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Monday
Oct212013

How to be the Perfect Mother-in-Law

Mother-in-Laws have a very bed rap. They are typically viewed as overbearing, interfering, harridans who are completely convinced that NO-ONE is good enough for their precious offspring.

This has not been my experience.

I will never forget the first time I met Betty. I had only been dating Denis for a couple of months. We headed North so that he could introduce me to ‘The Family” and I have to admit I was pretty nervous.

My trepidation was due in part to the fact that my new boyfriend was recently divorced, a LOT older than me AND a Catholic.

However my fears were unfounded: Betty did not seem to care that I was young, Jewish, and self-opinionated, but the minute we were left alone together she looked me straight in the eye and asked “Do you love Denis, Jude?”

After I had recovered from the shock of being asked such a direct question at a first meeting I was able to tell her that in fact I did love her son with ALL my heart. From there on it was plain sailing – I loved her son and I made him happy and nothing more was required.

Now whether that was because there had been others before me and the bar had subsequently been set rather low or whether it was because Betty was already close to seventy at that point and was displaying the wisdom of her years I am not entirely sure but in any case I was beyond grateful to be so easily accepted and so treasured.

Betty, I wish I could tell you that I am following your example and preparing to be just such an easy going and tolerant Mother-in-Law to my sons when they finally meet their soul mates but unfortunately to date I am failing miserably.

I’m an interfering, overbearing harridan, and although I AM convinced that there are women out there who ARE good enough for my boys I am concerned that my vetting process and judgments may be a lot harsher than my Mother-in-Law’s.

So Betty in honor of our unspoken agreement I will continue to love your son with all of my heart (until death do us part) and in your memory I sincerely promise when that when the time comes I will try much harder to be the Perfect Mother-in-Law.

RIP Betty you will be truly missed by all whose lives you touched.

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