My father and mother-in-law decided to come visit from India for about seven weeks, seven years after they last came to see their one and only son.
Do you know how huge this is? They were the ones who refused to meet me the last time they came. They adamantly opposed our marriage. They were extremely upset that Bob and I got engaged and later got married. My father-in-law was so angry that he refused to speak to Bob for another ten months after that. Needless to say, nobody from his family came to our wedding. Bob was very sad, but at the same time very happy that we got married. What a dichotomy.
So we went from that, to them refusing to let me go to their home the first time we visited India as a married couple, to my MIL asking why we didn’t stay with them the second time we visited, to not wanting to come visit, to now agreeing finally to come visit.
This is huge.
Bob has been very excited about this potential visit, but at the same time wearied about having them around for the first time as a married man in our own home. After five years of marriage, he wants to show his parents how he and I have made a home for ourselves. But his parents are such hardcore hindu and vegetarian that huge changes have to be made in order to accommodate them in our house. We will have to clean out all the meat products, even chicken broth. We will have to wipe down the whole refrigerator. We will have to buy all new pots, pans, utensils, bowls, and plates because the ones we have now have all touched meat. This is no laughing matter.
And then there is a problem of weather. They want to come in mid-June and leave in early August. That is when the weather is the most overcast and cold in our area. They complained about being cold the last time they were in town when the temperature down in the south bay was in the 70s. They had their down jackets on all the time. They are used to the weather at least in the 80s if not 90s. I don’t know how they will survive in the 50s and 60s weather. Turn on the heater, perhaps?
And then there is me and them. I think that it’s a wonderful thing they are willing to come visit. Bob lives with my mom for about six months of the year. Although my mom is the most considerate person, it is still a third party in this household of two. So it takes a big person to be able to live peacefully with a mother-in-law for such a long stretch of time. He has been doing that since we got married five years ago. Now his parents are only here for 7 weeks. I should be able to deal, right? I truly hope so. Bob usually does not come home until 8 something at night. I am usually home by 6pm. I will have to entertain my in-laws for two hours every night alone. I mean, I should treat this as an opportunity to get to know them and learn how to make some South Indian food. But it is still a little worrisome for me that I will be alone with them.
Another semi-worry is that my in-laws have only speculations about our infertility but do not actually know anything solid about our journey so far. Given how unsupportive they have been of our marriage, it is difficult to share with them our need for fertility treatment. I can’t imagine sharing with them about using donor eggs to get pregnant. I know that it is highly likely that their visit will coincide with our next donor egg cycle. It takes time to find a new donor and to start a cycle. If we ever travel out of town for a cycle, then it’d be very hard to cover up why we have to go. Bob was very nice. He offered to tell his parents to postpone the trip until later this year or next year, but I told him not to because really, we cannot put off living life and other things just because we have to make a baby, right? My mother-in-law had not really talked about us having a baby until a couple of months ago. Since then, she started talking about it weekly and is obviously concerned about my age. I don’t know what will happen when she is physically here and if this talk of baby and my age will come up. I will deal with it when it comes.
But then, a few weeks ago, my best friend of 30 years who lives overseas told me that she wanted to come visit in the summer with her husband and my goddaughters. The last time she came was before she gave birth to her oldest daughter. That was years ago. I got all excited about their visit and totally planned on taking two weeks off to go places with them. They would stay with us, of course. I knew that my in-laws would come in June and leave by early August. I was really hoping that my best friend could come mid-August so I could have both my in-laws’ and her visits this summer. Last week, she notified me that due to the girls’ school schedule, they could only come the first two weeks in July. My heart sank as that coincides with my in-laws’ visit. I told her that I would ask Bob to negotiate for his parents to come a bit later. I know that his father has some religious rituals he has to do in September but I know that it is not until mid-September. Maybe they could be flexible and move their dates. My best friend hesitated and asked if it was a good idea to even ask. I was thinking, asking doesn’t hurt, right?
Wrong. Bob asked. He asked really nicely. Just a suggestion and if it didn’t work out, my best friend’s family could come in 2017. His parents were actually very upset that he even dared to ask. His dad was screaming at him saying that he would have ten thousand things to do when he goes back home in August. How dare him that he even opened his mouth to ask. Then his mother yelled at him for asking. She thought that they were the elders that should not have been asked to accommodate just a friend. In my opinion, a simple “No” should suffice. It didn’t have to lead to drama.
My best friend was right. It wasn’t a good idea to ask. I guess I was using my own mentality and was thinking that my parents would have accommodated if someone made such a request. Oh well, my best friend and I will plan a trip for her to come next summer so we can all go visit Alcatraz, Monterey, and other places that her daughters really wants to visit. It boggles my mind that nobody comes to visit for all these years and all of a sudden they all want to come visit at the same time.
How did Bob turn out to be such a good soul? After all, he was raised by his parents who have such narrow world views. I don’t know. But I am grateful that my husband doesn’t think the way his parents think. I don’t hold it against my in-laws. I know that it’s hard to change. I just feel bad that my husband got yelled at because of me.
So yeah, I don’t get to see my best friend here in the States this year. And I hope that my in-laws will have a good visit. A lot of prayers are necessary for me and Bob to have tremendous love and patience for his parents.