Tonight I’m visiting one of my favorite cities in America – Chicago. As I enjoy watching the Friday night activity on Milwaukee Avenue, I’m thinking back to a conversation with Fran at an Olive Garden restaurant last year. We were enjoying a bowl of soup and a salad while talking about how MILs start off in their role with an immediate handicap. The stereotypical MIL is an object of scorn and ridicule in modern-day America and it’s a challenge to avoid being labeled as one from the start.
Fran has two sons. And she will tell you that they were both answers to much prayer. When the younger one became engaged to a lovely young woman, Fran decided on a wedding gift. She told her son that she was going to pay for their honeymoon … with one stipulation: that she go with them!
Now, Fran is a joker, a teaser. Her Christmas letters are not “brag rags” like many of the ones you might receive during the holiday season. They are hilarious! They ought to be published in the “True Life” columns of The New York Times. They are that good. So, even though her son knows this very well, his response to this offer was an unequivocal “No, you’re not”. Not surprising.
Fran approached her soon-to-be DIL separately with the same offer. Clarisse laughed nervously.
“She thought I was joking, but she wasn’t quite sure.”
“Because she didn’t yet know you well enough” I offered.
Fran nodded in agreement. “She didn’t yet know me well enough. But, she played along.”
Eventually, so did her son who occasionally would quip things like “I hope your bags are packed. We’re going to Costa Rica!”
Just before the wedding, Fran sent them both an email saying was sorry, but that she couldn’t go on the honeymoon with them after all. As it turned out, the finale of that season’s “Dancing with the Stars” was scheduled for that week and she just couldn’t bring herself to miss it!
Sounds like a good sense of humor plays a role in this mother and son as well as MIL/DIL relationship!
More of Fran’s fun approach to MILhood next week! Stay tuned.