Thursday, March 17, 2011

The MIL Saga: Part 1 – Pre-grandkids

First off, I would like to thank the hubs for giving me permission to write about this, since it is something that has been weighing on me for some time.

So. When I first met my husband, I pretty much fell in love with his family as I fell in love with him. They are good people, and a lot of fun to be around. He is the only child of parents who divorced when he was 5 or 6. After the divorce, he lived with his dad until about halfway through his 8th grade year, moved in with his mom for high school, then back to his dad’s after he graduated (he technically rented a small house on his dad’s property until he moved out for good). He loved his mom and everything, but was a lot closer to his dad since he spent a lot more time with him.

In the early years of dating, I would constantly marvel at how weird their relationship was. He and his mom were on a bowling team with his aunt and uncle when we first got together, and I would hang out and watch them bowl once a week. This made me think that J and his mom were super close – he saw her almost as often as I saw my parents. But then, towards the end of the season, she dropped off the face of the planet. She stopped going to bowling, and she cancelled plans to have dinner with us at my apartment for something ridiculous like 8 weeks in a row. It frustrated me to see that J seemed to be upset by this (not to mention the annoyance of meticulously cleaning my apartment for hours and preparing meals only to not have her show up)(and the fact that we pretty much couldn’t plan to do anything WE wanted to do since we were supposed to get together with her every damn weekend). However, I really didn’t see this as a red flag at the time.

Other than that, I never had any problem with my MIL whatsoever until I had Adriana. I mean, sure, she was totally different than what I grew up with. She can be loud and a little abrasive and inappropriate (and it only intensifies when there is alcohol involved, which was the case more often than not when she was around). This is a woman who once asked me what it was like to be with a man who had a tongue stud (HER SON). Um, yeah. That was uncomfortable to me, seeing as how my parents have a whole “see no evil, hear no evil” attitude when it comes to me and sex. I’m pretty sure that, as far as they were concerned, I was a virgin until the day I told them I was pregnant. But none of this really bothered me, it was just DIFFERENT.

When we announced that we were pregnant with Adriana, MIL seemed genuinely excited for us. She seemed a little put off that we weren’t having a big wedding after all, but not majorly upset, just a little comment here and there about how we were only inviting immediate family (like 15 people total). There was some awkwardness with certain members of that side of the family not coming to our reception back home (which we SPECIFICALLY planned to be 4th of July weekend, since that’s the only weekend of the year that side gets together), and a little more awkwardness at the baby shower with most of her side not showing up, but I wasn’t really upset with her for any of it. Mostly, I thought it was rude of the rest of the family to not RSVP for either event in any way, shape, or form, since there are other people I would have invited if I had known we’d have the space.

Around the time of the wedding, we also found out that she had an illness that was affecting many aspects of her life. Basically, we accepted that as the excuse for any weirdness on her part, and the months and months of cancelled plans / not calling us.

So that pretty much gets you up to speed on our pre-baby relationship with MIL. It only gets more fun from here…

3 comments:

Swistle said...

I totally love family drama stories. It seems wrong to love it like this when it's often so distressing, but there it is.

The Diniwilks said...

Swistle - I know, ME TOO. Ironically enough, I remember reading your MIL stories with the same guilty pleasure, while thinking in the back of my mind "oh, THANK GOODNESS mine isn't that bad." Apparently I should have knocked on wood or something.

Lacey said...

Oohhh, I love "to be continued" stories! Can't wait to hear the rest of this story! If only my husband would let me write about his step-mom...