*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family member who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
My sister, Grace, recently got married to my new brother-in-law, Rich. It was a fabulous, over the top wedding that I don’t know how they were able to afford, but I am guessing some of the money came from Janice, Rich’s mom.
Rich has an interesting background that has molded him into a certain kind of person as an adult. He grew up poor with an alcoholic father who was abusive to his mom, and he and his brothers were thrilled when Janice finally filed for divorce. They separated when Rich was only fourteen, and after his father left, Rich stepped up to be the man of the house.
It was very important to Rich to be able to support himself and make a good living. Within years of graduating from college he was a very successful real estate agent and had bought his own house before he met Grace.
As soon as I met Rich, I realized how important it was for him to project the image of wealth and prosperity to the people around him. He acted superior, stuck up, and I have no idea, really, what my sister sees in him.
This attitude of having to always have better rubbed off on Rich’s mom, too. She wanted the best for her son, and though she seemed to really like Grace, I wonder whether Janice thinks Grace isn’t quite good enough for her son.
One of the reasons I think this is because of something she did to Grace while she was house sitting one afternoon.
Grace and Rich had just gotten a puppy, their practice baby. A week after getting this puppy who was not housebroken and had to be watched constantly or else it would cry and bark in its crate, Grace had a doctor’s appointment she couldn’t miss. Rich was working, and so Grace asked Janice to come over and watch the puppy for a few hours. Knowing Janice adored puppies, Grace didn’t think anything could go wrong.
Grace went to her appointment, and when she came home she walked into her kitchen to see a large, full garbage bag sitting by the door.
“What’s this?” Grace asked Janice.
“I cleaned out your fridge,” Janice said.
Grace went to her fridge and opened it up and was shocked to see it was practically empty. Janice had thrown out every container of leftovers, every container of cut and prepped vegetables that Grace had in there, and almost every single condiment.
“Why did you do this?” Grace asked, trying to keep calm.
“Because my son won’t eat your old food,” she said. “He deserves fresh meals, not leftovers every other day.”
Grace was taken aback and didn’t know what to say to Janice, so she said nothing at all. Grace just thanked her for watching the puppy and said she’d see her later, and of course Grace hoped it was much, much later.
How would you have reacted to what Janice did?
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