|Non-recent photo of my mother-in-law, circa 1981|
OMWord....I get so serious in this post. And then I ruin it at the end.
It's no secret that my mother-in-law and I don't get along. Sometimes I think it's because we're very similar. Take for instance the fact that we both don't like ice in our drinks. Or that we both think $6 for a garlic flavored ice cream cone is a waste of money. Or perhaps it's something more along the lines that we both are very vocal in our opinions.
So my husband and I spent the first few years of our marriage avoiding her, fighting with her, dealing with her (like when she sneaked into our house and changed the thermostat because she thought the heat was too high), threatening her, and then finally cutting off most of our contact with her.
Then one late spring day a year-and-a-half ago she announced she was getting a divorce after nearly thirty-two years of marriage. I look back now and wonder if she took so much of her frustrations in her marriage out on me because she was so unhappy in her own relationship.
The divorce for my husband was hard, gut-wrenching, and oftentimes he felt as if he was put in the middle of his parents by his parents. I felt empathy for him. This was all something I had gone through before.
I understood where his feelings were coming from.
After all, my mother has married four times. My father at least that many times. Divorce can be very hard on the children involved even when those children are adults. However, some people were just not meant for each other. No matter how hard or hardly each other tried. I'd never want to walk in either of their shoes. It is too often a difficult, emotional, dramatic, and expensive mess. I think the best thing my in-laws could have done for each other is get a divorce. I saw it coming nine years ago.
Even if my father-in-law didn't.
Yes, I'm a tad apathetic.
Now my mother-in-law thinks she has found her new soul mate. Congratulations. And I have to give it to her that she has managed to keep a steady relationship with this guy for over two years. I had never dated a guy that long myself besides her eldest son. Three months was usually the breaking up point for me. Like that one time a boyfriend of mine in college burped in my mouth while we were kissing and I called him Satan to his face. Then there was that other boyfriend that broke up with me with his parents on the phone to help him. Then he had the nerve to send me money for groceries a couple weeks later because he felt sorry for me. So I hunted him down in Pocatello, Idaho in my blue 1989 Chevy Corsica a couple months later and gave him his money back in a crisp white envelope along with a nasty note inside while my friends in my car egged me on.
Of course I now feel badly about that last one.
Back to my dear mother-in-law.
I've discovered and accepted over the last year that my mother-in-law and I may just be more alike than not. As I've admitted, I think that is why we can't get along. Ever. Too much competition. Too much in common. I've written about this before. In fact, I am a bit bitter right now that she recently stole my dream job of...not cleaning lady, not farmer, not preacher of her new religion (she may or may not have tried all three of these), but Over the Road Truck Driver.
That's right my friends, she's a bona fide Traveling Mother Trucker.
She's taken my bucket list occupation of traveling the United States and getting paid to do it.
Bless her heart. If competing with my mother-in-law ain't an Olympian feat, I don't know what is.