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Duck And Cover

My in-laws are coming!! For five weeks!!

I'm lucky that they're nice people.  Loving people.  Even wonderful.

The truth is that as soon as a person gets the title "in-law" attached to their familial identifier, they go a little crazy.

Nobody is immune to this law of nature.

Not even me the daughter-in-law or sister-in-law.

I would not arrogantly presume that I didn't aim some crazy remark at Tariq's parents or MBTD's wife that made them think, Really? I can't believe we have to be related to this psycho.

Anyway, for the most part, the in-laws and I have a great relationship based on mutual respect, genuine love and a good sense of humor about life in general.  In every way, I'd say our relationship is ideal.

As ideal as it can be.  (Don't forget the parts of our brain that generally control empathy, sensitivity, ego stroking and general tact are somewhat diminished when we became a something-in-law.)

It helps that the in-laws and I share a very core value:  Family Harmony and Togetherness.

Being part of Tariq's family taught me that no person's ego, sensitivity or insecurity is bigger than the unity of this family.  While this may seem complicated and reflect inequity to the people who stand outside of this circle, I assure you it's not like that on the inside.

Do they tell us what they think we should do?  Yes.  Oh, yes.

Do we tell them what we think they should do?  Yes.  Definitely.

And everyone takes everyone else seriously when they offer advice.  And everyone considers the advice and does what's best not only everyone, but for them.  This isn't just family.  It's friendship, too.

Does anyone stomp their feet and hold their breath and stand in the corner and say, I'm taking my ball and I'm going home because you guys are losers for not listening to me?  No.  Never once in front of me, anyway.

My in-laws are also very fair people.  They have never taken my loyalty for granted.  And they have my loyalty because they've always been loyal to me.

They have shown me generosity and acceptance, and as a self described fair person... I owe it to them to do the same.

So, yeah, people freak out when I say they're coming for five weeks.  And, I understand why.  But, they don't need to freak out.  We're going to be fine because of all the things I explained.

In the end, we're committed to each other.

In this marriage, we both knew we were marrying each other's family.  We knew that there was going to be a lot of compromise, and that it might get tough every now and then.  In our own ways, I believe we gained a lot by approaching it that way.

Plus, if it the next five weeks gets really hard?

I have an additional strategy planned as backup.

What about you guys? How often and for how long do the in laws come to visit? Is it fun or is it like swallowing large shards of glass with a rubbing alcohol chaser?

Reader Comments (48)

Luckily, my parents have never visited us, even when we lived in LA, and if they had, I would have made them stay in a hotel, so it wouldn't have been a problem.

Amy's mom stays with us, but she's very easygoing and I just ignore both she and Amy when she's visiting and do my own thing.

May 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

How sweet. They read this, don't they? :)

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRebTurtle

@Avitable, Testing out the new thread comment reply function.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

@Avitable, testes. 1, 2 . . . 3?

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

@Avitable, Faiqa, when you see this in the morning, reply to me so I can test the email function of it.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

I officially do not have in-laws anymore. But I have a decent relationship with the kids' other grandparents. And I get along very well with Steven's parents. But luckily my house is too small for extended visits. So no one has ever visited for more than a day.

You're lucky. And so are they.


May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHoosierGirl

Wait... if I read this correctly, I could eat glass and drink rubbing alcohol INSTEAD of having my inlaws over?


May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSciFi Dad

@Avitable, By testicles, he's got it!

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSybil Law

@Sybil Law, Thanks, Sybil!

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

Oh, Faiqa - Can I trade in - laws with you?!
Mine do not need to visit - they live too close, unfortunately. My FIL should literally be in prison (and he might be once I'm done speaking to an attorney) and my MIL - she's a fruitloop, but otherwise, kind. Selfish as all get out, the both of them, but I can tolerate the MIL. I've recently declared the FIL is cut out of my life. I WISH I had great in - laws!
Thank God my parents are reasonably sane, loving and great grandparents!
Also, if you need me to send you some rohypnol, let me know. ;)

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSybil Law

@Avitable, By testes? Really? You're such a child. And.. thank you. :)

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@RebTurtle, No, actually, they don't. But my husband does. SO there's that.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@HoosierGirl, I'm glad to hear that. Grandparents are so important.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@SciFi Dad, Hahahaha!

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Sybil Law, Can I have the rohypnol to use on someone else?

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Faiqa, Oh, yes! It's an equal opportunity drug. :)

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSybil Law

In my never-ending quest to educate the world in how lucky I am, I should point out that I have great inlaws. MIL is a physical therapist and does my back work!

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwhall

"In this marriage, we both knew we were marrying each other’s family. We knew that there was going to be a lot of compromise, and that it might get tough every now and then. In our own ways, I believe we gained a lot by approaching it that way."

I think not only are you lucky that each of YOU knew that, but apparently your families did as well.

That's kind of where SOME people fall down. ahem.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Britt

My inlaws live 5 blocks away, so its practially like an "everybody loves raymond" episode.

fortunately, i DO get along with them, but i DO wish they wouldnt pop in so often.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterslyde

Weird, I hadn't really thought of this, since both mine and Terry's parents are already gone. But I typically take in-laws to my bosom and embrace them in a suffocating way (heh) so it's probably for the best

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNanna

How I feel about my inlaws changes day by day, depending on their current level of douchebaggery.

Because we live with my parents, the whole inlaw thing is way fucked up and blurred when it comes to them.

Faiqa, my in-laws are actually pretty cool. However, they party more now than when they were in their 20s. Jokingly my wife said that we would leave the kids with them for a weekend, but we'd be afraid a friend of theirs would call to go to the pub and they'd take them along. My mother-in-laws response: "Well, there's no smoking in them now, and kids are allowed now so I don't see how that's an issue." Gotta love it.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJay P

@whall, You are truly awesome.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Miss Britt, Heh. Not anyone WE know though.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@slyde, That's funny, we actually joke about how our family dynamic is like Everybody Loves Raymond all the time.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Nanna, I've found that suffocation with bosoms is a very good coping technique. :D

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Sheila (Charm School Reject), See. MY parents for five weeks? Not gonna happen.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Jay P, I LOVE that. I've just decided that I'm going to be that kind of grandparent. :)

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Faiqa, I know, it makes me sick that my in-laws are much cooler than I am. Maybe one day I'll be then strolling in from the club at 5 am when I'm nearing 60.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJay P

You captured it perfectly. They (my parents) realize how fortunate they are to have you as a daughter. We have definitely learned a lot from each other's families and we are better individuals because of that. Thanks a lot for writing this post. I love you.
P.S. That whole testes comment chain by Adam is just not right for this particular post. What's sad is that he probably didn't even mean to just naturally comes out like that. :)

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTariq

My mom used to come up to stay with us when she visited. I would have never had her stay in a hotel as she always played babysitter. The most she would stay would be a week.

5 weeks is a long time. Maybe after the first 2 weeks, suggest how nice the Hilton is down the road and that you can meet for breakfast at Mimi's Cafe.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermartymankins

Five weeks?!

You better be having a baby for them to take care of, otherwise there is NO reason for them to overstay their welcome by 4 weeks and 6 days!

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPoppy

@Tariq, Yesss!! You read it. Brownie points achieved.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@martymankins, I think the Pakistani part of my genes that keeps me from suggesting a hotel. Completely unfathomable.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Poppy, Snort. No, they're leaving before the baby. I actually prefer my mom to be here. I think the reasoning behind that is obvious... right?

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

Oh, jeese, anyone coming for 5 weeks is a long time; In-laws or not.

Ha, ha, I just read Poppy's comment...totally!

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

If I get started I'll write a book, so I won't. But I will say this:

1. I second Sci-Fi Dad's comment.
2. They're 5 minutes away. It's like everybody loves mutherfucking raymond.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLexi

Gia and I share a house with her folks.

That's all I'm gonna say about that.

May 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterB.E. Earl

My in-laws, particularly my MIL, are positively delightful. We usually visit over a regular weekend ... extended stays for holidays. Visiting my family, however, is more of the shards-of-glass variety. Maybe not as painful, but always tense as we wait for the first fight of the visit.

May 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate

@Kimberly, Yeah, privacy does get to be something of an issue...

May 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Lexi, My parents live half an hour away, so I can kind of sympathize with the out of the blue phone call that says "we'll be there in ten minutes... what do you mean you're busy?"

May 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@B.E. Earl, :) Say more, come on.

May 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

Exactly the same situation over here.

May 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

@Earl: YOU DO?! SHUT UP!!! *SHOVE*

Parents are coming back into style, apparently.

May 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPoppy

Ummmm, yeah? Hi? My in-laws LIVE WITH ME. They are also wonderful people and I have a good relationship with them.

But still, there are times that they make me CRAYYYYZEEEEEE!

May 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I have two sets of in-laws (though I prefer to think of them as Outlaws). One set here in Oz and one set in Canada. The Canadian loonies always come visit us to escape the Canadian winter which lands them smack bang in the middle of a Brisbane summer so they spend most of their time complaining about the heat, cranking up the air con and scoffing gallons of coffee all day. About four days into a two week visit from them and I'm making excuses to run errands to get out of the house.
The local Outlaws are even harder to take - they say horrible things, exclude certain members of the family from family occasions (sometimes us), and that Mother In Law has a habit of being very two faced and is quite the most immature selfish woman I've ever met. You can't trust a word she says to you and she will frequently stab you in the back as the minute you part company. I've seen them only once since Christmas (which is a new record) and I am deliberately trying to keep the contact as minimal as possible.
I envy your seemingly harmonious situation.

May 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterborysSNORC ™

I'm catching up with your post now that I'm not consumed with school anymore and no, I don't think you are crazy. You know I love you greatly and value your opinion in all matters. On a more selfish note, can I not be called MBTD's wife. It conjures an image that I can't relate to and saddens me for some reason. Zia's it. Doctor's wife...creepy. I'm not sure why and I'm sure I need some self reflection here, but the pineapple is calling my name so I'll self reflect later.

May 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTraci

@Traci, Oh, good point, I'll stop calling you MBTD's wife.... can't believe I did that in the first place!! How about CWGE (Coolest White Girl Evah)? Or, ummm, let's try WTTTLSTM (Way too Thin To Love Sugar That Much)? Or how about Traci? Yeah, there we go.

May 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaiqa

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