Sunday, September 26, 2004

PRESS RELEASE: Mother-in-Law Experts Help Millions Prepare for National Mother-in-Law Day on Oct. 24: "M.I.L.D.E.W"

Today, I was given a copy of "Mothers-In-Law Do Everything Wrong: M.I.L.D.E.W" (Liz Bluper and Renee Plastique). I don't usually read humour books but I couldn't resist.

It primarily offers funny stories of often-mystifying behaviour on the part of the mother-in-law. On the website, the reader will find a decent excerpt but it is not the one that I would have chosen (I will let the reader discover it for herself):

They'll Never Notice
When my husband and I went skiing one weekend, we had MILDEW come take care of our 2-year-old son. We came home to discover that the furniture in our house had been completely rearranged. We couldn't believe it! My father-in-law even had a bad back from moving the couches, tables, and rugs. As soon as MILDEW left we moved the furniture back. —Heidi, Washington, D.C.

Sticky Situation
My husband and I went on vacation and left our keys with MILDEW so that she could water the plants and feed the cat. While we were away she decided that our old refrigerator needed some sprucing up. So when we arrived back home I found that she had stuck contact paper on the outside of it to cover up the scratches. Needless to say, we retrieved our keys and kept them. —Alanna, Connecticut

While many actions/statements are transparent, some leave all concerned--daughter-/son-in-law and readers alike--scratching their heads in disbelief:

...I don't know if it's just my MILDEW, but every conversation she has seems to incorporate her bathroom habits. We all know when, where and how MILDEW goes to the bathroom. She either goes too much or too little, and there are endless descriptions that we all must endure. Much to their embarrassment, she also likes to discuss the bathroom habits of her children when they were young (my husband is always amazed at how often these stories are repeated). Does anyone else think this is odd?

Naturally, this compilation of anecdotes speaks to the age-old struggle between mother-/daughter-in-law as the former often feels "replaced" in some way by the latter. The next example, however, is truly disturbing. A woman has told her mother-in-law that she is expecting and the response? "I'm so excited! It's like you're pregnant, but I'm going to have your baby!" It's no wonder that the contributor cried.

Daughters-in-law do not have all the complaining rights. The authors include submissions from men but there are fewer and this, too, is noted. The explanation goes no further than to indicate differences in friendship bonding.

This book offers more than the related experiences, however: there is also advice such as, "Early MILDEW Indicators" and "Strategies: Wipe that MILDEW away". What about the fact that some people like their husband's mother? The authors caution that not every mother-in-law is MILDEW. Unfortunately, I think that it misses the mark; at least, I did not find the advice very amusing. The anecdotes stole the show.

It's a light read. It took no time at all from cover to cover and it is definitely a fun time. I think it is best enjoyed after an unannounced visit from the in-laws.

No comments:

Post a Comment