I’m sitting here waiting for the Water Authority people to show up – they need to take a reading but last time they were here, couldn’t find the meter – I certainly don’t know where to look, so I have to sit here between 8 am and 1 pm, for them to arrive, root around in the garage, find the damn meter, take the reading and then leave.
That sounds like a productive morning for me, yes? I can’t go out, can’t wander around in my dressing gown, have a shower at 10…I’m being held hostage, in effect, until they get here and I’m not pleased.
So, what do to while waiting. I suppose I could pack my suitcases for Sunday (did you hear I have a wedding to attend next week?).
Or I could play with my kitty, who’s going to miss me like mad, and possibly never forgive me for leaving her for a week, especially when she’s already packed her suitcase:
Maybe I could work out a bit, hoping this last-ditch attempt at exercise will tone my upper arms and rid me of any jiggly look in the wedding photos.
Or, I could just sit here and write to you. I think I’ll write.
I’m feeling a little introspective this week, probably because I’m about to go through a life-changing event, becoming a mother-in-law.
We MILs get a hard time of it. You’ve heard all the jokes, but in case you missed a few, ponder on these:
- I’m not saying the mother-in-law’s ugly but she went to see that film the Elephant Man and the audience thought she was making a personal appearance.
- How many mothers-in-law does it take to change a light bulb?
One. She holds the bulb and waits for the world to revolve around her.
- Did you hear about the man who threw his mother-in-law into the lion’s den at the zoo?
He’s being sued by the RSPCA for cruelty to animals
Really funny, right? Then there are the TV characters and shows:
Endora from Bewitched. She wasn’t just a mother in law, she was the perfect storm, a mother-in-law witch!
The perfect definition of a person who was going to make her son in law angry, depressed, sad and feel useless. What does it say about me that I thought she was funny, clever and totally rocked her black witch’s cloak?
Two interesting facts about Agnes Moorehead, the actress who played Endora: she was in Citizen Kane and she was 1 of 90 actors who starred in The Conqueror, all of whom developed cancer after the film wrapped. The film set was located near an area where 2 nuclear bombs had been tested the year before. John Wayne, Susan Hayward, and Dick Powell were similarly afflicted. Based on these facts, Endora can do whatever she pleases.
Then there was The Mothers-in-Law, a show which I thought was pretty funny when it was on back in the 60s, but upon reflection, I can now see it came down pretty hard against gossipy, meddling ladies of a certain age who just couldn’t let go of their adult children.
Remember those Baby on Board badges we used to put on the rear window of our cars, hoping, for some reason, that bad drivers would suddenly obey the rules and speed limit simply because of the power of that sign? After they became popular, some wag came up with a parody sign:
Mother-In-Law In Trunk
Before going further, I’d like to know why there isn’t a corresponding Father-in-Law In Trunk sign. Not funny? Guess not.
We all know that stereotyping is rude, harmful and vile and yet, mothers-in-law seem to be one of the final frontiers. Laugh at us, disparage us, insult us, it’s okay. Just by benefit of being a MIL, it also means I’m “old” and therefore worthy of being insulted on a different level: my age. Good grief, is there no end to the fun I’m about to have? I tell you, I can’t wait!
I’m going to transform, like Clark Kent, from mild-mannered, kind, generous and super-hot Wendy (Survey says, Wendy = super-hot. Survey conducted by Lyra), to Wendora the evil, snide, snarling and self-esteem killing Mother-in-Law from hell. My future son-in-law will quiver in fear when he hears that “Mother is coming to stay, darling”. He will take to drink when he sees I’ve brought 5 suitcases and 3 hatboxes, intent upon staying an indefinite time. He will learn to hold his tongue during our dinner conversations about why he doesn’t earn more money to keep my precious daughter in diamonds and minks.
One day, I’ll go missing. 6 months later, they’ll find me, in his trunk.
And the cycle will be complete.
I don’t want to be that mother-in-law. I want to be the cool one, who stays at a smart little boutique hotel round the corner, has her mini-bar filled with martini fixings and olives, comes over to visit when invited, goes out with the new family for lunch, museum visits or shopping, but is totally independent and makes her own way home, if necessary, by taxi. Or horse-drawn coach. If the family is busy, she’s more than happy to be on her own, doing interesting things, not moping around and feeling sorry for herself. She also, under no circumstances, will offer to clean or bake. From those things, only bad feelings come.
For example, “oh, is that how you make your bed? That’s not how I do it”. Or even “Oh-ho-ho, how funny that you use that brand of mayonnaise. Heh heh heh”.
My advice to all future sons- and daughters-in-law out there: Let’s show a little respect for the women who gave birth to your future spouses (spice?) and try to get along. It can’t be too hard, especially if you do everything we tell you to. Haha, I kid, I kid. I’m looking forward to becoming a MIL, but a MIL for the 2000s, not the 1950s. I could never pull off the eyeshadow like those dames did.
A twitch of the nose from your sister,