I’m pretty certain my mother in law has never really liked me.
Perhaps ‘like’ is the wrong terminology as she had never met anyone like me before, and to be honest, didn’t know how to handle it. I’m a bit of an acquired taste after all.
When Hubby and I first got together, she was very anxious that he was not making a mistake. She made me promise not to hurt him and that I would always look after him.
No problem there then.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike his Mum. She’s OK and we get on alright, but it’s not easy.
His Dad was totally different, and we would often engage in heated debates. He was always keen to hear another point of view, and as our arguments both held water, it was always good conversation. Hubby never failed to be amused once we got ‘into it’ as he knew his Dad deliberately goaded me, and knowing this too, I always rose to the bait.
We had some terrific discussions, and I miss them.
I could never get ‘close’ to his Mum though. I tried to treat her the same as mine, but most of the time it was very trying. She had a different set of values, definitely an ‘Us and Them’ attitude, and from her days abroad as an Army Officer’s wife, she was used to servants and housekeepers.
I stood for none of her petty nonsense and delusions of grandeur from day one. She could never understand why I would talk to checkout operators or other shop staff like old friends, and as for going out for a meal. Blimey. MacDonalds was not good enough. Oh No. We had to go to a proper restaurant where they served tea in china cups (mugs definitely NOT acceptable), and your scone was served on a matching china plate with a little doily, pat of butter, homemade jam and clotted cream in little pots on the side, with the correct cutlery.I have several little stories to tell, some of which you may think unkind. This is not my intention as they are all recalled with fondness.
Our first house was so tiny, we didn’t own a dining table as we literally had nowhere to put one, so when we moved to our bigger house, one of the first things on the agenda was to have the Mums and Dads over for a Sunday roast. Sadly my Dad died the month before we moved in, but at the table that day we toasted his memory. But I’m ahead of myself a bit.
Mum-in-law has a pretty good appetite, for the nice things. She had told me not to go to any bother, as she didn’t care what she had so long as she had her roast potatoes. I played safe and did roast chicken with all the trimmings, knowing that my efforts at beef and pork always resulted in toughness, biscuit type yorkshire puddings and soggy crackling respectively. Dad was over the moon as he usually did all the cooking at home, and my Mum was just looking forward to spending some time with us.
Hubby got them seated at the table, whilst I dished up in the kitchen. I brought in two plates and put them in front of my Mum and his Dad, then went back into the kitchen and came out with a plate of crisp roast potatoes and a cheese sandwich, putting both in front of his Mum.Her face was a picture.
She looked with dismay at the other steaming plates of roast dinner, and her own with a freshly made sandwich (with garnish and napkin) , and I thought for one horrible minute she was going to burst into tears and not see the joke. Luckily, Dad came to the rescue and started to laugh.
‘Well love, you did say not to go to any trouble, and so long as you got your roast potatoes……..’.
I hastily asked her if she’d prefer the roast dinner that was in the kitchen for her, and she said
‘ Yes please’, then added ‘ I get to keep these roast potatoes though, right?’
We all laughed at that, and made a variety of toasts to absent loved ones and future meals together.
The good news was that his Mum didn’t have a bad thing to say about the meal (not even the sandwich) and the slightly less good news was that she had a sense of humour, but it would take some digging to bring it out.
Like I said earlier.