The mother who considers you an enemy unless you’re a celebrity weight loss show, low-rider motorcycle or 2 PM rum and coke. She will tell you that raising a baby as a vegetarian is child abuse in the same breath as confessing she used to lock her own children in the closet. You will resist the urge to point out that children rarely go into state care for eating facon.
The mother who has had limited contact with the outside world since leaving the maternity ward in the ‘80s. She will have scrapbooked every milestone in her son’s life, from finishing Halo 3 to that time he had friends over for pizza on March 10th. You will make an effort to get to know her because she seems lonely. She will respond by buying matching outfits for both of you to wear to your birthday dinner. You will be hesitant to leave your future children in her care in case she accidentally smothers them and makes a Flickr album documenting the occasion.
The mother who liked her son’s ex girlfriend better. You will never figure out why his ex-girlfriend was invited on skiing trips and family barbecues when you are barely capable of extracting an “Oh. Hello.” This mother-in-law will take perverse pleasure in watching you change political allegiances, college majors and dietary requirements (nut allergies are psychological, right?) in a fruitless attempt to win her over. After eighteen months of not having your existence acknowledged, you will have a mental breakdown or take to heavy drinking. You won’t tell her in case she thinks you’re weak.
The mother who delivers babies, enters sponge cakes in competitions and runs an orphanage in her spare time. Four years after you break her son’s heart, she will win a local citizen of the year award and your own mother will stick the double-page feature from the newspaper on the fridge. You won’t know how to explain that the promise of a perfect mother-in-law wasn’t enough to stick with someone who called himself “Gutz” and thought romance meant springing from a bush and attempting to suck your face off.
The mother who gets away with letting herself in at 8 AM to change your bed sheets, because dammit, you love her son too much to care. Her frequent, unannounced visits will be a small price to pay for waking up next to a real human being who says he loves you back. Though you will be proud to show off your new boyfriend to your family, third grade piano teacher and the person in front of you in the supermarket queue, you will be grateful that love is blind. That way you can pretend not to notice his mother hand-washing your underwear.