Ok. Let me just tell my husband at the outset that this topic was NOT my idea. It was the idea of "Anonymous." And because I asked for blog ideas-- nay, *begged* for ideas-- it would be downright RUDE for me not to oblige kind Anonymous's request.
Let's do this thing.
Some people have great relationships with their mothers-in-law (MILs). I actually can't think of any of them offhand, but I know some people do.
I even bet that some people are as close-- closer!-- with their MILs than they are with their real live mothers. (Again, can't think of any right now, but I'm sure those people do exist.)
My relationship with my MIL isn't that kind.
Now before my husband breaks out in a cold sweat, or someone from his hometown thinks about forwarding this post to the MIL in question in a hateful attempt to further sabotage our relationship (I KNOW WHO YOU ARE, PERSON WHO IS CONSIDERING FORWARDING THIS TO MY MIL, AND I *WILL* ARRANGE FOR TERRIBLE THINGS TO HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU GO THROUGH WITH IT), let me just say that my MIL is a very, very, VERY nice person. As in, so nice that even if given all the time in the world, you couldn't possibly think of anything unkind to say about her.
She just happens to be the EXACT POLAR OPPOSITE of me.
And this makes for some utterly excruciating moments. You have no idea.
See, whereas my MIL is soft spoken, polite, and understated, I tend to be loud, crass, and out of control. As a completely random example, a few years back I went through a short phase where I was affectionately calling everyone a pussy. Based on the look of abject horror on my MIL's face, I think it's safe to assume that she never went through this phase. (Ok so MAYBE she was looking horrified because I ONCE called my HUSBAND a pussy, IN my MIL's presence, long story but TRUST me he was being a pussy, ha!) I like to be the center of attention; my MIL tends to let others speak. I enjoy picking fights with people, just for the mental exercise of a debate; she apparently keeps her opinions to herself. So again, it's not that there's anything UNLIKABLE about my MIL... she's just not at ALL the type of person that *I* usually hang out with.
And that's the funny thing about MILs (and family-in-law in general). One day this person is just someone you make noncommittal small talk with when she comes to visit her son at grad school, how was the drive up, blah, blah, blah; and a few official signatures later, you're supposed to be calling her "MOM." As in, the same moniker that you use to address the person who CARRIED YOU IN HER BELLY FOR NINE MONTHS before GIVING YOU LIFE. Like, "Hi Mom! Great to see you! So tell me, do you have any siblings?" Am I the only one who finds something, I don't know, unnatural about that?
Fortunately, it appears that this disconnect has not gone unnoticed by my MIL. Whereas it would only add to the discomfort if I was over here, wondering why I am from Mars and she is from Venus, and she was over there needlepointing a BFF throw pillow for me; my MIL seems well aware of our differences. I know this based on her selection of greeting cards, which she very thoughtfully sends on a regular basis: somehow, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, she manages to find the one card that EXPRESSLY addresses me, right there in capital letters on the front of the card, as her DAUGHTER-IN-LAW. "Happy Birthday, Daughter-IN-LAW!" "Happy Flag Day, Daughter-IN-LAW!" "Happy Anniversary, Son and DAUGHTER-IN-LAW!" I mean, this otherwise positively unassuming lady never passes up the opportunity to remind me that she is extending a Hallmark sentiment to me ONLY BECAUSE SHE IS LEGALLY OBLIGATED TO. Never fails to make me smile. (In disbelief.)
But ya know what? I am not, not, not, NOT complaining. No, REALLY. Because I know that there are many, MANY less desirable versions of MIL out there: the Meddling MIL, the Oedipus-Complex MIL, the Are-You-EVER-Going-to-Make-Me-a-Grandmother??? MIL, etc. So PLEASE don't take away my Water-and-Oil MIL. She's well-intentioned, she doesn't interfere, and good golly, she's one heck of a nice lady.
Meanwhile I, as evidenced by this post, clearly am not. Wah-wahhhhhh.
p.s. You *must* read the comments to this post. There's someone on here who is WAY more funny than I am. Get ready to smile.