Monster in Law or New Best Friend?
Love them or Loathe them
Meeting the Mother in law for the first time can be a daunting experience and for many, the dreaded first dinner is enough to put anyone off their appetite. So what do you do if you outstay your welcome? Well for starters, what you don’t do is turn up fashionably late and then openly declare to a room full with strangers that you are the one and only love of their son’s life. The last thing you would want to do is rub your partner’s mum up the wrong way as I once so famously did...
I reluctantly had agreed to accompany my then present boyfriend to a family dinner around his mother’s. Panic soon started to kick in as a thousand questions swirled around in my mind.’ What if she doesn’t like me?’ or ‘What if she doesn’t think I’m good enough for him?’ Let’s face it, it was a Friday night and I’d rather prefer downing Cosmopolitans with the girls at a swanky London Bar then face the Indian inquisition. After a very feeble reassurance speech from my partner, I finally took a deep breath and stepped out of the car…only to fall flat on my face and land in a puddle of mud. I must have spent a good ten minutes cursing the weather before I managed to clean myself up.
The first thing I remember seeing was the shocked faces sitting around the plush dinner table. A quiet family meal? I think not. Everyone from his family tree was present and they were all there to meet me! Great, now I’m really nervous I thought. I was finally introduced to his mother and after being told that we were an hour late and that her ‘precious’ son’s favourite dish had been ruined, she scanned her eyes up and down me. What she was expecting to see was a nice well presented girl in a traditional Indian outfit, maybe a sari or a shalwar (trouser suit) but instead, what she saw was me in a drenched red top and muddy-stained brown skirt. After apologising for the delay, I explained my boyfriend was late picking me up and informed me at the last minute. ‘You don’t have to tell me how my son is, I did give birth to him’ she said. Could this day get any worse?
Surprisingly no. After the initial ‘icebreaker’ session was over, his mother soon warmed to me as we got comfy on the sofa and exchanged some light hearted banter. She pulled out my boyfriend’s baby pictures and now it was his turn to squirm.
Looking back now, I realised she was not as bad as I thought she would be and how wrong I was for misjudging her. Having such a wonderful relationship myself with my own mother, I realised that there was nothing more precious and special in this world than a bond between a mother and her child. It did start to get me thinking of how I would react one day to the prospect of losing my little boy to another woman. Sadly, my boyfriend and I parted soon afterwards, though his mum is still on my Christmas card list.
For me personally, it will be a while yet before I marry and have kids. Though if I do decide, I can always count on that day to put a smile on my face. You never know, one day I might be a mother in law myself!