Family

Met the Parents

11:32 AM

Ok first of all, I'm very sorry for the lack of updates. I had a busy time. Between my freelance translation job and a huge assignement and the fact I went to Lucknow to meet my future in-laws meant I didn't get much time to spend online left.

The trip overall went well. On the first day I was so so nervous that I was trembling like a leaf and my future father in law saw it and insisted on me to calm down for I was "At home" and that he was familly. FMIL was a complete other story and from the first second I knew she really wanted to scream "Go home leave my son alone". She had that dark dark stare that made me understand the meaning of "trhowing daggers" completely. 
She said nothing, she didn't smile, and after we got refreshed and ready for lunch she suddnely blurted out that I had to loose weight (I'm a bit chubby but not fat) and that she didn't like my double chin. Very considerate of her, and tactful! I had that double chine all my life, even through my underweight years, it is just how my neck is, and having a newly met person singling out the one thing you dont like about your body...SWEET!

I tried my best to make a good impression on that first day by helping in the kitchen to find out it was unnecessary. She has a full time maid who cooks and clean, the role of a daughter in law in her house is to supervise the household. I felt a bit akward standing there not being to help, not being familiar with how things run in her household. On the evening of day one things went really sour. FMIL cornered me in the TV room and started asking me very embarassing questions :

"Why are you here in India".... me to reply: "because of your son"
"Why you like my son so much".....there I couldn't say because I love him, because in India for may parents Love is trivial and not something you experience before marriage...Love is something you learn to do after getting married so I replied: "Because your son makes me happy"...at this point I was sweating nervously.
"Are you educated...do you have a degree?"...time for white lie I couldn't tell her I didn't have a college degree so I told her I had a certificat as an interior designer.
"Why you left your parents before getting married?"...me speechless! I seriously had no answer for her to understand. Kids in Europe live on their own before marriage even if they don't have to, period! So, I told her that it was becauseI wanted to learn to be indepandant...(not sure there could even be a proper reply to that question when who asked it feel strongly against that concept). She then blurted out "Why cant you leave us and our son alone if you care about him"

I was saved by my FBIL at this point who entered the room, because not only those questions where very embarassing, she was also asking them on a very angry voice and still had that laser gun stare toward me.
At the first occasion, I sneaked out and told DF about his mom's behavious and DF was very angry because all the question she asked me where the one she asked him zillion time over the past year and that he answered them zillion time as well. He then left me in the guestroom to go downstair to talk to god knows who (I didn't ask later because I was too shattered). 

Later that night, when I was ready to go to the guest room while DF was supposed to sleep in the TV room I was surprised to see him come up and tell me his mom asked him to sleep in the guest room as well! So, we had a discussion and he told me that everybody exept her love me and that his dad is very angry with her for not being nice to me. We went to sleep on this somewhat negative first day. 
On the second day, FMIL was somewhat surprised to see me awake dressed and clean at 7.30 am (yes I went against my body clock to score brownie points) and let me have tea (prepared by the servant). When my FSIL came in the kitchen I assisted her in the planning of the meals for the day, and later in the morning FMIL gather us in the living room to talk about jewellery. DF made the absolute mistake to mention our "Gold plated plan" and got lectured about how only real gold would do. She ended up gifting me silver anklets and dropped the laser gun stare to "low heat" for the rest of the day. In the evening she gave me a box containing a pure silk saree that her sister bought for me in Chennai and asked if I liked it. 
I in fact loved it and it's the honest truth. I was so speechless a the beauty of that thing! A lovely 6 yard long silk marvel in gold and rust tones. She added it would be perfect for the reception (I was indeed thinkig of buying a saree for that function) and she managed a weak smile. Late in the night DF and I talked about the day and he agreed that things seemed to cool down a little. However, I'm still anxious to see him leave the next day and of me being alone with the half tamed FMIL. 
The next day, FMIL decided I was a good dresser (I packed my best salwaar suits and matching bangles) and definitely like my style. DF leaves in the evening I have a knot in my stomach and stick close to my FSIL...for protection...
The next few days were mainly about meeting more relatives with me "diving" (bending to touch elders feet) all the time, being huged, kissed, blessed, patted on the head, and complimented on my good look, stuffed with sweets and salty thingies and getting a few more gifts. 
FMIL took me shopping in old Lucknow twice, and opened up a little. She told me she understood the fact I'm from a different culture, and that until very recently she was 200% against the match (reallly????how strange...I didn't feel that!) and that now she believes thing might work out and that she doesn't want to loose her son so it's why she now tolerates it (DF made very clear at several occasion that it was me and no one else, approval or not).
This last Friday, we went to Delhi so I could take my plane back to Bangalore on Monday and we spent some time with my other FBIL and his familly and things started to go sour again. I think it was a mix of too much emotion in one week and the fact that in Delhi we were staying at 5 adults 2 kids in a tiny flat.
While I was talking with my FSIL about learning Hindi and how I found it hard due to the lack of proper books, FMIL suddenly accused me of doing nothing to learn it and complained then blurted out: "You have to learn so you can communicate with your children later".

At that point I was irritatted and blurted out back at her "They will learn Hindi with daddy and French with mommy". She committed the final insult, the one she shouldn't have by saying : "French is a uselss language". I retorted that it was my native tongue, my culture, my familly's culture and that it was anything but useless. She replied it was to her and that I was denying her side of the familly that way. I told her that the way I'll raise future kids is "our decision as a couple" and I know DF approve of it so I had no hesitation telling it to her face. 
I gave her a stare saying "Don't dare stepping on my toes there" and she went sulking the whole day to finally give me a hug in the evening. I know now I can set limits and that I probably will have to. I even told DF right away about my act of boldness and asked him to have a talk about the future too because she clearly can't expect me to go "Indian all the way" and ignore my own roots.

 It's an intercultural marriage and it doesn't mean getting rid of one culture in the process...again all those things is something DF and I talked about before deciding to tie the knot so we are united and will stand our ground for certain things.
To summarise things, FMIL likes the fact I know how to stich, cook, and how I dress
but hates my double chin (she mentionned it at several occasion making sure all the relatives saw it) and the fact I'm not Indian and that I still don't speak hindi fluently.

We are on the right path though.

3 comments

  1. Mashyg5:59 AM

    Well done Cyn. You've got guts and i admire it. That's the way to go. Stand up for your beliefs and convictions. Am glad that your DF's firm. Good luck guys. Am sure u both will have a wonderful life together.

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  2. mashyg6:03 AM

    Well done Cyn. You've got guts and i admire it. That's the way to go. Stand up for your beliefs and convictions. Am glad that your DF's firm. Good luck guys. Am sure u both will have a wonderful life together.

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  3. Anonymous12:04 AM

    I landed on this site because my name is Cyn, too. Good luck with the dragon lady. Just remember, it's HER job to love YOU. After all, she raised her son to be a man, capable of making his own choices. You are his choice. Full speed ahead, Cyn. Don't worry about her, she's simply jealous of being replaced as the woman in her son's life. Concentrate on making a happy, contented, productive life together. Remember, living well is the best revenge!!!! Ciao!!

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