"" Writer's Wanderings: The Mothers-in-law

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Mothers-in-law

Two of my friends are about to join the infamous and much aligned group called mothers-in-law. One's son is marrying the other's daughter. Knowing the two families, I have every confidence that it will be a great blending of two families.

Mothers-in-law are often greatly maligned and become the target of bad jokes, psychoanalysis, and movie plots. (This week, I believe, Jane Fonda becomes the Monster-in-law to Jay Lo at the cinema.) Perhaps some deserve it but I have a feeling most do not.

The announcement of the engagement of my friend's children, brought to mind two wonderful women we met on a cruise once. They called themselves "the mothers-in-law"--one's son had married the other's daughter. They were from England and could have been the ship's entertainment for an evening. They were hilarious. Their husbands didn't like to travel. So once a year, the two of them would leave their spouses to fend for themselves and go off together for an adventure somewhere else in the world.

They said they were great mothers-in-law because they wanted nothing more than their children to be happy together so that their travel adventures could continue.

But then, after more thought, they concluded that it didn't matter. Even if the marriage didn't work out, they'd stay together as mothers-in-law.

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