Most people (read married women and men) hear the term in-laws and the first reaction is “cringe”. Speaking strictly for myself, I was fed on pictures of meddling, noisy and judgmental overseers who think we’re never good enough for their baby. Worse, movies and matrimonial horror stories too told us that dealing with in-laws is directly proportional to hating and bitching about them.
However, no one prepared me to deal with the opposite?
I have to admit that I was extremely apprehensive about my in-laws second annual visit to my teeny-weeny house in Mumbai. The first time, it 4 months after my marriage so nothing could spoil the joyride -not even a visit from the in-laws. This time around, however I was a nervous wreck (as mentioned in the previous post)
But as I write this post, I realise they are genuinely interested in my marriage but by tradition, they must perform the role of a watch dog. I also finally got it that every single effort of mine to know more about my in-laws and what they see as good in marriage has benefited me. For instance, when I saw my father-in-law attending to his wife’s joint pains and caring for her food habits, I was genuinely impressed by the subtle way of caring for one another. And I said so too. In return, I was treated with anecdotes and stories about the old couple’s bitter-sweet struggles with each other. It was sweet and hilarious.
Yes, I do wake up to the TV blaring about some yoga pose or some Godly tales recited in the most shrieky tones. But I also get a ready supply of milk, curds and other tid-bit groceries, which till 3 days back, was my headache.
I do have to deal with some hygiene issues (since I maintain a well-sanitized house)…but in return, I also get two very happy and content faces when I enter my home in evenings.
I still cannot criticize their son (even on a lighter note)…but in return, when my father-in-law decides to chide his wife and son, then I am the most sought after audience by him.
I do have to mind my behavior and keep it at a demurely respectful levels (I can be quite brash otherwise) but then my in-laws do not impose strict rules like conservative dressing or play-acting the TV serial daughter-in-law with all her married embodiments.