Golden Rules to live by for daughter in laws and girlfriends:
1. The mother in law is always right.
2. The mother in law is the centre of the universe. Any attempt by daughter in laws to divert away the attention of the son (without prior approval by the mother in law) is considered an hostile act, or a potential act or war.
3. The mother in law always decides. The mother in law may delegate the decisional authority but that also constitutes a decision by the mother in law.
4. The daughter in law or prospective daughter in laws must always show deference and respect to the mother in law. Thus, she speaks only when spoken to.
5. In case the mother in law is wrong, refer to rule #1.
I developed this list on the fly after watching in horror, a girl twisting my 8 year old son around her little finger to her whims and fancy.
Suddenly, I saw myself 20 years in the future, facing the ignominy of meeting my son’s girlfriend and subjecting myself to the humiliation of becoming an old neglected hag.
Beautiful, sexy, articulate, a woman in her own right. Trust my son to bring back a quality lady. What more can a mother ask?
So I invite them to stay for dinner. Wait. Hesitation. Unintelligible and atypical response from my son.
They have made plans. They are going for dinner downtown, french. No offense to the french, but how can anyone prefer something as cruelly tasteless as foie gras over my piping hot, home cooked dinner? Outwardly, I smile my greatest smile and wish them a great evening and dinner. Inside, I was almost exploding with rage, and my mind was racing. Am I going to lose my son forever?
I am back at the playground with the little girl telling Malcolm exactly how she wants to play a game.
I asked Malcolm to come to me, he said wait a while.
I asked him to get a drink, he replied that he has had a drink.
I asked him to get something for me, he told me curtly to ask daddy.
I told him that it was time to go off soon, he ignored me.
I almost went ballistic.
This is where it all started, and by golly, this is where it will all end.
Later that evening, my 8 year old got a lesson on the dangers of playing with girls with bright smiles and manipulative minds. I explained the counters and the counter counter moves and how to avoid becoming a pawn.
I realized that I could well be dealing with my own deep seated insecurities here
yet it was apparent that this tug of war between a mother and daughter in law, an age-old phenomenon, is very much alive even in today’s modern world and it doesn’t look like it is going to go out of fashion anytime, at least not in my household.