Monday, March 14, 2011

Dear Mother-in-Law

Dear Mother-in-Law--

Hi, remember me? You've known me for more than twelve years. I've been married to your only son for almost eight years. I'm the mother of your only two grandchildren in the whole wide world.

I wanted to remind you about a few things we've done together. Like when you visited S and me and watched him convert to Judaism. Do you also remember when I got married to S, in the big synagogue, with the rabbi speaking all the Hebrew? Or how about all those times you've celebrated Passover at our house? Or perhaps you've forgotten about all those other holidays you've celebrated at our house, in which I have made yummy roasted brisket in place of your traditional holiday ham? I'll also remind you about the repeated conversations we've had about why I don't eat spam. You also participated in bris celebrations for both of your grandsons. Any of this ringing a bell?

Because I'm curious about why, when we're staying at your house, you made ham soup for dinner, complete with big pieces of ham and chunks of pork sausage. I don't expect you to keep a kosher house while we visit, but I have explained numerous times that I really can't eat pig products.

I thought at first that, despite our long and obvious history, in which I have had to remind you many times about this single important dietary restriction, you had simply forgotten. But as we were all sitting down for dinner, you very pointedly said to me, "If you don't want to eat the dinner I made, you can just heat up some leftovers for yourself instead. I think there's some stuff in the fridge." Which kind of makes me think that you did remember, but you just didn't care. Which seems like an odd way to treat a house guest, no? Especially one that you expect to visit you often, with your adorable grandchildren in tow. Or am I just being overly sensitive?

Anyway, just curious.



  1. Hehe, interesting. Mother-in-laws are fun, aren't they?

  2. Oh, the fun of families and different religions. We definitely haven't hit any food issues yet but my in-laws both decided that they were "too busy" to come to their one and only grandson's naming last week. That is going to be so much fun to explain when he looks at the photos in a couple of years ...

  3. Ugh. I have one of those.

    Your situation is worse by far - considering the length of time involved and the fact it should be PRETTY CLEAR by now that you can't eat pork.

    Mine was when I was on a restricted diet for nursing - and told my MIL the long list of restrictions, highlighting dairy as a big no-no. She responded by telling me HER kids were SO HEALTHY because of the VARIED diet she ate while nursing them. Which was a nice thing to tell a new mother who's already feeling guilty her little guy has reflux. Anyway, we went to visit for Thanksgiving and she made us "steaks" for dinner the night before. She told me she racked her brain for something she could make and was so excited when she remembered this recipe. I cut into my steak to find a mysterious white substance hidden inside. I asked what it was...CHEESE, she said with a smile.



    I'm sorry you have one that's not very kind in that regard. It's definitely frustrating.

  4. Aaaaargh! No, I don't think you're being over-sensitive, I think she's being a bitch. I've had to deal with it too... but it's not like "I don't care for brussels sprouts". It's "my religion specifically forbids the consumption of this one thing". Maybe she really only wants S to visit with the kids... and maybe you can oblige her. At least with the one who's not nursing! (You can have him watch like a hawk for ham sandwiches and scallop appetizers.) Sorry she's such an aggressive, annoying, insensitive person.


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