Thursday, April 20, 2006


About two weeks ago, we went to my IL's for the weekend. During our trip there (about two hours) we learned that there had been a family emergency and my MIL wouldn't be home. She asked us (well, actually, she asked my brother-in-law to ask us) not to come. Well, we were already en route, so we continued, thinking that if the worst happened (and it did, her mother, my DH's grandmother, died that night), we could be there to lend support. Later we found out (also from BIL) that she didn't want us to come because she wouldn't be able to go out and get us take-out like she'd planned. This woman. I swear. We have cars, drivers licenses and money. Getting our own takeout wouldn't hurt us.

Instead, I stopped at a local grocery store and bought what my family likes to eat (which is not quite what her family likes to eat). I made my kids ham sandwiches and in walked my FIL. He sat down at the dinner table and I asked if he'd like a sandwich. Apparently, in traditional male speak, this means "May I prepare and serve you a sandwich?" because the man was totally flummoxed when I put bread, ham and cheese in front of him, unassembled. I still laugh when I think of the stunned expression on his face. I wonder if he now feels sorry for his son, who has to extract his own ham from the package and layer on bread himself.

The next night, my mother-in-law did go get takeout, despite the fact that her mother had died less than 24 hours prior. I fear that this is because going to get takeout is less stressful than trying to cook for me. Honestly, I feel sorry for her. There aren't many people who can cook for me. Mainly, well, me. And my grandmom. DH can cook some things that I'll eat. That's about it. I hate going to events, especially at people's houses, because I don't like eating food I'm not sure about. And to my MIL, food truly does equal love, although she claims that's not true. I'm pretty sure she doesn't realize that she does it, but she smothers everyone with food (Pop-tarts for the kids, cheesesteaks for me, she even goes to a different takeout place to get the fries that Tom likes). There is some ironic curse in a food=love type getting picky, picky me for a daughter-in-law. After eight years, though, I think we've gotten over it a bit. She still stresses over feeding me, but I continually try to convince (with only minor success) that I don't need anything special. I actually like plain, unbuttered toast for dinner. And the sad thing? I really do.

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