Recall there was that one instance where Jerry complained that he couldn't get any work done because people kept *popping in* his apartment.
That pretty much describes our plight.
For example, yesterday members of my wife's family popped in an astounding five separate times, unannounced, throughout the course of the day. In fact the last one followed a jarring 10:15pm phone call (we were in bed!) and occurred at around 11pm. It involved 10 car door slams and a bellowing cell phone call made right outside our bedrooms - again we were trying to sleep. And believe me, none of these urgent visits are half as important as the cushion Kramer wanted to borrow!
Heck at 6pm I was complaining to my wife over a rare dinner together about this very issue - for the umpteenth time - when, on cue, her brother burst in screaming "HELLO!" to interrupt our meal AND the work the kids were doing.
This happens all the time. My homeschooled kids are doing *work* off and on all day long, ALL WEEK LONG, ALL YEAR LONG. We squeeze their workbooks, reading, computer time in between activities, parks, and down time. But I have trouble getting everything accomplished when people keep dropping in and lingering until who knows when. And I'm not even counting the quiet family time that the four of us need for marital health OR the hours I should be putting into my website either - nor am I broaching how nasty a few of them are to me.
You see not a single member of my wife's family has a *hobby*. I mean they have NOTHING in the way of personal passions outside of color TV (sports and news), booze, food, shopping, and moving old furniture back and forth across Long Island. Nor have I ever seen one of them reading a book. So they spend weekends figuring out elaborate ways to get involved in each other's lives.
(For example - Once my BIL, called his mother, my MIL, who asked her daughter, my first wife, to ask me(!), if we had any *Tums* and if I could bring one to my teenage nephew who was 15 minutes away, at work, and had an upset stomach. Needless to say I refused to indulge this
Each one of them probably has no clue that collectively we get bombarded all day long with pop-ins. But knowing them for 13 years now I'm quite sure none of them would care anyway. And I doubt any of them care that stuff like this is causing serious problems in my marriage. In their minds, they conveniently all think I'm the one who's out-of-whack...
A guy I knew from my trading days, an older guy, told me that his otherwise decent marriage was destroyed single-handedly by his old school Brooklyn Italian inlaws. He said every weekend the extended family spent sitting around eating, drinking, and watching TV. Unfortunately he couldn't extricate his wife from that cycle. So his poor daughter ended up being raised by divorced parents.