In high school, I was terrified of my boyfriend's mother. This woman had the power to reduce me to a stammering, quivering heap of insecurities.** To illustrate: my sister S and I both worked at a local grocery store - she was in the photo department, I was in the deli/bakery. S was closer to the entrance, so when my boyfriend's mother would come in (small town, remember), S would call me over the phone system and then I would hide in the walk-in cooler until she left. That's right - my fear of this woman was greater than my hatred of the cold. And this continued long after I'd broken up with her son and even after I'd started dating Jim.
I would like to declare that Jim's mother is not at all scary.
This weekend Jim's parents came out to visit. I was already anxious about all the food and wine we would consume, but I also had a small, stupid, self-centered worry: what if they thought I was fat? As I walked down King Street to meet them for lunch (sans Jim - I am a grown up), my reflection in all the shop windows was enormous. I knew, I knew, I knew they wouldn't say anything, but ... what if they did?
Later that night (lunch was fine) we were eating Jim's delicious (fucking delicious) paella. We were talking about how amazing a cook Jim is and since it was on my mind (and I was slightly tipsy), I said that I'd gained weight. Jim protested that I didn't know how much I'd gained, but I said it was quite a bit.
"No no no, " Jim's mother said. "I think you look great, Lisa, you have color ... you look great."
Yep. No more walk-in coolers for me. :)
*Okay, since I didn't marry my first boyfriend and I haven't yet married Jim neither of these women have actually been my in-laws, but dammit this is my blog.
**To those of you who quote Eleanor Roosevelt and say "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent yadda yadda yadda" I say, you haven't met this woman.