Sunday, July 22, 2012

Choosing a Mother-In-Law

Grandma Wilson has done a great job collecting stories and sending them out to the family from time to time. I’m ashamed to admit that there are many I haven’t read until now. Here’s a funny one from my Grandpa Wilson about my Great Grandma Nicholls.

Norm Wilson
BYU Essay
Choosing a Mother-In-Law

During my dating days, I always evaluated the girl’s mother in an effort to forecast the type of wife and mother her daughter would become. The woman who is now my mother-in-law was no exception.

At first I liked her because, somehow, she made me feel so natural and relaxed. She laughed at my jokes and invited me to dinner so often that I began to feel guilty. Be warned, however, that these signs make it difficult to appraise a future mother in law. One can never be sure which of three things support the amiable front.
  •  First, it could be part of the conventional conspiracy to aid the daughter in getting a husband.
  • Second, it could be prompted by the foreknowledge that if she doesn't act the part of the gracious mother, that she will later be in for a tirade from her daughter.
  • Third, there is the possibility that she is naturally a very likable person.

With these considerations fogging out any clear evaluation, how could I be expected to form an accurate opinion? I continued to observe. I watched for tell-tale signs under all conditions. I noted that she was a good housekeeper, plain but clean. Mealtime was the same, plain, good food, well prepared and good humoredly served. I even watched for signs of flightiness. I thought that an evidence of stability and industry would surely show me her true nature, but I found her totally industrious.

She appeared to be a good citizen and neighbor and was definitely family oriented, with six children. All of these qualities pointed toward a fundamentally good person, one I should be able to unreservedly like. It is strange however, how you can never be sure. Even the most promising mother may turn in a meddlesome witch.

Unfortunately, I know of no absolute way to pre-test a mother-in-law except to let her become one. In the course of time, I took the calculated risk and married her daughter.

It is readily admitted that twelve years has changed my original emotion somewhat. As my mother-in-law I don’t like her anymore. I love her! All of my original impressions have been verified. She has proven herself above meddling and interfering, and she is an ideal grandmother. But I think I love her most, because I daily see her honorable traits instilled and reflected in her daughter. 


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