my mother is law is a real piece of work.
i suppose most mother in laws are, but i only have the pleasure of dealing with my own.
i don’t say much about her to anyone except probably my own mum because for the most part, what does it matter. i can ignore it a good portion of the time and smile it off as much as i can.
today, she felt the need to express to me (alongside her equally irritating childhood friend) that my hair doesn’t suit me. that it doesn’t look nice. that it looks like beggars in india. which for a good 5-10 minutes, i completely just shrugged it off saying “yup” “only some people like it” “hahaha yeah it’s hard to wash and takes a long time to dry” “it might not be the healthiest (to you) but neither is chemically dying hair, right?” “yeah i’ve had it short, long, curly, straight. it’s just hair lah” “my natural hair would be really crazy curly and messy, not so nice and pretty (the way you want it to look)”.
then they left for dinner, came back, and in the middle of some other conversation – her friend decided to make some ugly comments about beggars in nepal and india and how she came back to find that here too (in hokkien the whole way, not knowing i understood every single word). i ignored that too. just decided to open a book and start reading.
Yoong expressed that he was tired because he knew i wasn’t in the greatest place to be dealing with more (especially after just getting back from my grandmother’s funeral), so the friend and sister left. she (mil) walked them out, came back again and decided of all things – she’d say “i think ah, your hair really doesn’t look good on you blablablablablablablablabla” to which i said “okay. but it’s not really nice to say things like that to people”.
and then shit hit the fan.
i cannot remember the words that came out of her mouth after that. some justification on why she said that, and that it was her friend’s opinion (fair enough, but she did not need to put effort into telling me again) more blablablablablablabla. to which i said “aunty, please leave”. and then she said “who are you”.
wrong move, mil.
because whether you like it or not (obviously not), i am your son’s wife. HIS WIFE. i don’t say this to you because there’s absolutely no need for me to. because the fact is, I AM his wife. and in this little game of tug and war you think we’re playing, there is simply no competition. never has been. never will be.
your son loves you because you are his mother. i respect that, and allow plenty of space for you to irritate and piss him off (which you do, all the time). in fact, what you don’t know is that i tell him to hug you. to call you and spend some time over the phone with you coz you might miss him. insist on not giving up on trying to fix what you broke in the first place. continue supporting him throughout the ups and downs he faces with you.
but make no mistake. continue crossing the line and you will find yourself blocked out someday. with him, right here with me.
i would feel slightly threatened if Yoong is a loyal puppy dog to his extremely loving mother. or maybe i wouldn’t even need to because if she were loving and nice, we wouldn’t have a problem to begin with. but there is no threat.
you are a constant reminder to him of the things he hates about having to deal with family. the never ending pressure to give give give. perform. behave. respect. be obedient. bow down. obey.
in the snap of a finger, i could put you in your place and show you who i am. and who you aren’t.
but instead of doing that, i tell Yoong to see the good in her. to let the way he sees her change. to heal. to love again. to love stronger. i’m starting to think, that’s quite fucking pointless. really. what’s the point of putting in all the effort i can when she hasn’t got the slightest bit of decency, compassion, empathy or manners.
sometimes i really feel like saying “omg aunty. your clothes are damn over the top lah. can you dress your age ah? stop being so humiliating to just about anyone you are standing around” or “eeeeee. i cannot stand your taste. why so gaudy. why you waste so much money on something so ugly. wah, the renovation job on your house is quite shit isn’t it?”
i keep going back to the same fork in the road. continue to keep trying to be nice for the sake of my husband, to learn to rise above things and train myself to be unaffected or just treat her the way she treats everyone else.
hmmm. decisions. decisions.