Family is a funny thing. Particularly the in-law side of the family. It’s so odd to think that you can fall in love with someone and that, usually, there’s a whole slew of other people that just come along with the package. And then you’re expected to love (or at least act like you love), feed, house, welcome, call, write and invite them to participate in every meaningful event that takes place in your life until the day that you, or they, no longer walk the earth. Or, until you get divorced but that’s another story.
And, No, I Still Haven’t Gotten Over It
October 7, 2009 by serialswooper
I got lucky, though, and I truly married into a great family. The immediate family of my husband (his father, mother and younger brother) are really good people. I truly love them like my own family. When my father in law died unexpectedly three years ago it was, of course, horrible for my husband. But, I felt as though I lost a father, as well. He was kind, smart and funny and I miss him every day. It breaks my heart that my children won’t remember “Grampy.”
My mother in law is also a gift. She is generous of her time, her love and her extremely good nature (she is also quite generous with her Cabernet). She’s an incredible grandmother to my boys and she would be at my door at the drop of a hat if I needed her to help in any way at all. And she would also graciously step away if I ever asked her to let me be on my own. She is, like me, an only child and she understand the need I feel on occasion to just be. left. alone. She really “gets” me and I think we’re similar beings in many ways and I think much of that stems from both being only children. And, we both loved being only children. Which brings me to my acquired-by-marriage sibling — the brother in law. If my mother in law is my yin, he is my yang.
Holy cow. Get a few glasses of wine in the two of us and you never know what might happen next. We are both highly competitive, we both pretty much always think we’re right, and we differ on political views, sports fanaticism and sometimes even…gulp….child-rearing. If there’s a highly-charged topic we’ll tackle it after a few and it rarely ends well. But the thing is, he’s smart. And he’s pig-headed. And he loves my boys. And he really can make me laugh. And we have these ugly discussions that can contain a bad word or two (or twenty) and then the best part is…it’s over. I love that. As an only child I really never had anyone who went toe to toe with me like he does. He goes right ahead and tells me I’m full of crap and, sometimes, he’s right. (Often, he’s not — haha — and he’ll hate that I said that.)
He’s a marathon runner, a bachelor and a lawyer (not necessarily in that order). Someday, he’ll be a fabulous father. Oh, and for a while last year he was somewhat seriously dating a gorgeous young (and I do mean young) creature who worked as a manager for…wait for it….Victoria’s Secret. Good god. Seriously??
Which leads me to my all time favorite brother-in-law conversation.
Me to B-i-L: I can’t believe she works at Victoria’s Secret.
My husband, unable to resist: So, does she actually wear the stuff?
B-i-L (maybe a little smug): Yup
Me: Oh, gag. And, she’s how old?
Me (smart ass): I mean, wow. Cool. Can’t wait to meet her. I’ll have so much in common with a woman who’s the “23 year old Victoria’s Secret type”.
B-i-L: Yeah, you’re more like the 40 year old LL Bean type.
And it was just so quick and mean and funny. God love him. And, most of the time, I love him too. Except, maybe, when we’re playing cards and then I hate him again. But only until I win.