies every day), typing “CHEERS!” to all of my buddies. I often get comments from my “loving” family members, like, “Who’s takin’ care of the kids right now?” Dora, bitches, that’s who. Oh, and their dad. He’s pretty good at this parenting thing too.
Alas, I will do damage just by being me.
Here are five reasons I block my MIL on social media, and why you might wanna consider some MIL-block action yourself:
1. I will hurt her feelings.
It will be unintentional. The second I post a picture of me and my kids doing something without her, it will cut her heart. She will feel left out. In some situations, she might wonder why she wasn’t invited. Why didn’t I call? Because we didn’t want anyone with us, that’s why. It’s that simple. But try telling that to a loving mother-in-law.
2. We do not have the same humor.
There are years between us. I will inevitably horrify her.
For example, I might snap a harmless selfie of me giving my kids the middle finger. The caption will read, “Fuck you brats for not eating dinner…AGAIN! LOL #mom #momlife #fml”
I’ll post that shit to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and watch the likes stream in. Then ding! The Comment. MIL is chimin’ in. “Oh, my little angels. Tell them Grandma still loves them.”
I’ll gag. And comment back. “Yes, and so does their vulgar, wildly inappropriate, godless mother.”
I can just see it now. She’ll get off Facebook and fumble for her cellphone to dial my husband. She’ll sweetly suggest to my husband that I could probably use a “break.” She’ll then offer to come to our house for a visit to relieve me for a bit so I can go “de-stress.”
No, thanks, I got this ma.
All because I jokingly told my monsters (“my” being the keyword here) to eff off in a FB post.
3. I will inevitably offend her beliefs.
And she will most certainly offend mine. Our beliefs come from where we were raised, our ethnicities, and our generational experiences. Basically, they’re night and day. They couldn’t be any further apart on the spectrum.
For example, what if I post my love for gay marriage or my utter disdain for religious dogma? I better duck. The King James might be hurled at my virtual head in the form of a heinous meme that says something like “God loves everyone except gay people.”
I’ll gag again. Then I’ll get pissed when I see the meme posted to my timeline.
Of course, I delete her meme. By deleting it, I will look like a coward for two reasons. First, for not standing up for what I believe in. Second, by deleting her offensive content, I will then offend the offensive commenter — my MIL. And thus the cycle will continue with every political proclamation I post.
You know where the big G-O-D talk, or gay talk, belongs between me and my MIL? Nowhere. Not online, and not in real life.
4. I will force her to endure public humiliation.
I’m not gonna lie. My relationship with my mother-in-law teeters on the brink of dysfunction. But that’s for us to deal with. We don’t need the world witnessing what we got goin’ on.
Or maybe the world is already witnessing it…right here in this piece of writing? Hmm. Let me ponder that for a second. Dammit.
Nope, I’m good. She doesn’t even acknowledge that I work. Or make money. Apparently, her son is the only one capable of bringing home the bacon.
5. The drama can be relived on demand.
This one is related to public humiliation: Social media provides a constant reminder of dysfunction and drama. Your posts live forever (if you don’t delete). They can be rehashed at any time with a few simple clicks and new comments from dicks. Social media is like the everlasting gobstopper of hurt-filled commentary and judgments.
The FB highlight reel isn’t always so highlight-y. All you have to do is scroll (and scroll some more) through the pages of screwed-up things you and your Facebook friends have said to each other. Personally, I like to go back and dissect and obsess over Facebook disagreements and blowouts all of the time. Right… like you don’t.
It’d be hard to forgive a Facebook fight with my MIL if it were staring me in the face every dang time I logged on.
Listen, if you have a great relationship with your MIL and think all of this is BS, okay, fine. I’m happy for you — and totally jealous.
But think of it this way: I bet someone close to you — be it your bigot grandma, your homophobic aunt, or maybe your sexist, drunk uncle — could probably use a good blockin’. I just gave you five reasons to hit that button.