Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Once upon a time in faraway land called Titania Way, there lived a righteous king and a bitter queen. The King was warm and kind but the queen was selfish and spoilt. She was bewitched by an evil curse that left her barren and unable to reproduce a successor to the throne. One day, against all odds, the queen had been visited by the adoption fairy who had blessed her with two beautiful boys. Aiden and Kevin were without a doubt the apples of her eye and although she remained stoic throughout their upbringing, she taught them discipline, kindness, generosity, and above all courtesy, especially when it came to treating a lady with respect. As the years went by, the youngest prince had fallen in love with a beautiful Princess from a fair County, and they were to be married.  The eldest prince had also found love, but not of the conventional kind. When the evil queen found out about this unnatural union, she banished them from the kingdom forever, never to be seen again...

When did my life become such a fairytale? While I was definitely more of a queen than Mrs. Cranklin could ever be, the woman certainly knew how to run a monarchy. This alpha-female who reigned supreme over every man in her life was beginning to become a huge problem in my relationship with Aiden. Her stubborn and relentless nature made her impossible to like and even though I had extended the olive branch nearly seven months ago, she made it abundantly clear that as long as she lived, there would be no room for me at any family occasion.  The mere fact that I had been excluded from a certain nuptial ceremony set the tone for all future events. Baptisms, birthdays , funerals (one can hope) ...was I really about to let this monster-in-law affect my relationship with the rest of Aiden’s family?

Monsters in law (or matriarchus extremis) are extremely selfish individuals who do not like to be challenged or put in uncomfortable situations, so you can only imagine Mrs. Cranklin’s reaction when Aiden finally came out the closet in August last year. Her disappointment and intolerance of Aiden’s lifestyle was obvious and caused an unfortunate divide in the family dynamic, and in a household where pink elephants are left to die in silence, no one dared question the dictator. I couldn’t help but a world where life is so preciously short, surely she would have set aside her differences and start accepting the things she cannot change? Was she capable of loving unconditionally or did the love she had come with traditional t’s and c’s? And what about my future brother-in-law and his fantastic wife to be? Should I write them off if they keep adopting the same defeatist attitude to every other family gathering or will everyone eventually grow a pair and start standing up to this insufferable force of nature?

It’s true what they can choose your friends but you cannot choose your family. You can however stand up for the ones you love despite the discomfort it may bring. Everybody loves a hero and although I am quite capable of slaying the dragon on my own, the adult in me chooses to take the high road out of respect for my partner and his family. To the happy couple, I wish you nothing but the best. Sorry that I could not be there.

When it comes to obnoxious mother-in-laws, why is everybody so quick to bow down? 

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