Saturday, October 24, 2009

Open Letter to My Son in Law

Dear Son in Law,

That sounds strange. I’ve never had a son in law. It’s new; it’s nice. I had four daughters and haven’t had the pleasure of having a boy grow up in our home. So, welcome and bear with me as I get used to it.

I never thought of myself as a mother in law, you know, the one member of the family who has historically gotten a bad rap and been the butt of many a bad joke. So, I’m going to start out differently. I’m going to be your friend and let you in on a few things that just might make your life a little easier. Now, that’s the kind of mother in law you wanted, right?

So here goes. I’ve compiled some survival tips for you. You see, you married her, but I made her. I’ve shared parts of her multi-dimensional personality in my book, but there’s more.

1.  She owns the phrase “Otay Pine” and tends to use it when she unhappily resigns herself to the fact that she’s not going to get her way. Your first order of business should be self preservation. Duck when you hear those two words, as Otay Pine has been known to be followed by flying bottles which don’t have cocoa in them.

2.  She has a shoe fettish. Actually, she has a foot fettish and a shoe fettish, but for now, we’ll focus on the shoes. I know that you’re already aware of this and aren’t happy with the fact that she hoards shoes like she’s afraid that shoe factories are a dying entity. Because I sympathize with you and your bursting closets, I want to share a tip that just might work. Always go shopping with her. While you’re distracting her with other awesome things that she just-has-to-have, slyly make your way to the shoe department and hide every pair of size tens. Be on the safe side and add the nine and a halfs to that stockpile. Pay the shoe attendant $10 to say “We don’t have that in your size.”  She’ll have withdrawal symptoms and may turn to purses for a while, but that’s a compromise you might have to make. Oh, and tell the shoe attendant to duck if she says Otay Pine when she hears they don’t have her size.

3. When she gets that high-pitched, fast talking voice, go missing action. Go to work Go to the dentist. Go somewhere, anywhere and fast. When you return, make sure you have a new pair of shoes in your arms. I know that’s contrary to #2, but drastic times call for drastic measures.

4.  She likes to be in charge and be pampered at the same time. Now, I know that balancing those two things is very delicate and few can pull it off. She has it down to an art. Sargeant Carter is a diva. Give in to the small stuff so you can stick to your guns on the ones that really count.

Those are just a few things that I never got a chance to tell you. You have now been forewarned. But before I close, I want to forewarn you of one more thing. She’s worth it. Take good care of her.


Your mother in law

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