Thursday, 17 November 2005


I don't think J's mum likes me much.

The first time she ever met me, she served grilled pork chops.

Which would have been fine, except she had got it in her head before our visit that I was Muslim. Which I'm not, but still. Nice.

Apparently she used to like his previous girlfriend, who could best be described as a remarkably inoffensive English Rose. I guess hearing about me must have been quite a shock, being 'Muslim' and all that.

It's not that I don't get on with his mum. It would be hard to not get on with her in the sense having arguments, because she dominates every conversation to the extent where it is impossible to get an argumentative word in. J has of course managed to overcome this obstacle, but he does have thirty-odd years of experience and practise.

She isn't the kind of mother who tries to make her son side with her in front of the girlfriend (that kind truly is the worst), it's more that she is so self-absorbed that it's hard for her to take an interest in anyone who doesn't agree with her 100% on everything.

The problem with J's mother is mainly that it's impossible to please her. This goes not only for partners of offspring but for the offspring themselves. J has constantly been told what a bad son he is. He's got a job, but it's not the job she'd like him to have. And now a girlfriend, of whom she is as I said also on some level disapproving (maybe she didn't realise Muslims generally don't go with pork, but I doubt it, she's very clever).

Sometimes I think she just is still in shock to find that her children grew up beyond 12 and out of her sphere of influence. It must be tough.

I don't see why parents have to be so difficult. My mother, to her credit, has tried hard to like all the people I've brought home, and has probably had her heart broken more times than myself when they just disappeared off her radar after the relationship ended. But most parents aren't like that.

Are parents difficult because they don't trust their children to make their own choices, or is it just a jealousy thing? Is this something I'll only know if I ever have children of my own?

The best potential in-laws I've ever had was when I was about 15. They were more supportive of my career choices than my own parents ever were, and still want me to "come home and marry their son" (this I know because my dad ran into one of them recently, and was told so in no uncertain terms).

I actually suspect they didn't want me to marry him as much as they just wanted to swap me for him altogether. My temperament and interests just suited them better. This might be worrying for my then boyfriend, but it worked for me. I loved them.

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1 comment:

  1. That was weird... I was just about to leave you a comment when you left a comment on mine.

    Anyway, good post and interesting questions - the whole pork chop thing made me laugh.

    I like you even more now. I'll think about whatyou can do, incidentally :-)


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