I’ve got to say that my in-laws’ visit has been going exceptionally well for me. For Bob, not as much.
My in-laws arrived on Wednesday. Bob and I went to the airport separately in two cars so we could transport all the suitcases back home. Bob was excited but I was a bit apprehensive about my feelings because I really didn’t know what to expect. After an hour of waiting, I finally spotted my in-laws on the TV monitor on their way out. When my father-in-law smiled and said Hello to me, I felt that things would turn out fine.
And things are more than fine.
The first thing that my mother-in-law did once she arrived at our house was to give me a gold bangle that she had brought from India as a gift for me. I really like it and have been wearing it every single day. This is a huge gesture coming from a woman who told me not to go visit her at her house in India a few years ago. Here is the bangle:
You know what came out of all four big suitcases and two little ones? Lots and lots of new purchases. They started pulling out these brand new stainless steel bowls, plates, cups, serving utensils, pots, and pans. There were also eight or nine new Tupp.erware containers for storing spices. You name it, they had it. They brought so much because these things are a lot cheaper in India. I stood there washing all these new things for about an hour. Out came this really big machine for making dosa dough. Another machine for making idly rice. Then there were these South Indian pastes, spices, snacks, tea, coffee, and pickles. They were all in large quantity. Right then and there, we cleared out two cabinet shelves and three drawers to house all the new things. We had to move our usual plates and bowls somewhere else. Here are some photos of what we dealt with on that day:
I jokingly called it our “Indian Invasion”. But in reality, I really don’t mind at all. I find that my tolerance for someone else taking over my kitchen is actually high. My mother-in-law is a wonderful cook. Her dishes are super delicious. But her way of cooking is very different from mine. South Indian cooking requires many pots and pans, flour, and vegetables to be cut in tiny pieces. I usually clean as I cook. My MIL cleans at the end. But again, I don’t mind. I just let her do her things. I showed her how to clean the stove, and she does a wonderful job cleaning it in the evening after all the cooking. Bob is less patient than I am with the way she is using the kitchen. That is too funny because I am the one who usually cooks, not him. I told him to let her be and he is doing better in that department.
It has been five days since my in-laws arrived. How have we all been getting along? It’s amazing that my in-laws get along well with me. Given our history, you would expect them to be difficult to get along with. But in reality, they are very easy going. They try to be quiet in the morning when they get up at six. My MIL makes me Indian coffee every single morning. She provides us with lunch to bring to work. When I get home, she serves me chai tea. She asks me daily what I would like for lunch and dinner. On Saturday, she made us breakfast. I am living a life of a queen who gets served three meals a day. Here are some pictures of her dishes:
Everything is made from scratch.
Another unexpected thing is that, my in-laws actually like me. Especially my mother-in-law. After a few days of being in the same house with me, Bob told me that they keep saying that they love me and that I am patient with them. My mother-in-law said to me that I am like her daughter. She doesn’t have a daughter herself so now she’s treating me like her daughter. It’s so nice to hear that she likes me like a family especially given how they rejected me in the beginning. I actually get along better with my MIL than Bob with his own mom. He is not as patient and sometimes is short with her. I can understand that as I sometimes may be the same way with my own mother. This is after all his own mom. They have a history of the last 38 years and baggage they have to sort through. My MIL seems to think that Bob behaves better when I am around. When Bob is critical of her habits or how she handles certain things (all trivial things such as how she uses the dish cloth), she calls me for help. Just yesterday when I was out grocery shopping, Bob told his mom to cut down on the clarified butter that she uses. He was short with her and she wasn’t happy about the criticism. She was calling for me to intervene. When she discovered that I was out, she told Bob, “No wonder you came to argue with me. Isabelle is not around.” She told me, “You should be here always, otherwise he quarrels with me”. Bob is thinking about taking a couple of days off taking his parents to sightsee. His mother said she wouldn’t go without me being there. It’s sad and hilarious at the same time.
My in-laws have been urging Bob to make a baby. I am sure that they guess that we have been struggling. His dad even told him to just make a baby no matter what it takes. I know that they mean well. It is a way for them to tell us to go ahead and use whatever treatment we need. I wonder how they’d react if they ever find out the extent of treatment we have done and what we are about to do. My MIL and Bob were discussing about us making a trip to India later this year. She insists that I stay in the U.S. if I get pregnant. She consulted with an astrologer earlier this year and seems to believe that we’ll have good news in the baby department come September or October. Anyhow, when we have a baby, I am sure that my in-laws will shower him/her with love and affection. That’s a sight I would really love to see.
You know how I was worried about my own down time being taken away? That is not an issue at all. I come home and do my own thing. My in-laws don’t bother me. And since I don’t have to cook, I have even more time to do whatever I want. It is a win-win situation.
Five years ago when my in-laws refused to come to the wedding, I never dreamed of them visiting with us here in the U.S. The fact that they are here getting along well with me, I am very grateful for how things have turned out. I know that things can change since it has only been a few days. But I am confident that this will be the visit that turns our relationship around for the better. Now let’s hope and pray that Bob and his mother don’t get into too many big arguments. Then we should be able to all live harmoniously under the same roof for the next two months.