Mother-in-laws have always gotten a bad rap. Is it fact or fiction. I can only share what has been told to me by a best friend about her experiences with her mother-in-law. This particular story starts on a beautiful sunny Southern California day at the race tracks. And they’re off! The announcers voice sails through the air over the speakers at the Del Mar Track as the horses come out the gate, leaving dust in their trail. The excitement, the exhilaration, the energy of the crowd and the noise sends you into an adrenalin rush. You have been looking forward to this all week. Trifecta, trifecta, trifecta you keep thinking. This is your day. You were even given a tip by some pros on which three horses to bet on in the finish. You hear a voice midst your fog of excitement.
You ignore it as your eyes are glued to your favorite horse and the jockey riding him. A few minutes go by. The voice is back.
You block it from your world. Suddenly an arm tugs at you. You elbow it back with the slightest bit of aggression. The voice just won’t leave you alone. Alas a third time it haunts you.
You snap. “What? What? What is it? Can’t I have a moment of my own?” And then, there it is, the announcement from hell.
“Baby, my Mama is expecting us. We can’t stay here too long. My Mama is waiting.”
You turn your head quite similar to the way Linda Blair did in the exorcist, and you think to yourself as if questioning the mere existence of the person; Your Mama. You try to suppress the evil thoughts that you have. It dawns on you that you didn’t even ask him to come with you. This was your own little personal shindig that he chose to crash. What you really want to tell him is, You and your Mama are jamming my frequencies. But you don’t. It’s your mother-in-law and his Mama and you are trying to keep the peace, yet it is extremely difficult.
And so I ask you, what is a girl to do? You love your man, and you even love your mother-in-law, to an extent since she is after all his Mama, but why must she always be the focal point of messing up your flow in everything you are trying to do and enjoy in life? Is there a wicked Mother-in-law master plan that you’re not aware of? What? What? So how come you didn’t get the memo?
As you leave the track many hours earlier than what you had planned, you seethe in your anger as he talks. You are totally oblivious to his ranting. All you hear are the voices of the little kids on Charlie Brown. Whah whah whahn whahn whahn. As if you needed anything else to piss you off just a little bit more, you reflect back on some of your more embarrassing monster-in-law moments. What the hell, your plans are shot. You may as well be pissed off to the ultimate point of pissitivity, and so you daydream.
At your last Christmas party at your house, his Mama tells your best friend her new Dolce & Gabanna dress looks like a version of a hoochie mama dress that she saw on a girl on a video. And why was she watching it you wonder? She then asks for reassurance to clarify her understanding; “Hmmm don’t you have to have a video body for that?” And if that’s not enough, she criticizes your food that was catered by one of your best friends who is standing at your side as his Mama speaks. Oh yeah, did I mention it was your extremely talented temperamental Gay friend who was just featured in Bon Appetit as a revered Chef, who is just about ready to kick “Mother Jefferson’s” butt down the stairs as he calls her as your other friends drag him into the back room kicking and screaming?
Let’s take it a step further, you and your man have made a decision about an important issue in your life. He chooses to share it with his Mama, who guess what, thinks it should be done differently, opposite to what you have argued for the past six months. Hey I’m all for good advice especially if it is beneficial to my well being. So now tell me do you have a “his Mama” problem or do you have a “Mama’s boy” problem? It may not be all the mother-in-law’s fault after all. Sticky situation isn’t it? When is enough…enough? Enough is when you are saying good night to all of your guests and his Mama hovers over you like an evil spirit at the front door. As a final parting for all of your guests that may not have been insulted, she gets in one last dig. She announces to you the Jimmy Choo’s you are wearing are what the street women used to wear over on Evans Avenue which is the known place for hookers. You feel a growl coming up from deep within your throat. You feel the skin from your finger tips splitting as the nails extend like a wolf, and then you pray.
Baby girl, baby girl, it is clear that it is time to have a come to Jesus meeting with your man, not his Mama. Chances are you love his Mama just like you love your own. And let’s face it, sometimes the monster-in-law could well be your Mama. It does happen sometimes. But the fact is for all of your relationships to work peacefully without any blood being shed, you can’t hold this in. Let’s face it, it is now time to face the demon and look it dead in the eye and deal with the issues at hand.
So where do you begin? First of all don’t confront your man while you are angry. You are going to say all of the wrong things and you will not, I repeat will not be able to take them back. Do sleep on it. Think long and hard about what you want and what your expectations are of your relationship and of your man. And then you tell him exactly what you expect. Tell him everything you really feel, everything, in a positive way without being hurtful. You don’t want to destroy your relationship, but you have to let him know how you feel. That is the only way to clear the air. Otherwise the feelings of anger and frustration will fester and make you miserable. Chances are your misery will make everyone else around you miserable. Communicate, communicate, communicate. After that the ball is in his court.
Let’s face it, your man is going to have to stand up and be a man and deal with the situation with his Mama. He needs to initiate a way to deal with this situation, this way it causes no bad blood for you. This is a sensitive matter as we all know but if you don’t cowgirl up and tell him the truth about how you feel, it could get worse. You heard me, worse! Yeah I’ll bet you are motivated to talk to him now, considering the situation could exacerbate. Just remember you too will be a monster-in-law one day, excuse me I meant mother-in-law. Oops did I say that out loud? And they’re off!