The fruit fly dilemma…


  QUESTION:

I’ll start by saying I admit my mother in law and I are two totally different people, and I tend to fake who I am around her for fear if I’m myself she’ll realize just how 100% her opposite I actually am, from everything concerning politics, to pets, to people relations, to parenting, to things as simple as selfishness or respect of others.  I admit also my opinion of her is bias because I am aggravated easily by the way she acts and treats us, so I don’t know how much of this question is me over reacting, and how much is legitimate. Here’s my problem:
my husband’s mother insists on bringing over her own snacks and food every single time she comes to visit (about once a month).  Inevitably she brings fruit, all seasonal, that she likes to buy at roadside stands or farmer’s markets.  The problem is that every single time she plops the fruit down onto my kitchen table and like clockwork little flies fly out of it and disperse themselves around my house.  After she leaves I start trying to round them up but we’ve gotten a chronic fly problem. Every time I finally get on top of them she shows up again and, again, more flies.  Her house is gross with them, and she apparently doesn’t notice them.  I respect that she wants her own food (why, i don’t understand, but hey, to each his own) but we just moved into a new house and she showed up to help us paint and again, my nice new home that was 100% fly free before she got there is now buzzing with the tiny pests since she left.  I’m sick of it and want to know if it’s O.K. to simply tell her I’d appreciate no more fruit stand fruit coming in because in because it gives us flies. I have no idea how to put it so it doesn’t sound….well….like it sounds. To imply someone is giving you flies is quite…harsh. but true nonetheless and I want it to stop. She may be used to that sort of lifestyle but I am not and do not wish to deal with flies the rest of my life. Do I have a right to mention it at all, and if so how on earth can I put it politely?????
 

ANSWER:

She actually isn’t the one giving you the flies it is the fruit. Now, I know that is semantics, but I think it would be helpful to see that there is probably no bad intent right? So I think you could do a few things, get fly strips and just tolerate it. I think you can say anything you want. If you are going to say something try the oreo approach. Say something very complimentary to her. Compliment her on how she makes the effort to eat healthy or whatever. Then bring up the thing about the flies, How they get on things, cause distractions etc…then would she mind keeping the food outside, in a sealed bowl in the house any number of solutions, then end with another compliment. The key would be to provide reasonable solutions. If she is not willing to be reasonable about this then flies are the least of your concerns. You also may have your husband do the conversation so you don’t get seen as the evil daughter in law.

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