I always used to say to my ex-husband, "I didn't marry your mother!"
It was one of the biggest sources of friction in our relationship: I am a delightful, sensible person, while she is an overbearing, meddling lunatic. Who eats fish heads. (Not even kidding.)
In some sort of horrible cosmic comedy, the fact that I didn't marry her not only had no bearing whatsoever on her decorum for the duration of my ill-fated first marriage, but it also meant that I couldn't divorce her, either. Somehow, in her mentally-unstable fish head-eating haze, she's construed the fact that she and I are not divorced to mean that we must be good buddies, from which it (il)logically follows that she should phone me seventeen times a week to complain about her boss and ask whether Medium Fry needs a new jacket because she just saw some on clearance at Wal-Mart.
My ex phoned me this week to tell me his mother had phoned him to complain that I never answer the phone or return her messages when she calls.
First of all - she tattled on me? And secondly, what the hell did she think he was going to be able to do about it? The moron can't even hold down a cell phone account, I'm not about to start taking his advice. Thirdly, the kid doesn't need some shitty discount Wal-Mart jacket! I buy her nice jackets! What is with that woman and her Wal-Mart jackets?!
But I didn't say any of those things. You know why? Because I am a delightful, sensible person. So I put on my most thoroughly delightful saccharine-yet-terrifying-because-it-is-only-thinly-veiling-my-actual-rage voice (with which I assure you he is very familiar) and made an exceedingly sensible point, namely:
"Ohhhh, I see. So how many times a day would you like to converse with my parents? I'm sure I could arrange something..."
... ... (Have patience. It always takes him a while to process.) ... ...
... "Oh. Yeah. Uh, I guess it is kinda weird that she calls you so much. Maybe I'll tell her she should stop phoning you."
"I doubt she's going to be able to go cold turkey after all these years."
"Yeah, you're probably right. So how much can she call you?"
"I think a couple times a month is about the maximum I should reasonably be expected to handle politely."
"Okay, I'll tell her. Oh, hey, by the way, I've been having trouble with my cell phone..."
"You mean it got cut off again?"
... ... (processing... ) ... ...
"Um... yeah. So don't call me on it."