I started this blog because I have a lot of things to say that I don’t want attached to my real name and identity. Many of them involve me being a recovering alcoholic. All involve profanity.
In some ways I have a traditional or typical relationship with my mother-in-law and in-laws at large, and in some ways I don’t. Typical in that they hate my guts. Atypical in that we are essentially no contact and have been for almost a year.
Leading up to and since my wedding, I have committed four egregious crimes against them.
The first: I *gasp* didn’t have a traditional wedding and pushed back on their ridiculous demands to have a bigger wedding with all their stupid relatives in attendance, traditional white dress, traditional stupid elaborate decorations, etc. Multiple times during the engagement my mother-in-law (abbreviated MIL) made me want to cancel the god damn thing because she was being so ridiculous. “You’re not inviting great-aunt Mabel and her 800 dogs and grandchildren??? I’m sure she would love to come out of her trailer in the holler and eat your free food, I mean celebrate your union.” – “No, MIL, fuck off and don’t come if you don’t want to come, I couldn’t give fewer fucks if you’re happy or not.”
The second: I *gasp* didn’t shed my last name, my identity of 25 years, and take on my husband’s in an archaic gesture symbolizing that ownership of me had transferred from my father to him with our union. How dare I not want to take on a last name that not only clashed horribly with my first name but would also cost me countless hours and possibly funds trying to change my name across bank accounts, online accounts, work, everything. Not to mention, I just don’t want to. Why should I do something I don’t want to do, just because everybody else does or that’s the way society works? And I’m not keeping my name just to be a rebel or to be different, or to say fuck you to society for the fun of it. I like my name and just because I bound myself legally to someone I live with and have sex with doesn’t mean I have to change my identity.
The third: I have declared, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I will be partaking of neither pregnancy nor parenting for the duration of my life. I don’t know if I could possibly rank my transgressions against my husband’s family in order of severity, but his mother sure has been passive aggressive about this one. “Oh look at our new house! This bedroom would be perfect for the GRAAAANDCHILDREN to sleep in. Oh, [son’s name with a rarely-used diminutive -y at the end] are you two working on making babies so I can have some GRAAAAANDCHILDREN? All my friends have some, why can’t I have some GRAAAANDCHILDREN?” And every time I would tell her that we were not having any. I used to give her my well-thought out and well-researched reasoning as to why we were declining to breed, and each time she would dismiss me as though I was a child telling my mother that I don’t want to do my homework. So eventually I stopped justifying and simply stated. “You having kids soon?” – “No.” – “Why?” – “I don’t want to, simple as that.” But it was never as simple as that for my husband’s mother. I know she would never say it, but to her I was the evil, liberal, childfree temptress who brainwashed her precious baby boy into letting his wife not bless him with crotch spawn. But of course my perfect son wants to bless the world with fuck trophies that I can show off like fat pigs at a state fair, she reasoned. It’s that devil wife of his that’s the problem. His first wife, the crazy adulteress, SHE wanted to breed with him and he with her, so this second wife must have BRAINWASHED the poor thing. How dare she and my son have a rational, adult conversation about their hopes and dreams for the future and children not be part of them.
The fourth: I didn’t let his mother walk all over me. She, like most mothers-in-law, is loud, overbearing, and bitchy. She knew my political views were farther left than Michael Moore and Bernie Sanders’ love child, and she knew I knew she was as conservative as any 50-year-old male in the Deep South, minus the religious fanaticism. But would she shut her trap around me? No. Everyone knows that to keep the peace in the family, you shouldn’t discuss politics, especially if political views vary wildly. She knew we agreed on next to nothing politically, yet she still ran her mouth and expected me to smile and nod. Too bad I don’t work that way, and on one instance I asked her to kindly shut her trap about whatever bullshit GOP issue of the day she was rambling on about. I didn’t even tell her how stupid and wrong she was, I just told her not to discuss such matters around me. But the bitch didn’t listen. So we stopped speaking, she blocked me on Facebook, and nothing has changed since. That was nine months ago.
We weren’t always enemies. The first time I met my husband’s mother and father, I found them enjoyable and I considered this a contributing factor to mine and my husband’s relationship working and being solid. I remember very clearly meeting my husband’s father first, and then a few minutes later, his mother. I arrived at the party where we were to meet smack dab in the middle of the festivities.
The then-guy-I-was-casually-seeing-for-a-month (who I will call Casual for this anecdote) brought me over to the beer pong table, his face lit up and his palm holding the small of my back.
“[Casual Girlfriend], this is my dad, [Dad’s Name],” he said, grinning broadly.
“Hi, [Casual Girlfriend], I’m drunk,” Dad’s Name replied. I thought I loved him already.
His mother greeted me with equal vigor.
“You must be [Casual Girlfriend],” she said warmly.
The booze was flowing freely all around. His parents were past tipsy but not shitfaced and seemed happy, a little outrageous, drunk. I had a good feeling about them.
As it turned out, I should have never met them for the first time while they were drunk. They acted after six drinks how I act after two. His father, sober, was silent virtually all the time. His mother, sober, was disdainful, holier-than-thou, and Reagan-worshipping. It obviously didn’t end up working out.