Tonight's dinner was a very unique one. We met with my in-laws to celebrate my husband's grandma's 82nd birthday.
The first thing I noticed was the coldness with which my mother-in-law greeted me. She didn't even rise to give me a hug, even though I'm currently walking with a cane due to a serious knee injury two weeks ago. She didn't look me in the eye; she just seemed cold. I couldn't help but wonder if hubby's step-brother spilled the beans about our childfree-ness, if she was just having a bad day and feeling especially sour, or if she was still mad that we skipped out on the family photo on Easter to visit my family.
Also present were his aunt & uncle (childfree after infertility), and two of his late mother's cousins. Carol, the younger of the two, is a former nun who tired of the misogyny (good for her!) but never married. Susan, the eldest, was a scientist who didn't marry until well past her childbearing years.
It was incredible. We were surrounded by the childless.
I truly believe that Susan & Carol's presence was the only reason the topic wasn't approached for the first time in ages. Still, it was such a pleasant surprise. I also realized, however, that Susan & Carol's lack of offspring made my husband the last of yet another line of family blood. My husband is the end of the line for both his grandmother's mother and father.
It hasn't been talked about, but surely it will be. Until then, I think I'd like to bring Susan & Carol to family dinners more often. They really tip the scales and make it infinitely more comfortable to spend time with that side of the family.
Oh, and I'd like to find out what crawled up my mother-in-law's butt, because at the end of the night I didn't get a hug either. Oh, and we got the implication via a short conversation between hubby and his father, that she was upset with us because we don't call enough and we seem ungrateful. She's a sour woman anyway, but this was excessive.
Gee, could it be because every time we call we're doing something that makes you all unhappy? We're not getting that house in the suburbs yet; I'm not barefoot and pregnant yet (she hates that I'm career oriented); A doesn't make enough money, and hasn't gone back to school yet (even though his application is in). And no, we're not going to her daughter's 40th birthday surprise party. She doesn't like me anyway; she'll be glad we're not there and so will we.
Now I just need to think about what sorts of plans we have for Saturday, May 12...