This post is part of the A to Z Challenge. Each post will be associated with a letter of the alphabet with the theme ‘Lessons from a Wedding’.
She has (or would have) two married sisters. And with them, came their in-laws. Their mother-in-law, father-in-law, sisters- or brothers-in-law – a whole other family which was bound through eternity (she hoped) to hers through her sisters’ husbands.
Whenever she had to meet her sister’s in-laws, she’d be at a loss. She knew she had to be nice but how nice? Best friends forever nice? Since they will be kind of in her life as long as she was in her sister’s life. Or just ‘Hello, nice to meet you, let’s make small talk and be done with it’ nice because really, they were veritable strangers. If only, there was a ‘How to Treat Your Sister’s In-Laws For Dummies’ book out there.
Her elder sister’s mother-in-law once took it upon herself to share with her the long-held family secret of roasting duck. She had no idea why. She hated duck. But Ella (the mother-in-law) dragged her into the kitchen one day and proceeded to demonstrate the way that their family roasted duck to perfection.
That evening as the entire family sat down to roast duck, her elder sister dragged her aside and said ‘She taught you to cook duck? Even I don’t know the family recipe. Don’t be nice to her next time.’
So, with that memory fresh in her mind as she met her younger sister’s future in-laws, she greeted them with a detached smile. They didn’t care, they pulled her into huge bear hugs she couldn’t resist, starved of hugs as she was. And eventually she thawed. Throughout the wedding process, she grew to know them more and more and began to see them as not only her sister’s in-laws but as these two individuals who loved to tease and had enough vivacity to rival youngsters half their age. They made her laugh.
When they left, they gave her a present and when she demurred and said ‘No, I couldn’t possibly accept this.’ They pressed the gift of precious paua into her hands and told her ‘You’ve been wonderful and took care of all of us during the wedding. You deserve more.’
Maybe having in-laws aren’t so bad after all.