Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In-Laws or Out-Laws

Let me start this post with a fair warning - I was in an introspective mood today...

Did you know that the average time a blog surfer spends looking at a random blog is three minutes…three whole minutes to stumble across a random blog and read it for a while to see whether it tickles their fancy…a lot of blogs have consistent themes – Relationships, Food, Daily Happenings, Travel, Trivia…well this time around I hope you hang out in my space more than three minutes …This weekend has been introspective for me, thinking about relationships we are born into, relationships we inherit and relationships we cultivate. One interesting aspect of this is relationships we inherit – in-laws. This word brings multiple reactions in people – Joy, Neutrality, Grimaces, Annoyance and what-nots. I met an interesting guy let's call him G today who was talking about his chinese FIL who cooks dinner for him and how he was craving good ol' fashioned American Fare ;-)

Supposedly some people manage to marry into a family that is virtually the same as theirs and the transition into their new family is smooth as can be. I just don't know anyone like that myself ( I know for a fact my transition was not smooth…the saving grace was my husband and I were thousands of miles away on a different continent living our own isolated lives) . It seems like most of the time, becoming a member of a family you did not grow up in is a shock to the system that just keeps on shocking ...keep reading

I see huge differences in the relationship with my mother vs. my MIL. Yes yes, it is not fair to compare but I am human and I inherently have the tendency of comparing the familiar with the unfamiliar. My mother got married at the young age of 17 and our age difference is 19 years. She had graduated from College but for her Education ended where home life began…her world revolved around her family…must I say we were immensely spoilt with lots of love, sometimes too much quality time and supervision. My mother was pretty traditional in her views on how a girl should be bought up but was well balanced by my Dad who had more liberal views (my saving grace!!!). Both my parents were extremely simple in their living, not into material goods and not into comparisons of well I don’t have “X” item that my friend has and I need it or they did not have any expectations from anyone, what they could accomplish on their own they did, if they couldn’t well too bad…they did without. When it came to growing up I think I inculcated a lot of my parents values of Simple Living – I am not into flashy cars or clothes or throwing money around on wasteful expenditures to make sure I had/have what my friend/neighbor/acquaintance did or had…my logic is where does this want end…you never end up getting content. I see a marked difference in my MIL’s attitude towards material possessions, comparisons with others especially friends & relatives, expectations which lead her to be disappointed. My husband though has values very similar to mine which is why I think we gel well (wow I rhymed)

Don’t get me wrong…my MIL -she is a wonderful woman…but for me that relationship was one I married into…so one I have to work hard at establishing and keeping it going. With my mother, there is no talk about making it work…it works…if it doesn’t we yell and shout and scream at each other…sulk and pout for a couple days and then make up…but in the end it has to work…I have never had one of those raging screaming matches (or even a small fight) I have had with Ma with my MIL, I wonder why sometimes…if something hurts me or offends me I get ultra polite and distant but never lose my cool and let her know like I do Ma….anyone have similar experiences?

I think in the end, like Tom Hanks said in Forrest Gump – Life is a box of chocolates…you never know what you end up getting....some flavors are sweet, others bitter, others flavors you would adore while some you would detest…but if you like chocolates (read relationships )…you trudge ahead and are adventurous and you discover nuances to your relationships that you never knew existed…

No comments:

Post a Comment