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Dear Lola,

The house across the street from mine went up for sale. My in-laws remarked on it when they came for dinner, asking if anyone had shown interest in it. I didn’t make much of the conversation until my mother-in-law called and announced they had purchased the house.

My mother-in-law is moving in directly across the street from me.

I have already asked my husband to put our house on the market, and he is actually considering it. While his parents are nice people, they have no social group of their own and have already remarked that we’ll be spending the weekends together and having fun as a family. Currently they live about an hour from us and we see them about twice each month – I cannot handle any more togetherness! What are we going to do Lola? Can I move in with you?

Nightmare on Main Street 

Advice for humans. They need all the help they can get.

Dear Nightmare on Main Street,

This was a television show in the 90s – I recommend you start to process this major announcement by watching all seasons of Everybody Loves Raymond. The show won’t provide any comfort, but it will give you a glimpse into the horror that your life may soon become. Your in-laws will just pop in without calling!

I hope you wear pants when you’re home alone or someone is going to get a wild surprise.

My next solution sounds a bit extreme, but I think you are in desperate enough straits to give it a try. Spray the exterior of your home with honey and then wait for the swarms of bees to find their way to you. Once the bees have arrived, invite your in-laws over and explain that you’re moving.

I think it is fairly obvious that you will have to get a hotel room prior to spraying the house. No one wants to fight through a swarm of hungry bees just to get away from their in-laws. Though once they’ve lived next to you for a few years, I bet you would actually contemplate a suicide by bees option. That’s why we have to prevent this catastrophe before it occurs! 

Back to the swarm of bees. Your in-laws will argue that a good exterminator will be able to get the job done. They may even start calling people while they stand on your front lawn. You will need to act quickly because if I know anything, it’s that senior citizens seem to have a knack for solving problems with one phone call. Old people collect repairmen like fat kids collects donuts – one is good, so five must be better!

Open the front door and unleash the waterfall onto their feet.

I bet you’re wondering where the waterfall came from. You really need to think quicker on your feet if you’re going to outsmart your in-laws without offending them. The waterfall is a result of you plugging every sink in your home and then turning on all the faucets. Obviously, you’ll have to do this before you spray the honey and attract the millions of bees now swarming the neighborhood. As the water cascades down the front walkway, pay careful attention to your father-in-law. You must not let him get through the door.

He’ll know a plan is afoot when he finds the plugs in all the drains.

Then escort your in-laws back to their car… oh shit. They’re pulling out their cell phones. The repairmen will be to your house within minutes! It’s time for you to play your ace card. Have your children fall to the ground screaming that they are too scared to ever live in the house again. No grandparent would expect you to stay there and traumatize the children.

You’re right, that plan will never work. How can you move to a new house when you will be stuck paying for all the damage to the old one? I didn’t think that through obviously. Luckily, my brain is pretty great and I have another solution.

It involves ghosts and possible psychological damage to your children…

Have you considered that the act of putting your house up for sale will be offensive to your in-laws? You may as well risk offending them by asking them to rescind the offer they’ve made to purchase. The worst thing that can happen is they move into their new home, then don’t speak to you for several months.

That is several months that you can spend walking around in your underwear while the kids are at school!


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