Sunday, December 7, 2008

Do You Have a Monster-In-Law?

By Kate Collins

Listening to a radio call-in show the other day (WGN, the Kathy and Judy Show) I had to laugh at the topic: Mothers-in-law. The stories were so awful they were hysterical. A M-I-L who rearranged her daughter-in-law's drawers whenever she babysat – even her lingerie drawer. A M-I-L who was Queen of the Castle and treated her D-I-L as a servant girl, while her husband was "The Prince." And on and on. It made me realize how lucky I was.

My mother-in-law, first marriage, was a tiny little German woman who couldn't read English, drive, or speak well, so she basically cooked and cleaned 24/7. When I was newly married, still in college, living in a tiny apartment, she volunteered to do our laundry. All we had to do was drop it off. How kind, I thought, until I got the first load back. All my colored clothes had been bleached. All my cotton sweaters had shrunk two sizes. Seems she had one laundry mode: hot with bleach. We went to a laundromat after that.

Some people reported having another in-law that caused problems, but many said they had great relationships. How about you? Any funny stories to share? Hair-raising tales? Do you get along with your in-laws or wish you lived on the other side of the planet? Spill, friends. Make us laugh or make us shudder. And P.S. I may have to use one of these ideas in a future book, but I promise to change the names to protect the guilty, er, innocent.

Have a great week,

Kate