20 Oct 2010

Mother. In. Law.

5 Comments Cooking/Baking, Family

Oh shit. My mother-in-law reads this blog. All the personal stuff, all the complaining, all the stories about her beloved grandson, all the evil things I plan to share about her son, she reads. She told me. She was very complimentary and said she enjoyed my writing but that’s beside the point. She reads this blog.

I’ll tell you why it makes me a bit jumpy. It’s the recipes. Yup. Not the personal crap or the other crap, or the other crap. It’s the recipes. Know why? Because when I first met my mother-in-law I didn’t know how to do a gosh darn thing in the kitchen. (Well, I knew how to do SOME things, but I can’t print them here because my mother-in-law reads this blog. Let’s just say I got an engagement ring out of it.) One time on a trip to Oregon, when Russ and I were still dating, I asked if I could help with dinner and she gave me the toddler-sized job of cutting celery. A test, perhaps. I failed. I cut the celery slowly and poorly, one stalk at a time. My mother-in-law stepped over to me, having just plucked and cleaned three chickens in the time I cut half a stalk and said, “You know Lisa, you can cut them three at a time, like this.” She then took the knife and showed me. And we laughed. We laughed a lot. My laugh was saying, “Oh my god. I feel like such an inept asshole. This woman thinks I’m a bimbo.” Her laugh was saying, “Oh my god. My poor son is going to starve to death in that apartment in California. This girl is a bimbo.”

Since then a lot has changed. Now when we visit the in-laws, she trusts me to make three quarters of a meal, if not a whole meal all by myself sometimes! She’ll even ask me cooking advice every once in a while, which I personally think is just to make up for how I still feel about the celery incident. She seems to feel less like her son is being held prisoner and only being fed stale bread and cloudy water through a slot in his metal door. And I think she likes the way her grandson is fattening up.

She and my step-father-in-law are coming to visit for a few days at the end of the month. They usually like to go out to dinner when they’re here, (which I find suspicious), but this time I think I’ll surprise them with a gourmet meal of celery soup, celery stew, and roasted celery. I think she’ll laugh. And her laugh will say, “This girl is a bimbo. But I like her.”

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Lisa Arch likes being a working actress... but LOVES being a Mom!
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5 Responses to “Mother. In. Law.”

  1. Reply Annybunny86 says:

    Sorry but that’s funny don’t worry I’m sure u will cook just awesome


  2. Reply AL says:

    I promised myself I would NOT comment on every blog; another promise vacated.

    I had your Mother-in-law first,… of course, not the Mother part, but the in-law part,… as in, sister. You had no way of knowing BR (before Russ) that you were about to score the best mother-in-law in the business! I also, at this point, must make a disclaimer to have tried, myself, (unsuccessfully) to disuade her from marrying my brother. (Ask her) Yep, we would have missed each other in a very cosmic way…me, no fabulous nephews and YOU….well, we would have both been S*** out of luck!

    She was the only chance I would ever get at having a sister and I almost blew it! Years later, when, as a young wife, I had totally expected my Mother to be “there” for me…to help ME learn what was needed to be a good wife and potentially, become someone’s mother. Life is what happens to us when we are busily making plans otherwise; her untimely death left me feeling as alone as I ever want to be. My sister, your mom-in-law, became my instant confident, teacher and provided the steady hand I desperately needed. Just like you, she observed and guided, all the time, not letting me know how inept I really was! Little by little, the cooking disasters were fewer, the children behaved better and my husband had a steady supply of cookies as we tracked into and out of her life.

    I watched, somewhat aghast, as she calmly prepared as many different dinners as her boys required (in the same day) to accommodate their many varying likes and dislikes, and activities. The ultimate MOM….home baked, THEME birthday cakes, a seemingly unlimited supply of other people’s kids underfoot, all handled with a bottomless pan of spaghetti or endless tacos or stew or pizza! She seemed to love every minute of it; I was inspired enough to create a mini-me version in my own home…I’m not sure I ever quite got the hang of it.

    I hope she reads this, if only to have some semi-public recognition of what she did instinctively, and to acknowledge just how much it meant to me AND my survival as a young bride and later, someone’s Mother, possible. Thank you, YOU know who you are!

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      OMG, AL. I know! I really did hit the jackpot. I love that woman so much. I plan on writing a lot more about her sometime soon.
      You’re so awesome for writing this. Thank you. xo

  3. Reply Mother-in-law says:

    You both are full of it. I just followed in the footsteps of my wonderful mom.
    Lisa, never did think bimbo, might have thought Russ might have to help with the cooking.
    Linda, you always gave me as much as I could ever give you.
    I love you both very much.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      This is a GREAT moment for me! My Mother-in-law commenting on my Mother-in-law post! We’re not full of it, Mom. You’re amazing. And I AM a bimbo! (kidding.)
      I feel very lucky that I married a wonderful man who just happens to have an incredibly mom. I love you!

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