Saturday, April 30, 2016

In which I did not grovel enough with Sly and Doris

Primo: There's a letter in the paper to an advice columnist* from this woman who does not want to spend Christmas with her husband's siblings.

Me: Sometimes, you just have to do things to support your spouse.

Primo: Yes.

Me: Although I did not support you by going to your mom and dad's.

Primo: The letter writer says her husband's died and the husband is lonely and wants to be with his siblings, but they are racists who hassle them for living in the big city.

Me: Well -- yes. It depends on why the spouse does not want to be with the in laws. If the in laws are jerks, then the spouse should not have to put up with it.

Primo: I have read some things my mom wrote to her friends - that I always visit them alone.

Me: That's because your mom and dad were mean to me.

Primo: Yep.

Me: What was I supposed to do to get them to like me?

Primo: You were supposed to grovel and try to earn their approval, the way my mom had to with my dad's family.

* Yes, Primo and I discuss the letters to Carolyn Hax and Alison and usually agree on things like the gay couple should not donate sperm to the lesbian couple until they are very clear on what is required re child support by state law and that the person who is complaining about his next-door neighbor should talk to the neighbor before reporting him to the homeowners' association.


  1. My husband and I discuss AAM letters and Mallory-the-new-Prudie letters, too! The family that consumes advice together stays together, I say.

    1. Exactly! Even though Primo and I are worlds apart on politics, we almost always agree on the down and dirty issues like whether someone should say please or how long a houseguest should stay.

  2. Someone who had to grovel to earn their in-laws approval could have risen above that and warmly welcomed their child's choice of partner into the family. Doris could have chosen to do better than her mother in law. She chose differently and didn't like the consequences. Actually, they were unable to see cause and effect, weren't they? A shame.

    1. I KNOW! I have a friend from the gym - an older lady - who said that because her MIL had been so mean to her that she was determined to be welcoming to her sons' wives. She was happy to report that all three sons had married lovely women and they all got along well. So much of "lovely" is in the eye of the beholder, don't you think? If Sly and Doris had been nicer, I would have been delighted to spend part of my winter in Florida visiting them, mostly because I hate snow. Clearly, my hatred of snow and cold was not outweighed by my desire not to be around them, though.

    2. My mom did the same thing. My dad's mom wasn't especially welcoming to her, and she decided she wouldn't do that to her kids' spouses. She bends over backwards to have a good relationship with my sister-in-law, and everyone is happier.

    3. My Mum drives me and my sister NUTS by how nice and accomodating she is to my brother-in-law, far in excess of her own daughters (nuts in a friendly kind of way, if that makes sense), because apparently my grandparents on her side were a bit unwelcoming to my Dad...

      But it's much nicer that Brother-in-Law is The Best than that there is an atmosphere.


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