Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for In-Laws (and why mine are cooler than yours)

When my husband told his mother that he was getting married (to me), her first words were "No, you're not!" Or something like that. She was Not. A. Fan. Of the idea of her firstborn getting hitched, that is. She's always liked me. Really. She has!

Here's an old picture of the happy family:

Clockwise from the back left: Yvette, Jerry,
Jerry "Dee", Michelle, Debbie, Carl
I couldn't be happier with my in laws, which is a pretty weird thing to say. The only thing we fight about is what to call my husband. (He's a Junior, so they call him by his middle name, which he does NOT prefer. His little sister actually corrected me once right after we got engaged: "His name is Dee!" I'm all, well, I love him, he wants to be called Jerry, so that's what I'm a-gonna do.)

Meet my mother-in-law, Yvette, whose name I mention mainly because I think it's awesome that it's so close my own mother's name, Lynette (come back on Friday--the 13th--for more on my mom). In case that's not enough Twilight Zone for you, her next child to get married has a mother-in-law named Annette. Yvette married her Jerry while they were still in high school, which she graduated with two kids in tow.Yvette never meddles, but she steals my children for a week every summer. She's a master gardener / canner / foodstorage-er, so when the world economy collapses, I'll be at her house, which is always immaculate, dang her.  She is now a volunteer EMT, and can hunt, camp, lumberjack, and drive a truck up muddy back roads as well as any man. I'd want to be her when I grow up, but I haven't a prayer.

Jerry (Sr.), like my own Jerry, is Yin to his wife's Yang. He is calm to her frantic energy and helps to ground her--and the rest of the family. He's a great patriarch, always there when you need him (unless his job--which he's held since they got married--is on shut-down), and instilled in his children the benefits of hard work. He taught my own Jerry how to be the wonderful husband and father he is today, for which I cannot thank him enough.

Carl, my-Jerry's "little" brother was close enough behind him to be guaranteed a spot as his lifelong buddy, companion, and nemesis. Their personalities are much too similar to ensure perfect harmony, but they can get along swimmingly so long as they're hunting, fishing, or working. They're a force to be reckoned with when they play on the same basketball team, but if they're on opposite teams... someone's gonna bleed. Carl, his wife Paula, and their two adorable adopted children are our only relatives to live in our same town (unless you count in-law-in-laws), and it is wonderful having them so close. (Paula could stand to be a little less perfect, actually. It's hard to hold my head up next to someone who can claim credentials as a nurse, model, and photographer, and who can take some old doors and turn them into amazing bookshelves. Seriously.)

Debbie, the oldest girl, is a lot like her mother in that she goes out and gets done what needs to be done. She's got a nursing degree, four wonderful boys, and a house big enough to open up for the whole family when we want to get together. (What, me? Jealous?) Her husband Jeremy is steady, supportive, and was in college the same time I was in law school, so we would do homework together over holidays. Ah, bonding.

Michelle, the baby, has a gorgeous voice and is the first of all of us to break the no-female-grandchildren policy (that's a big deal, believe me). She now has three beautiful little girls, a handsome son, and a husband (Nathan) who adores her. I'm constantly impressed with her ability to handle whatever life throws at her with a cheerful smile and stubborn determination.

So how do you feel about your in-laws? Look forward to spending time with them? Try to get out of it as much as possible? Are you jealous that mine are so cool?


  1. How nice that you have such a nice relationship with your in-laws. I love big extended families so it is very important for me that we all get along and can spend time together. Nice post!

    Thanks for stoping by my place.
    From Diary of a Writer in Progress

  2. great getting to know your family. i love that you love your in laws. its a rarity, methinks:)
    Happy A-Zing!

  3. I also have wonderful inlaws--my first husband's parents who totally took in my second hubby after the first died. My poor daughter was sorely disappointed when she found out that her (freakin' awesome) husband's mother is . . . not at all like my daughter's grandmother. Sometimes those horrible mother-in-law jokes are justified.

  4. Lucky you. I'll leave it at that and not say anything about my in-laws, who live less than ten miles away, but we only see once a year at Christmas.

    Happy A to Z-ing!

  5. I like my in-laws. They live close and we were just at their house yesterday.

    I looked at that family pic and spotted Jerry right away. I think it's that smile :)

  6. you are lucky to have great in-laws! :)


  7. That is amazing! You are very fortunate!