Thursday, September 18, 2008

An emerging mother-in-law

Today in the middle of class, I had a horrifying revelation: when my daughter gets married next summer, I will become a mother-in-law. That's right: one day I'll be just an ordinary normal person, and then next day--poof! A mother-in-law.

Does anyone want to be a mother-in-law? Butt of a million jokes, stereotype of an annoying nag, dreaded intrusive voice on the phone: who wants to be that person?

Don't get me wrong: I'm delighted about my daughter's wedding and thrilled with her choice of life partner, but I wish there were a way she could get married without transforming me into that most reviled of beings, a mother-in-law.

What if the mother-in-law label so powerful that I won't be able to resist its evil influence? Who knows, I might develop an irresistible urge to ask obnoxious questions about, for instance, reproductive plans or spending habits. I might even give my future son-in-law a gift of a sweater so ugly it could be worn only by a reject from clown school, and then I might be inconsolably hurt if he refuses to wear it in my presence.

It could happen. Worse things have happened to mothers-in-law of my acquaintance. Then again, maybe I'll break all the stereotypes. No one knows what type of mother-in-law she might become until she walks a mile in those moccasins (or Army boots or ballet slippers as the case may be). I only know I'll walk into the church as my plain old normal self and walk out of it as an entirely different person--a mother-in-law.

I hope I like that person, because I intend to be stuck with her for a long, long time.

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