Saturday, May 19, 2012

How To Keep a Secret in a Joint Family Home

Hopefully you get a good laugh out of all of this...I know I sure am!

So I mentioned a while back about having to have some medical treatments. Well, hubby decided he didn't want to tell his family and I'm okay with that because I feel like medical issues are very personal and this particular one is extremely personal. In the past year Uncle ji has insisted on reading all of my medical reports (not that we always let him) and making his own diagnoses complete with how we went to the wrong clinic and should have went to a different one, etc. I had to start taking my results and files up the steps with me rather than letting hubby have them because he's not as good at saying no to them as I am.

So I kept my files in a red bag and a few times I even hid the bag under my jacket so no one saw me leave the house with it. They ask too many questions already and neither of us is ready to tell them. Well I went out to the doctor one day and I forgot to put the bag under my jacket. Only trouble is hubby had gotten off work early to take me because the office was only open from 1-3 so his mom got suspicious.

So when we got home I went upstairs and MIL stopped hubby. She had all sorts of questions to which he just laughed and got away from her. Then he asked her to have lunch with him and they had to sit face to face. She asked again and he told her he had taken me out to lunch with a friend. He thought she bought it but I'm not that naive so I figured I better do some of my own maintenance to make sure the situation doesn't get out of hand. (Oh and Uncle wasn't speaking to us then so he didn't stick his nose in....which made this easier.)

So I locked up my medical file in the cabinet first thing. It turned out to be a good thing because MIL came into my room early this morning - before I was even awake. Hubby had went downstairs and left the door unlocked and she came in. Nothing like this has happened in well over 9 months now, maybe longer. I wasn't asleep and I heard her come in so I faked sleeping to see what she would do. She came part of the way into the room being as quiet as possible (which is also something I've never seen her do) and I can only assume she was looking around for evidence. Since I was faking sleep I don't know for sure but I do know where she walked to in the room.

Then she came in a total of 6 times in the next 4 hours. Once while I was down in the shower and she went through some things that were not locked up. She moved stuff around and such. I don't think I posted it here but a couple of weeks previously she even pulled back our covers looking for things hidden under our pillows and bedding. So today, knowing she's on recon mode I took all the linens off the bed before I went down. I literally didn't leave her anything to dig through except the one cabinet we have that doesn't lock. All that I have in there are my pants and pajamas so she won't find anything there. And yes, I took the keys to the cabinets with me. It's just sad. She did wind up going into that cabinet and I guess she left in haste because she didn't even bother to close our bedroom doors all the way on her way out. She left behind all sorts of clues that she was in here. And I'm not buying that she felt there was enough laundry in here to warrant coming in that many times looking for it (because she asked me for laundry twice and she took the laundry when I was sleeping - for a total of 3 times to check laundry that morning).

She's still found reasons to come into my room for several days and no this is not typical at all. Most days she comes in and sits with me for a little while after lunch and that's it. It doesn't even happen everyday so I know something is up and the only thing amiss in the household was that she has no idea what I went to the doctors office for. I actually found this funny. She's like that little kid who sees presents under the Christmas tree before Christmas and her mom won't let her open any of them.

She did wind up giving up several days later because we were not telling her anything. I also changed out the red bag for a new one. I just sat back and laughed at all the attempts she's made to find out what's going on when in reality there is nothing important going on. That Christmas present she's thinking she's gonna unwrap is going to turn out to be socks (or whatever the Indian equivalent would be). I'm sure she think she knew what I was just personal and not something she needs to tell all the details of to every family member she comes in contact with - because that's how this family works.

She did wind up telling several family members what she thought was going on and then they questioned me. It's just sad, but this is exactly why you can't tell anyone in your Indian family anything. MIL didn't even know what was going on so she spread what she thought was happening.

So to recap, if you must hide something from your live-in family you will need to:
  • have locking cabinets
  • place objects inside of bags that they can't see through
  • hide things under your coat/jacket/shirt (or inside a purse if they fit)
  • lie about where you've been


  1. When we visit my Indian in laws I put locks on our suitcases. 
    Otherwise everything's ransacked at least once a day.
    And I'm one of the 'superorganized' persons whose suitcase is sooo organized, like my undies are all folded a certain way in the zipper compartment on the right hand side, cosmetics are in a waterproof tote on the bottom left etc.
    So I KNOW when I open my suitcase & my undies have been 'refolded' to some other configuration & everything has been rearranged. But of course the ABSOLUTE dead give away is when my nieces are wearing a face full of my make up in front of me. Yep, lipstick, eyeliner, blush, eyeshadow, the works.
    Oh that just irks me to no end.
    Why do they do this?
    I don't snoop around or steal their stuff?
    I don't think they'd like it very much if I ransacked & helped myself to their stuff.

  2. They would be upset if you did that. I don't blame you for the locks at all. I'm not quite as organized as you but I know exactly where everything is and how I put it and I can tell when they go through my stuff. They are careless with putting things back, never close the door right, etc. I did however just notice it's not just me. Chachi left her room to go shower and as soon as the water turned on MIL went running into her room today. Interesting discovery I think.

  3. Ooooh, MIL is a super snooper!
    Sounds kind of passive-aggressive to me.