A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Because they will be here soon.

Posted by Pepper on August 22, 2011

My in laws just booked their tickets. They will be here by the end of next month and will stay for a month and a half. There are a million things I am worried about.

For starters, we live in a 1 BHK. I don’t know how we will accommodate each other with our very different life styles and yet maintain the peace. Mint and I plan to give them the bedroom and move out to the living room. But the in laws wake up at 5 am, every single day. Yes, even on holidays. No, I am not kidding. Which means, it will make me feel very awkward to continue sleeping if they are up and about. Especially because we have something like an open kitchen, which is almost a part of the living room. God save me. Please.

How am I even suppose to yell at Mint or order him around? I mean, I don’t do that exactly. It’s more like, “Do you mind chopping these onions, darling?”, which he knows translates to “Get your ass to the kitchen and chop these onions right now!”. He doesn’t always respond immediately, stating reasons like sudden eardrum failure, or sudden emergence of important work that needs his immediate attention. I deep breath and meditate to prevent myself from exploding or smashing his laptop. However, he has an in built sensor that warns him of the upcoming explosions that make him come running into the kitchen just in time. Point being, I certainly can’t make him chop onions while I sit with my feet up in front of his mum. Neither can I smash his laptop in protest. I mean, I can. Mint says I can. But then if you know me, you’ll know what a wuss I am. And oh, I even need to watch my words while talking to him. Damn. I don’t know how pleased his mom would be if she hears me calling her precious son “an asshole”. My mom was here the last time I showered Mint with some interesting abuses and she warned me against it. I should watch what I say, unless I want his parents to clutch their chests and pass out in shock.

And oh! I am that evil wife who doesn’t wake up in time to feed her husband some nutritious breakfast before he leaves for work. He leaves without eating a thing in the morning. I believe he is perfectly capable of fixing himself a sandwich or pouring some milk into a bowl of cereal on his own. He doesn’t do it due to lack of time in the mornings. But of course, I will be labelled as ‘uncaring’. Never mind the fact that I skip breakfast myself. Well, that’s another label to live with. The scenario might be a little different at that time though. Since I have taken up the internship offer, I will be rushed for time in the mornings myself. I have no idea how we will go about it with them around.

Did I tell you that I cook only once a day? I only cook dinner and then we eat the same thing for lunch the next day. With the in laws around, I don’t suppose I can do that. Also, they are used to a good heavy breakfast in the mornings. That means three different meals everyday? Dear God, how am I going to do it? No, no, I do not mean to say my mother in law is that wicked lady who expects me to serve her in hand. I know she will chip in and cook as much as she can. But that doesn’t change the fact that I have to cook so many meals a day too! Unless I let her take over completely and earn myself the reputation of ‘that evil daughter in law‘, or like I always say “The bahu from Baghbaan

And now, we have to hurriedly consume all the beer and vodka that we have at home. And also wipe out all the evidence that indicates any trace of alcohol in this house.  Isn’t it unfair? I am being denied alcohol at a time when I need it most. A couple of swigs a day would have helped me preserve my sanity. But I can’t even count on that. * Groan *

I didn’t even talk about my biggest concern yet. The damn ‘thali‘ or the ‘mangalsutra‘. The in laws expect me to wear it at all times. I do not believe in wearing it.  So far, I have never lived with them for more than two weeks at a go. During this period, I endure the thali, making them believe it is worn by me at all times. This time though, they are here for a longer duration. I can either a) Let them know I don’t wear it and deal with the confrontations and the bitterness and give them a chance to indulge in self pity that I know will give rise to thoughts of how all this is a consequence of them not choosing the girl for their son and basically ruining their trip  or b) Wear it for as long as they are here and get mad at myself for not having the courage to stand up for my beliefs and feeling restless and annoyed and agitated. Awesome choices, I know.

I am thinking of packing my bags and leaving to India for good. Sigh.


125 Responses to “Because they will be here soon.”

  1. SK said

    Hahaha! Sorry to laugh at your rant but I found this post funny. :–) Esp the vodka part.
    And same pinch, my in laws are here next weekend, parents leave 3 days later.
    And I have the same conundrum (not the vodka part, we dont drink, but everything else)
    My point is when they are going to stay for so long, no point pretending to be what you are not.
    Last time my in laws were here, MIL did ALL the cooking, I didnt do a thing. (evil bahu… thats me ;-D) This time of course I will help out since all of us will be busy with the baby.

    Good luck! :–) I am sure we will have interesting tales from Pepper household.

    • Pepper said

      Your mom in law did all the cooking? Awesome! In that case, you can actually look forward to her visits. At least will give you a break from the kitchen.

      Good Luck to you too SK !

      • Jack Point said

        Maybe you could do something like that. Perhaps ask to show you how to cook something like a dutiful D-I-L and then get her to do something else and so on. Could backfire as well, but it may be an idea.

        • Pepper said

          Oh she wouldn’t really be calculative like that. I know she’ll be willing to take on everythng. Its just me who feels awkward. But yes, we can divide the chores somewhat.

  2. Sujatha said

    You got me at the “Thali” centiment… I used to wear religiously once and then got tired of it, so I don’t wear it anymore… But when I go to India I do wear it and it is such a hassle and I think my MIL knows that I don’t wear it here but chooses to ignore, I am not sure… I have trained my confused kids that you need to wear “Thali” chain only in India…
    So my little one said to me after second day of being back to US – “Amma , take that chain off, you need to wear that only in India right???” So I did 🙂

    I am a wuss, so I wear it if my in laws are around… Good luck with that.


  3. Hi Pepper, have been following your blog for sometimes and commenting for the first time. My in laws sound pretty similar to yours, they get up early, have three Indian meals a day (no bread/cereal/pasta/pizza etc) , and would be quite upset to find alcohol in our house. We can’t please them on every count and neither do they expect us to, so the things which are important to them, we try to do, like not drinking in front of them, trying not to fight in front of them (is tough!) and the other things we let it be otherwise the situation would become very difficult and frankly unmanageable for us.
    I used to wake up at my normal time, and they never expected us to wake up early for them.I can understand your problem about sleeping in the hall and being unable to sleep late, can you instead consider hiring a sofa cum bed for the time they are with you and ask them to sleep in the hall?
    I would cook one meal a day for them and let my mother in law cook the other two. She’s a far better cook than me, and she enjoyed cooking and could do it much faster. And she never considered me less for not cooking (as far as I know). I told her that her son likes her cooking the best 🙂
    All the best, am sure you’ll come to some convenient arrangement and enjoy their visit!

    • Pepper said

      Hey! Thanks for commenting!
      I don’t suppose we can rent a sofa cum bed, because with our existing sofa in the living room, there wouldn’t be any space for the new one 😦
      I don’t think my mom in law would think of me as less if I didnt cook 3 meals a day for them either. Its just me who feels bad at the thought of them doing it without any contribution from me.
      Thanks. I hope we work out a convenient arrangement and enjoy their visit too 🙂

  4. I went through similar thoughts last year when in laws came, do you know the outcome?
    1. Food she knows I can cook and we survived rest of the years before they came to live with us. So don’t worry you lived more than a year and you both are alive and rocking. take it cool.
    2. My mother in law became a cook for us, she made us bfast, lunch and dinner. R and I just helped when ever required. All mothers do enjoying feeding their kids. So you make sure you eat along with mint like I did 🙂
    3. I don’t wear thali either, when they came R made them understand how tough it is to wear on daily and he made them understand no one wears here to work etc. You leave this to mint let him handle. My in laws gifted me a black seeds chain which I love to wear to work and gets lot of compliments. Replace thali with a small chain which you love to wear 🙂
    4. Once in laws are awake you both go inside and sleep. Waking up at 5 is impossible and I hope they don’t expect you and mint to wake up that early each day.
    5. Whats wrong getting small work done from Mint even if his parents are around, I know my MIL pampers R way too much that I get irritated. But they stayed us for 6months, they know it better by now. If we both have to work and manage baby and run home it has to be by both working equally including in kitchen. You can cut onion and ask him to clean kitchen or vacuum the house or viceversa. When my in laws were here My MIL cooked, R cleaned and loaded dishwasher, I took care of Chucky.

    My advise is never change yourself for ppl around you, live your life, otherwise at some point you will explode and that is not good. Initial few days were tough we(MIL and I) fought for silliest things but over a period we all settled down, I am glad I expressed my opinions. I don’t want to regret later that I changed my lifestyle to impress them. Now we know each other better and we surely respect our feelings and give each other the space we needed. I am giving you this lecture, you can give me the same lecture back few months down the lane when they visit us and I write a panicky post like this. take care babe 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Hey LF, here are my responses to your comment
      1) My MIL might not be so sure of my cooking abilities just because we survived all this while. She might attribute our surivival to Mint. Lol.
      2) I hope I can get myself to just sit back and enjoy being fed.
      3) It will be harder to make them understand because all their relatives do wear the Thali, even to work here. They won’t understand why I can’t do it. If Mint talks to them about this, they will only think he is being my spokesperson and I have set him up for this. Which is true, but then I might as well learn to speak up myself right?
      4) No, no, I am sure they don’t expect us to wake up at 5.
      5) You’re right. I am going to just behave normally with Mint. Its a lot easier to justify the division of work at home if both of you are working. In my case, I am not. I’ll have the intern though, thankfully..

      I know I will regret it if i change myself for the in laws too. So I might as well show them the real me. Thanks! Like you said, I might be posting a similar comment on your blog in sometime.

  5. Bhavani said

    Hi Pepper,
    It is ok…just try to focus on the positives and think this is a good period to bond with your inlaws. You will have a nice time. And trust me they will adjust to this way of living. I am speaking out of experience. My inlaws are the early wakers too, but I wake up when I want to when they are here and they dont mind. I cannot sleep late when I am in Chennai though. Since I work full time I let MIL cook for lunch and used to cook dinner or help (generally they used to eat ony tiffin – so easy). I used to take over the weekend cooking and she was happy with the setup. They are used to eating Oats in the morning so that was easy:))

    My inlaws visit us for 5-6 months everytime and I have been married for 15 yrs. And touchwood apart from small differences here and there we do have a great time. And 1 and half months is nothing it will just fly.

    Good luck and enjoy..


    • Pepper said

      They come for 5-6 months? I bow down to thee!
      But yes, I know, their visit might actually be an enjoyable experience for all of us. I am trying to focus on the positives and hoping to use this period to bond with them.

  6. Bhavani said

    And forgot to add…regarding the thali…if they mention something about it..deal with it casually saying ..it does not go well with all the western wear…and you are not comfortable wearing it 24/7 in a nice way…make sure Mint is next to you when this happens;)))

    • Pepper said

      Lol. I still don’t know if I have the courage to not wear it in front of them. Sigh.

      • Jack Point said

        Maybe you could say you leave all valuable jewellery in the bank vault because the US is not like India? If you are willing to try it, I would suggest that you actually deposit the jewellery for the duration of their stay.

        Your in-laws sound very very traditional, I’ve never heard of anyone who wears the Thali except at weddings or important parties.

        • Pepper said

          What???? Are you serious? You’ve never heard of anyone who wears the Thaali at all times??? I am very taken aback by that statement!

          It happens everywhere, all the time! Just go down South and look. 🙂

          • Jack Point said

            I am serious, although my experience is of Sri Lanka and that too of the more Anglicised bit of it.

            • Pepper said

              Oh alright. I don’t blame you for not knowing then. I think a lot of Indians, especially the older generation are very conservative and rigid in thought. Wearing (or being forced) to wear the Thali is very common. It gets me mad. 😦

              • Jack Point said

                Thinking about this, I realised that the Tamils I know are mostly christian, so perhaps the Thali, while used in the wedding ceremony may not have the same significance as for Hindus?

                Also, security considerations have affected behaviour. It is almost impossible to find a bank vault here, the company I work for wanted one to store documents and it was very difficult to get one. I finally managed to find one after calling virtually all the main banks.The bank manager told me that most of the vaults have been taken by Tamils to store their jewellery, because they feel unsafe keeping it at home I guess.

              • Pepper said

                Yes, I think the thali, amongst South Indians particularly, is considered to be a symbolic representation of your marriage. It has to be worn at all times if you are married. Unfortunately I am not made that way.
                And yeah, I do think the environment and your surrounding play a big role in influencing your choices too. So maybe the situation there is a result of the environment. Just thinking..

  7. Sometimes I imagine AB’s parents coming over here to live with us for a while and that thought alone is enough to keep me awake at work. Pathetic I am no?

    I can fully get what you are saying. Your internship will start by then right? Nobody expects a woman with a job to cook 3 meals a day(it is a crime even if a woman without a job is asked to cook thrice a day). My only suggestion, don’t look to please or impress anybody but yourself. Even if you are doing something out of your character, be assured you want to do that.

    Ok, I ll let u in(and this blog world) on a secret. AB had hidden vodka under his bed when Amma had come, odourless you see? I helped myself a few pegs every now and then too. Helps much! 😉

    • Pepper said

      You are pathetic maybe. Just like how I am :P.. I’ve been having sleepless nights too.
      I think it is criminal to expect women to cook three times a day too. But my mom in law has been doing it all her life. And I would feel terrible by the thought of just sitting back and not giving her a hand.
      I hope I manage to be my own self with them around. I tend to bow down too much, even if it means hurting or going against myself in the process.
      Lol, you’re giving me ideas! 😀

  8. Hahahah! Sorry, couldn’t stop myself from laughing …you made your situation seem so damn hilarious! 😀

    But..but, I know, the truth is far from it. The cussing, cooking, early waking – all valid concerns. But, if your in laws are half as accommodating as mine, they’ll take you by surprise dear 🙂

    My in laws forced us to keep the bedroom to ourselves and took up the living room – also stated reasons of waking early. The MIL took over the kitchen with full enthu and ‘banished’ me from it totally 😉 The cussing and mangalsutra – emm…was hard for them initially, but they accepted me after some hiccups.

    But hey- you haven’t stated one HUGE pain that you’ll probably realize only when it happens – the whole ‘family, including your pati, conversing in Greek and french..while you feel like an outsider.Hehehe. Now, that was the trigger that got me to vow and learn Tamil – pronto 🙂

    Best of luck!

    • Pepper said

      Arey I am actually looking forward to the Greek and French conversations. I think that is the ONLY way I can learn Tamil. Mint is too lazy to teach me, and I can’t magically learn it by myself. So I am counting on this trip of theirs.

      I am only worried about them objecting to us talking in Hindi. And we’re so used to it now. Its going to be hard to stop all of a sudden. My MIL believes the more Mint talks to me in Hindi, the less scope I have to learn Tamil.

  9. mehmudah said

    Whoopsy daisy! I know the feeling babe!

    Been a while since I wrote, but I do follow the blog pretty regularly. so yeah, I have been in the same boat many many times. My advice to you is: DO NOT PANIC. you will do just fine. DON’T BE SCARED – ’cause if you’re not relaxed you will mess up.

    Relax and be yourself. Help them feel at home. And one last thing: NEVER EVER expect anything – nice behaviour, help, love etc from your inlaws. That way, whatever you will get will feel like a bonus.

    And there is no need to be overly nice and lovey-dovey with Mint, just regular good behaviour should see you through with flying colours. And I really think you should wear the manglsutr for a bit, and then sort of confide in them maybe? See how it goes? Remember to be yourself, and do not be scared.

    Sorry for the lecture – just my two-pence…

    • Pepper said

      I know, I know. I should relax, and I should not be scared. Its hard to be that way though. I will try. Phew.
      And hey, no apologizing please. I welcome all your thoughts here.

  10. R's Mom said

    Oops! Difficult times na…

    here are few solutions from the not-so-seasoned-bahu

    1) Cook only one meal…thats it..let it be dinner…breakfast ke liye only cereals and tell them we prefer that in the morning…lunch ask MIL to make it hot hot so that both FIL and she can enjoy it 😉 Dinner you cook a bit extra and ask Mint to tell them that he prefers fermented food over fresh food for dabba..it seriously tastes better 😉

    2) Dont wear the mangalsutra…I did that finally spoke to my MIL saying that its cumbersome in the trains…you are starting your intership na..say that its cumbersome to travel with it and too much show of gold is not appreciated when you do your intership…you are supposed to be an intern so need the money..cant show them that you have too much money on you na 😉 you can wear it perhaps when you guys decide to take them to a nearby temple or something…in my case RD told his mom firmly that I would rather have her not wear it than loose that much gold..and it worked..tell Mint that 😉

    3) Sleep on weekends babes…its okie..may be you can give them the bedroom on weekdays and ahem ahem tell them you need the weekends to sleep *wink wink* a bit more…

    4) And oh easy way to make Mint work…since you are as good as me in ‘kitchen accidents’ ensure you have some every 3 days 😉

    Praying sincerely that Mint doesnt read your comments..otherwise he will definitely book a ticket to India along with you and come and hit me 😉 *Which of course is to your advantage*

    • Pepper said

      I can’t give them the travel excuse for not wearing the mangalsutra. I have to drive to that place. But yeah, maybe I can tell them I can’t display my wealth in the form of gold at the office there. That might prevent them from paying me 😛

      You’re funny R’s Mom. As always 😀

      Eh? Why would Mint want to hit you cos of this comment? *Looks confused*

  11. Chhavi said

    Ha ha ha…. Best of luck Pepper!
    Do mind your language in front of your in-laws. 😉 😉 You don’t want to piss them off on their visit. As far as alcohol is concerned try finding an alternate solution say yoga or something else which will make you stress free. 😉 😉
    I would say wearing the Mangalsutra for as long as they are here is not a bad option. I mean it’s just a matter of a month and a half. And yes, don’t forget to share with us all the interesting things that happen during their stay.

  12. Pixie said

    hugs sweetie!

  13. Childwoman said

    Arree dont stress out yourself so much. It will be okay. Try to get up at 530..for a few days, start now..and then it wil be a piece of cake later.. (evil laughter!!)

    But seriously..its not about maska marroaing the IL’s..its about making them feel that their son had made a marvellous choice. Now again I am not saying that you have kiss ass or something for this.
    But look at this way..you will doing something extra extra for his parents and when they will appreciate it, adn tell Mint, just imagine how proud will Mint be of you.

    Dont you love it when your parents say great things about Mint to you. Arent you proud then…

    Just few days of pain or lets say coming out of your comfort zone for Mint…after all Mint is the amazing guy because of his parents upbringing. They must have done something right. Right?

    Parents arent going to be around for long, so why not take effort (which I am sure you will) and make this thier best trip ever…. :))

    This is only my suggestion…you can delete this comment you want…

    Love and Luck,


    • Pepper said

      Actually, I know Mint wont really be affected when his parents praise me. Because he knows all that behaviour of mine is just put on to please them. Its not really me.. Simiarly, he wouldn’t feel bad if his parents don’t speak too well of me. Because he knows we are very different individuals and he does not expect me to be like them.

      When my parents say great things about Mint to me, I feel proud and happy, because they see Mint the way he truly is. He doesn’t have to put on farce in front of them. 🙂

      Yes, I do plan to put in all the effort from my side, to make this an enjoyable trip for them. 🙂

      Why on earth would I want to delete this comment?

  14. bini said

    Tension nahin lene ka..Mint sab sambaal lega:P

  15. Free Spirit said

    OMG don’t get me started on this.. The only time I clean the house well, and maintain it is when the in-laws visit, I look forward to going to the office so I can rest there. I miss coming home tired, throwing my bag, and lying down and watching TV for sometime. And I cannot wake up late on weekends, have the privilege of not cooking or browse or watch movies back to back or go out whole day. I end up making the choice b., you have mentioned and get restless the time they are here. It’s not that they expect me to do things, but I can’t sit up simply when they sweep, clean, wash, cook etc na. And sometimes even wonder we should not have taken a 2BHK, so that it’s uneasy for everybody to stay longer. Do I sound wicked ?!

    • Pepper said

      Lol! I love your comment. Those are exactly my thoughts, soul sistah!
      Just that, I do wish we had a 2bhk. I don’t think the lack of a bedroom will deter them. So might as well give myself and them some more space.

  16. RS said

    First of all – Relax! You are getting worked up even before they are here! And just be yourself – they are in your home and let them know the rules subtly.

    And for all you know – they might be having jitters themselves 😛

    Coupla things I remember:
    When MIL asked me to address Hubby as ‘Neevu’ ‘aap’ in kannada – hubby himself put his foot down and said No – let her call me what ever she wants – so when in doubt – let Mint do the talking.

    When we moved to the new house my MIL herself told me – He’s very lazy. Dont take on all the work on yourself. Make him do his share 🙂 and I’ve taken that advise with all my heart and making him do HIS share…

  17. Sig said

    Oh LOL.

    You WILL have so much fun 😛

    It does irk me that you have to play these games and can’t fully be yourself, but I do recognise that there so many complexities in people’s life that it’s not fair for me to judge on choices made.

    I just hope that you guys make it through. 😀 You never know, you might like having them there and not want them to leave 😀

    • Pepper said

      It irks me too. And then I tell myself to not judge. There really are too many complexities in people’s lives.

      I hope we make it through too 😀

  18. tinu said

    hmmm.. all the best dear..first impressions still are the best..so go for the thali.Its jus for one and half months,right…Good that, u have the internship, you atleast have some time and space for yourself. Do you get ready-to-make dosa and idli batter there? In that case, fixing a break fast will be of no trouble. Another easy dish would be upma. Since you have a months time, try making these or some other classic south indian dishes n surprise them. They will be happy to know that u actually took some effort to take care of them…

    I am a south indian, malayalee to be precise and living with my in-laws, so i know what u are feeling…living with ur in-laws (esp MIL) is NOT easy. So many compromises are to be made. I have been married for 6 years n living with them, but still i dont consider this as my home…its always her home..only to my bedroom , do i have a sense of belonging.But to win some ,you have to lose some…I have 2 kids n my li’l one is 13 months….I am able to work only becoz of my mother-in-law..n my kids get to grow with their grand parents….

    What i bacically want to say is, what i go through all the time, you hav to go through only for a mothn n half..so put a grin on ur face…dont argue…go with the wind…(thats all my co-sisters do when my in-laws visit them)….


    • Pepper said

      We do get ready to make dosa and idli batter. But I am sure my MIL will want to make the batter herself.
      I agree, living with inlaws has a lot of advantages, especially when you have kids. But everything comes with a flip side.
      I truly respect all of you who live with the in laws on a permanent basis.

  19. Rosh said

    Good luck! Thats all I can say. Bless you! But I can’t wait for the post in 2 months! Hahaha

  20. ajay said

    Baghban seems to have further stereotyped ideal son and bahu! 😀 Don’t worry until they arrive. 🙂

  21. hey there, come here often,but haven’t commented so far.
    hmmmm…situation sounds tricky.The first few days will be difficult, but am sure you all will settle down into a routine and get through the 1.5 half months.
    I so hear you about the thali bit. I don’t believe in it myself, but wear it all the time as we live with the in-laws.my MIL knows my opinion about the thali, but I wear it to keep peace and coz it is so important to her.

    • Pepper said

      Thanks for commenting Bubble Catcher. I hope you’re right when you say we will all settle down into a routine and get through the 1.5 months.
      I am not sure of what i will do regarding the thali bit.

  22. okay now take a deeeeep breath.

    1) they will have all your fears – perhaps compounded – “will she like us?”, “what if the son isn’t what he used to be, what if our relationship has changed?” “will it still be the same?” and so on –

    a) Your mom-in law will want to cook – I’m betting about 100$ on that – so it’ll be three meals everyday for you and Mint, without any sweat! And dont feel guilty about it. May be on one day, you can suggest that you’d like to cook for them instead and you two can cook it for them, they’d be flattered.
    b) If I can suggest it here, suggest that they take the bed room and if they ask you to take the bed room, you should take it (we live in a one BHK too, and the first time we made them take the bed room and took the living room. They are not used to A/C while I get cranky without it. So after that, I did suggest that they take the bedroom, but did not really insist :P)
    c) If mint’s not going to be up by 5, you could sleep in too!I do it all the time. Initially I was apprehensive of what they’d think, now I’m not 😛 (Eitherways, I’m not sure how feasible it would be to be up by 5 for you everyday!)
    d) Er, the thaali – it’s my nightmare too – because I end up keeping it somewhere and have to search for it without knowing where the damn thing is and praying that the in-laws dont spot it lying on the floor or something – my suggestion – t shirts with close round necks/ collars – they helped me 😀 ( On the other hand, you could politely fib/suggest that while you like wearing it, there have been incidents of indian women specifically targetted by junkies because they know that we folks wear the gold thaali. and ask if you can get a thin one instead – I know it’s not a great solution – but I have a feeling you have a thick one now, and it would improve matters if you got a thin one instead. In my opinion, south indian amma’s are such sticklers for the thaali – It would be the right thing to openly say that you are not for wearing it – but im not sure how prudent it will be…)

    Finally, it’s easy to think of all the worst cases and feel anxious(thats what I do too) but it is never as bad as we think 🙂 you’ll be okay Pepper, I know it 🙂

    • Pepper said

      I am sure they’ve been feeling the jitters as well. But then, they have a very formal relationship even with their son. He has always had to deal with their rigidity and that has made him distance himself a little from them. At some level, they are aware of it. He was never the perfect son to them. So its not like they are going to observe any changes in the relationship they had with him. That much I know.

      a) Since all you girls say the same thing – I am going to try and not feel guilty when she cooks 😀 But oh, they wouldn’t be flattered if they see Mint and me cooking for them together. That would happen only if I cook, single handedly.
      b) If they say they want to take the living room, I am not going to protest too much 😛
      c) I don’t think they expect me to wake up at 5 at all. Just that, I would feel awkward and uncomfortable if I am sleeping in the hall and they are up and about, sitting next to me. This wont be a problem if we take the bedroom though.
      d) I do have a thick thaali. I already told my MIL i prefer a thin chain even before we got married. But she believes a thin chain is breakable and not durable for everyday wear and tear. I really don’t know how I am going to go about handing this part.

      I know. Maybe I am just over thinking and it will all be fine. Thanks Abi 🙂

      • Hi Pepper…
        This post and in particular, SAB’s comment made me comment on this post. I’ve been through almost all what you’ve mentioned here except the early rising part which is the opposite at my place wherein I get up early and my in-laws wake up later! 🙂 Which has its own share of discomfort as well.. 🙂
        On the thaali bit, I did exactly what SAB suggested here. I got a thinner version of the thali and wore it without any prior information to my MIL. She once asked me if I lost the original one to which I told her it was too heavy and I felt uncomfortable wearing it and the matter ended there. Although I still do not subscribe to wearing the thali, at least a smaller comfortable one is a step forward is my opinion.
        I personally feel its better to be the real self at all times. I read this somewhere – ‘It’s better to be hated for who we are than to be loved for who we are not’ True, right?? But then, I completely understand that initially it might be very difficult to diplomatically put across our thoughts on a lot of day-to-day stuff. But believe me, over time things will improve and people will accept us as who we are. This is no advice, been there done that, that’s all! 🙂
        P.S. – Been reading you for while. Really like the way you write from your heart!

        • Pepper said

          Hey there! Thanks for commenting 🙂
          I don’t know if I can go about making a thinner version of the thali here in the US. Beside that, it would only be considered a chain and not a thali until some ceremony has been performed. So basically, that’s not an option for me :(. Even if it was, I suppose I would be as irked by the idea of having something around my neck all the time.
          It is definitely better to be your real self and be hated for who you are rather than being loved for who you are not. But this really isn’t about me. I don’t mind being hated for who I am. I am only worried about causing them distress during this trip of theirs. I would have reacted differently had this not been a temporary stay or their first visit.

  23. scorpria said

    LOL. Again, you stole my post! 😀
    My in-laws come only for a week, and tht’s the max they’ve ever stayed with us — the first time was a disaster — i CANNOT pretend, no matter what the situation is. They wake up at 5am too. I could ONLY wake up at 7.30 , tht was the earliest I could manage.

    Suraj never has Bfast coz i dont wake up early enough to cook it (well, same case with the milk and cereal :D) I can cook ONLY lunch and dinner — I do NOT specialize in bfast, and i hate making it 😀 They love their bfast, so i just confessed to the mom-in-law that bfast is not part of my competencies 😀

    The thali — well, she almost got a shock when she saw it lying sprawled across my dressing table, a thin layer of dust all over and around it — proof enough tht i had not touched it in a loooong while. Again, i told her I don’t believe the THALI is what hold a marriage in place.

    And well, since his dad helps his mom around their house, i used tht as an excuse everytime i had to call him to chop th onions or help me around the house 😉

    Suraj told me to be myself when they’re around, and I took that suggestion seriously 😀 That’s about the only time I’m NOT a wuss — I just dont CARE what people will think of me, or what they’ll talk about me 😀

    I think you should be yourself too — because irrespective of whether yu stay near or far from them, acting can only go on for sometime — they’ll HAVE to get to know who you are and how you live — and the sooner, the better. Someday, when you people may have to look after them in their old age, it wont be a rude shock then 😉 Better now, than then, na? 😀

    • Pepper said

      I really admire all you girls who are bold enough to be yourself completely. I am just too chicken. I always worry about hurting them. I can’t handle confrontations, or worse still, tears or self pity. I find it easier to just pretend to be the person they want me to be. I know that’s not the best way to go about it. But I always tell myself someday I will deal with it all. Its never feels like the right time though.

  24. chandni said

    Please take my advice. Keep the alcohol hidden in your cupboard. take a swig when u need it 😉

  25. Kunal said

    Do let your readers know, how did it go.

    Good Luck 🙂

  26. Swetha said

    Hi Pepper,

    I have been reading your blog for a week or so but never commented. Reading this post i wanted to comment about wearing the mangalsutra. I too faced the same problem. My mil and sil never remove the mangalsutra whereas my feelings about the mangalsutra are exactly same as yours. Mine being a love marriage, the difference in cultures and mindsets made me so confused. I have got advise from lot of people that i should wear it in front of them. After thinking a lot i thought i couldnt act forever. So i dared not to wear it. I was asked a couple of times as in where is it? and why am i not wearing it? I just told them its in my hand bag and i forgot to wear it. They offered me a light weight mangalsutra in case i feel its heavy. I just said the existing one is fine. This went on for a few visits and is still going on but i stopped caring.

    My mil is one those people who is very diplomatic and doesnt say directly anything to me. So i guess she is not confronting me. But i am not sure about your mil. For me the key is i never took her comments or reactions to heart or lost my cool. I just smile for everything or act as if i didnt listen to that. Another thing that worked in my favour is that my husband is very supportive.

    This turned out to be a very long comment but i couldnt help share my feelings as i am facing the same problem.

    • Pepper said

      I am glad you made it clear to them Swetha. Given the sentiments attached to it, its not an easy issue to deal with. My mom in law doesn’t say much to me directly too. But at times I wish she were more open and direct. Its better than harboring all these ill feelings.

      Thanks for commenting. I love long comments.

  27. Meenu said

    Hey Pepper relax re, i bet it is not going to be as bad!!!! I know it feels very nervous and i sure did freak out like hell when my in laws were visiting but then now if i think about it i feel i could have taken things a little easier.
    My in laws are also very conservative people and i know i could not yell at hubby in their presence. But then i dunno how but surprisingly that situation did not arise. In contrast i actually had fun with them taking them around, playing Uno cards with them , learning new recipies and stuff.
    I wake up late in the mornings and i was very scared if they will expect me to wake up first thing in the morning and make them their morning coffee like a dutiful bahu. But then the first day after their arrival i woke up early to show them where the things were placed and how the microwave works and i told them casually that i am not used to waking up so early but i will if they needed help with their coffee ( I knew they were going to say no, but then i told them anyways to score some brownie points hehe).
    Same with the cooking and stuff. We kinda divided our work, she would prepare the lunch and i would prepare the dinner. It worked out very well for us.
    About the thali, i also do not believe in wearing the thali. But then when the in laws were there i did wear my thali for the sole reason that i did not want to hurt them. I could have told them but then i don’t know why i did not do that. Mainly, they were visiting for the first time i did not want to shock them, i thought i ll tell them slowly but i never did :-(. Also another reason is that it didn’t bother me all that much, yes i did feel uncomfortable wearing it initially but then later i just didn’t care.
    But then if you feel you are not comfortable wearing it for a long time, i guess telling them would be the best idea. Anyways take it easy and i am sure you are gonna rock!!!
    Hey Pepper, i see that you have got a internship opportunity. Are you on the dependent visa ? just wanted to ask you a few things regarding all that since i am i dependent visa and trying to find something. If it is not too much trouble, please pass me on your email id so that i can put in my questions and do reply when you find time. No hurries!!!

    • Pepper said

      I am going to try and take things easy. I hope it works. Thanks for sharing your experience Meenu. Its good to know people have been able to deal with it well.
      Regarding the thaali, I do want to tell them that I don’t wear it. But that seems like the hardest thing to do. Its easier to do just wear it while they are here.
      You can mail me at talk2pepper@gmail.com

  28. neha said

    Hugs peppy! As much as I care for your wellbeing, I did find this post hilarious 😀
    But its better to always let them know you dont prefer doing a particular thing, and are doing it just for them. Thats what I do when my MIL tells me to wear the bangle (in bengalis, its the bangle, instead of mangalsutra) ..
    I am having to watch my language with mom around, and even she was quite scandalised that I dont give S breakfast, dont ask him if he wants second helpings etc.. It will be interesting when my in laws are here next year..but I am thinking language should not be a problem… they hardly understand hindi, and hence, I will be able to use my precious vocabulary without any hindrance 😀 And with the in laws I think I have already established my reputation of being a lazy bum.. so whatever little I do, Im sure, that will impress them 😉
    And yes, stash away some alcohol in your drawer or purse, and take swigs whenever required 🙂

    • neha said

      Or better still, take them to Napa for wine tasting .. lol..

    • Pepper said

      My in laws don’t understand much of HIndi either. But they sure will object to us talking in HIndi. My MIL has already told Mint a lot of times to not talk to me in HIndi. She believes that will discourage me from learning Tamil. It doesn’t change the fact that we talk in Hindi almost all the time.

      Yes, I should take them to Napa for wine tasting. That will be fun! 😛

  29. Mahes said

    Hugs Pepper! My MIL is here and SHE CANNOT COOK, she actually doesn’t want to do anything with cooking. Initially when she was here, I fixed breakfast before leaving to work (rotis, upma etc…), afternoon she makes dosa/idli for herself and dinner is mostly rice, a typical tamil meal. I cook curries over the weekend, I only make sabjis and chutneys during weekdays. Between work and kids’ activities, I was exhausted. Dh asked me not to make breakfast and keep food simple. So these days she is having oatmeal, cereal, upma for breakfast.
    Regarding ‘Thali’, I came clean on the first day she landed here 🙂 She asked me ‘where is the chain?’ and I told her that it’s inside a box and stopped at that. I thought she would get a heart attack. She expressed her opinion on Thali and I ignored it. These days she requests me to wear it only on auspicous days.
    I am being myself, I wake up only at 8am on weekends. She makes tea and waits for us. She is an awesome dishwasher 🙂 and I am trying to look at only the silver lining like kids get to come home after school and not be in extra care, Dh and I go to movies etc… Dh hides wine bottles somewhere in the cabinets and since I love margaritas, we go out at night. I come back and go straight to bed LOL!

    In your case since you got the internship, you will get some time for yourself. Let her cook if she wants to. Ler her take control of the kitchen. And I’d say you are lucky because they are here for only 1.5 months. Sorry for the long comment.

    • Pepper said

      You do so much Mahes! I am such a sloth. Doing the usual tasks everyday is painful, even without them. With them around, I have to be a little responsible. But maybe I need to learn.

      LOL at the thought of you going out at night and coming back and going straight to bed.

      Yes I am very thankful for the internship. It came at the right time.

  30. Sands said

    Been doing this for 15 years now and my mil still cooks for the whole family 🙂 These days I cook during the weekends to give her a break. One time long back my fil told me he found my thali in the bathroom or someplace like that and since then I haven’t bothered to wear one and they haven’t said anything to my face 🙂 From the very beginning I have always been myself and never done anything different when they visit. Given how long they have been visiting me, am glad I set the right expectations for all their subsequent trips 🙂 I am sure it will all be fine. They are probably nervous too.

  31. Sona said

    Hugs Pepper,it will all work out.
    The great thing here is if you have the husband on your side(as you do),it will be JUST FINE,I’m sure 🙂
    Sending lots of good luck your way,

  32. The Girl with broken heels said

    All the best. Standing up for yourself is ofcourse important, but then it can be done peacefully too. Cajole them into agreeing on your point of view 🙂

  33. Buahahahahahaa….Yes yes pack your bags and come to India !!!

    p.s. am willing to bet the MIL will want to cook…baaki sab let them see the real you so that next time at least there will be no expectations :-). I did that and my MIL makes me awesum coffee every morning!!! She has given up on adarsh bahu and learnt to live with devily nut!

  34. Richa said

    In-laws are tough. Whether we go visit them or vice verse.

    Even I am off to Delhi next week for 20 days and I am dead anxious about this visit. Will I be able to wake up by atleast 8am every day?? Will I be able to keep my temper in check at all times?


    and ya, same pinch on cooking only once everyday. Even I do that. And when my in-laws visit us I will also be worrying about this. 🙂 Plus we too have a 1BHK…with an open kitchen. 🙂

    All the best. And hey dont wear the mangalsutra if you dont feel like.

  35. DI said

    😀 My MIL lives with us. It’s 4 years now. People wonder how this works, but honestly, when it is all the time, it is just easier to set things straight and clear. I DO NOT wear a thaali, I NEVER cook, as I used to help once in a while cutting veggies and all, but that too we have help now, so I practically do nothing except eat.
    But I guess the fact that I am out of home most of the time helps. That, and my MIL is not finicky abt reheating and eating, maggi for breakfast even (!) and doesn’t believe in the 3 meals a day thing, something my own mom was always sure abt.
    You might as well come clean. Doing something to make them feel good for a short time is not the best idea, be yourself, ofcourse, try keeping the ‘abuses’ under control 😉 Also, I would say, cook like you are doing now, and I am sure she will help the rest of the times. No one expects an adarsh bahu who does seva anymore, for sure. So chill 😀 Plus, I have a feeling your MIL will cook a lot, cos these moms feel their sons want ‘maa ka khana’ as much as possible 😉 which means awesome for you!

    • Pepper said

      I have already told you this before. I’ll say it again. Your mom in law is bleddy awesome. I am jealous. Not stop rubbing it in X(
      Yes, I am going to tell my MIL how her son has been craving for ‘maa ka khana’ so that she indulges him, and me in the process 😀

  36. Gori Rajkumari said

    Aha! Hilarious post! I mean, I know you’re tortured right now with the impending visit….but still, this shows your keeping your sense of humor!

    So…here are my suggestions:

    1) Two words: Inflatable Mattress. Do it. It will save your back, save space and make it entirely possible that the ‘rents might like sleeping on that better than your bed. Especially if you guys bought it just for them. Especially if it’s the memory foam kind. 😉

    2) Your Mangalsutra aka Thali (ps, just for a laugh…at first I thought you were talking about the plate!). So you have several options here as I see it. Either tell the truth and deal with the potential (might not happen) onslaught of “Oh woah’s me! Such a bad bahu!” or lie your butt off. Here are some suggestions:
    a) It gave you a rash.
    b) It broke and is being repaired.
    c) A rash of thefts/muggings in the city made you both nervous and you keep it locked up.
    d) Get a small gold chain, wear it instead and tell them it was more appropriate because of your new internship.

    I think though, if you tell them the honest truth and give them your reasons why AND that your husband backs you up, you will do fine. My In-Laws originally didn’t like it when I stopped wearing the toe rings (I do wear the bindi, mangalsutra and anklets) until we explained to them that 1) They hurt my toes awfully causing dry skin or bleeding due to cutting and 2) It wasn’t practical because I wear tennis shoes more often than sandals. This calmed them down and after a while it no longer was an issue (at least they never mention it to us). You’ve got valid reasons and are a good person and Daughter…they might surprise you. Take a chance! 😉

    3) Three words: Buy a Flask. Check these out for lots of fun: http://funcfash.com/2009/08/carry-thousands-of-dollars-in-alcohol-with-6-concealed-alcohol-flasks/ We don’t drink, but we feel for those who do! 😉

    Above all, just be yourself and don’t sweat the small stuff! Also, we’re here for you so come and vent away! >:D< Hugs!

    • Pepper said

      Inflatable mattress is a great idea! I don’t know how we didn’t think about it. Thanks!

      You wear the mangalsutra, anklets and bindi???? *Bows down* Doubt I would ever do it on a permanent basis 😀

      Thanks so much for the hugs! Did I tell you how thrilled I am to see here? 🙂

  37. Scribby said

    listening to all this again [ref your post on thali] I feel I’m really lucky * touch wood* In us Maharshtrians we are supposed to wear the ‘magalsutra’ and ‘bindi’ all the time..important suhag ki nishani and all that stuff you see.

    but I don’t do that unless I’m going out [in Indian outfit] or wearing saree on some occasion/ festivals… at home you won’t for a moment believe that I’m married ..I don’t wear toe rings as well and no bangles for that matter!

    I don’t know if MIL approves of this but at least she has never stated it and hence everything is at peace and now it’s been 6 years this way so I think she also has got used to it any way 😉 From day one I’m like this in front of her…and from day one we have lived together !

    however there are some unstated,obvious,restrictions in wearing capris or skirts..especially when guests/relatives arrive..otherwise I’m in my pajamas at home and she is okay with that too 🙂 so somethings are okay when rest of other things are not forced upon me 🙂

    as for cooking…I love to cook so no problems there too but any which way we have divided our times..mornings I cook and evenings she does 🙂

    having said that it’s in a set-up where in we live together…in your case their presence is going to be temp..I think it’s okay to nudge some and give in some…you know ek haath se de ek haath se le? it helps though it might not be the perfect solution but I think it’ll work…do somethings that they heart and make them do things that you’re comfortable with..

    also talking about me calling H names..oh it’s not possible this side either..so we do all that fighting and calling names exercise in the privacy of our room…but think of it..it’s the permanent arrangement in my life..with you it’s only going to be a matter of days..at least now till you guys are living separate in the states,right?

    so all I’m trying to mention here is just let it be…let the time take it’s course..don’t think too much,don’t plan or don’t fret..instead think about the time when you’ll be a family and what all would you do to enjoy together..chalking out the plan for the trips to take would bring happiness and you’ll stay away from all this stress 🙂

    just came to realize that I’ve been writing whole posts on your blog ! I’m sure you don’t mind..good girl !! 🙂

    • Pepper said

      You’re right. I should let time take its course and not think too much. But what to do? This is the first time na.. so that makes me extra nervous. Let’s see how it goes.
      Bah.. you think I would mind you writing posts on my blog?

  38. ashreya said

    acho acho.. poor you.. i can feel the vibes.. but its only for short time na..

    1.cooking: tell your MIL that mint has been longing to eat what she cooks and make her cook. so, she will also be excited to cook for her son. as ur internship starts, you can make hungama at home saying no time to cook .
    2.bedroom: i think they might themselves give you people the room.:)
    3.thali: what i do is, i wear it in front of them and remove it when they are not with me. but be careful, dont loose it in the process. gold is expensive now a days..:).
    4.sleep:hmmm.. be careful dear.. or else you might land up sleeping when you are driving to ur work place..:(

  39. ashreya said

    all the best.. do post your good and bad times when you have time.. i am just thinking if you will have time after ur in-laws come.. 🙂

  40. I could very well be the one who has written this post – I can relate to it so much. 🙂
    I had the same concerns when I got married (except for the drinks part, we do not drink) – we used to stay with my in-laws then, and I realised there are some areas of conflict between us (basically all that you mention in your post, other than the alcohol). I made my issues clear to the OH and he stood by me. We shifted to a separate house, next lane to the in-laws. All of us are happy now in our own spaces. It has been almost 2-1/2 years since we got married, but I still get the same panicky thoughts every time the in-laws visit us.

    However, now, I can be a little reassured in the fact that the OH knows me well enough to stand up for me if any conflict does arise.

    • Pepper said

      I think space is important. It helps maintain relationships. Otherwise we step on each others toes and thats how things turn sour.
      I have never ever even given a thought to whether Mint supports me or not. That’s a given. The most obvious thing which I take for granted. I can’t possibly go on without it. He always has been speaking up for me, to the extent of being rude to his own parents at times. I think he’s the other extreme. But this was never about his support. I know no harm can come to me as long as Mint is around. I am only worried about hurting my in laws. Or putting up a farce. And whether I want to do it or not is a choice only I have to make.

      • Err I didn’t mean it that way – the OH has always stood by me, and I am sure he will in future too. I couldn’t go on without that, too. What I meant is – I am not used to staying with the in-laws. When a situation arises in future that I do need to stay with them, conflicts will arise. But the OH, my in-laws and I will know each other much better than when we once started from, and that’s a consolation.

        • Pepper said

          Right. I know what you mean.
          I wouldn’t think so much but the fact that my in laws are here for a limited time puts added pressure on me to make the right choices. I don’t want to ruin their trip, so I do want to avoid the conflicts. Had this been a permanent arrangement (where they lived with us), I would have surely come clean and shown them my true self.

  41. I know nothing about in-laws since I’m not married yet. But you sound pretty desperate. So here is me wishing you all the luck you need! 🙂

  42. Jack Point said

    Spending six weeks in a single enclosed space with in-laws sound like a nightmare.

    Do they have any other relatives in the US or Canada that they could visit? If they could spend a week or two visiting family scattered around other parts of the US, it will take a lot of pressure off.

    If this is not possible perhaps some travel would be good. Find some other areas of the US that they would like to visit (even if its Disneyland) and do a trip there. You will get a break from cooking and a separate hotel room, in which you can raid the minibar and rejuvenate your spirits.

    • Pepper said

      They do having relatives in the US, and they are visiting them for a good 10 days. The 1.5 months I was talking about is their exclusive stay with us.
      Yes we definitely plan to travel. This will be their first visit to this country and we want to take them around. And those will be good breaks for me too.

  43. Pri.. said

    I have been following your blog for 6 months now, and one day at work, from 9 to 7…all i did was..read your blog…You are a fantastic and an honest writer…Your posts are refreshing.

    My mom in law (i wonder why are they called in-laws:)) announced one day that they would come to my place for lunch..I almost had a heart attack..since I know zero cooking:):)..I even arranged for my friends to come home n cook…But fortunately she cancelled the plan..

    Do don’t you worry…you will do fantastic..and just be yourself…

    • Pepper said

      Hey Pri! Thanks so much for the lovely words! 🙂
      You’re lucky the mom in law cancelled! 😀 So they don’t know you know zero cooking? Maybe you should just tell them sometime and let them live with it. Lol.

  44. Chiquita said

    I can just imagine how difficult it must be to be around in laws especially if you’re not used to living with them. And I believe no matter how good a woman….the mil is always judging and looking out to see if you’re taking as good care of her son as she used to 😉
    I think you should just wear the thali…think of it as a ‘agree to disagree’ but a new piece of jewellery 🙂
    All the best Pepper…I know you’ll do well.

  45. Tanishka said

    I’ am so sorry but I could not help laughing…. I’ am waiting to read your posts once they are here… Its gonna be fun…. 😀 😈

  46. Pixie said

    I don’t have any advice… just hugs and here’s hoping you enjoy their visit .. 🙂

  47. avymom said

    I was feeling the same way you were here, but it turned out fine. My MIL is such a sweetheart, she did everything for us like my mom would. So wait and wtach it may be a wondeful experience:)

  48. Hey Pepper,

    Came here from R’s Mom’s blog…. Have been reading ur posts for quite sometime and I have to tell that I soo love ur way of writing….They are so precise and neat…..U have a gift of expressing the most complicated expressions and feelings in very very simple words…..And I just love that….

    Of all the posts of urs , I chose to comment on this one b’coz of the irony of it compared to my life…..I am a tambram working in India and my boyfriend is a telugu studying in the US……We plan to get married next year ( that is , if all the issues at his household regarding me gets resolved)…….And just like ur MIL , I have never seen my mom remove her thali , or for that matter , any of my relatives……And I can’t imagine how anyone can not wear it……..Since , naturally I come from that school of thought , when I get married , I intend to wear it at least till I really can…. In contrast , my bf’s family is not that traditional and I don’t think the women in his house wear their thali even on occasions….. :P…… I can soooo imagine my mil asking me after marriage why am i wearing my thali every single day :)…… And that I dont have to wear it everyday…… And this thought really makes me smile at ur situation….. I mean , look at karma , I could have got ur MIL and u could have got mine right…. In that way , it would have been easy for both of us to adjust…..But NO , we are put into such diverse situations and we are expected to go out of the way to let go of our beliefs……..

    I’ve read that u love longgg comments…. I hope this isnt just too long for u too :P…… I wish u all the very best Pepper for the days to come….I hope u find a solution for this issue and resolve it asap…… Have a gr8 time with ur in-laws…..

    • Pepper said

      Hey! Thanks so much for the lovely compliments! 🙂
      It is ironic right? But I still think you will have it a lot easier than I do. I bet your mom in law will not insist on you not wearing the thali. You can just tell her its unimaginable to you. Some people might even give you brownie points, because for most Indians, it is ‘the right thing’ to do. So your mom in law will only suggest you not wearing it everyday, there won’t be any pressure on you. Its very different for me though. I have tremendous pressure to wear it.

      No comment is too long for me. The longer, the better! 🙂 And thanks for the wishes!

  49. Anon said

    Hey Pepper! I went through the exact same thing last couple of months. You will be FINE!! My MIL cooked the whole time. She would pack me lunch and breakfast too for work! It was so sweet and awesome. And I was also so nervous because I had lived with the in laws only for 3 days since the wedding about 3 years back!! It always plays out well – dont worry. I even slept on till 9 am on the weekends while she was up and cooking at 6.

    I guess I am a werido to say this, but I feel I am what I am and no point changing who I am to impress them. I am sure it created emotions in them that weren’t favorable, but no one needs to twist any one else’s arm to do things. We all do what works for us. While she disliked some qualities in me (such as not wearing the thali, not cooking for her son thrice a day, having a drink), I am sure there were some she liked. And that is the lifestyle I chose for me and I would rather show them that at the very beginning and have them accept it rather than put up an act and then feel stressed out because I am not being who I am. And in the end if you make their son happy, nothing else matters. So dont stress out – these things always work themselves out. There will be differences in opinion but in the end all’s well. Love and hugs!

    • Pepper said

      I think people who show their true selves (in such cases) are really brave. I am too chicken and always think of them being hurt and their trip being ruined. Probably I should just stop thinking and be myself. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and reassuring me. 🙂 Hugs!

  50. Anon said

    Also – we were 4 of us in a 1BHK for 2 months! And we insisted on them having the bedroom, but they insisted on taking the living room. But it all worked out fine.

  51. Ashwathy said

    Damn!! Did not get the time to reply to this earlier. Most people have already said everything there is to be said. Even then, adding my two cents.

    Number one, give them a chance. Like most people said here, you can probably sleep in on weekends. And they may also take care not to disturb you as they go about their own work. I agree the whole idea will require quite a lot of adjustment. But then they would be willing to meet you half-way. It’s not like they are expecting you are the perfect Tam-Bram DIL waking up at 6 and making coffee for them. Plus you would be running for your internship.

    You can always head to help them with food for dinner. My best bet is that your MIL will take over the kitchen once she is there. Enjoy the pampering. And you never know….you may grow fond of them and like having their presence around – even if it means foregoing some amount of freedom on your part. I don’t know….I’m just guessing here…
    And be thankful you are not permanently living with them!! 🙄 😛

    Like one of the above comments suggested, wear your mangalsutra on a smaller, easier to wear chain. That’s what I do. I wear it constantly…but I’m barely aware of its presence because of that.

    And if u cannot have alcohol in the house, fine. Who stopped you from going out and taking a swig?? Surely you are not expected to stay at home EVERY day! Mint will cover for this one, don’t worry. You both can head out once in a while and go to a pub.

    And mostly importantly, STOP OVERTHINKING IT. They are still a month away, they are staying only 6 weeks. And you have already freaked yourself out for the next 3 years!! Will u stop it !! 😡 Sheesh! 🙄

  52. I have seen your gorgeous huge backyard!!! It’s time to pitch in a tent there and have a blast of Tent Romance for the next one and half month. 😛 I can even lend you all our camping gear and can throw in some free bollywood song(that has tents and the likes of it) suggestions, which you can sing to seduce mint :mrgreen:

    Hugs and I can even act as superwoman and smuggle in some south Indian curries to your home which you can pass of as your cooking 😉

    • Pepper said

      I am going to take up all your suggestions and offers.
      I will camp in our backyard.
      Sing songs there to seduce Mint
      Borrow your camping gear
      Make sure you keep your word and deliver South Indian curries to my home that I can pass off as my cooking.


  53. Smitha said

    I can see that you have already got loads of advice 🙂 I had a similar situation – long back 🙂 We have been married for almost 11 years. So every year, that we visited them, I would drop one sign of being married 🙂 First went the bangles, then the toe rings(which I hate, hate hate), and then the thali 🙂 Now I go the way I am, lots of children call me ‘didi’, instead of Bhabhi – because I don’t look the part apparently 🙂 Slowly, my MIL stopped expecting me to wear all those things. Husband did the talking – it is much easier coming from their sons – atleast it is in my in-laws case. So I just let him do the talking – it works better that way.

    As for cooking – I had that experience too -and it wasn’t easy, because when they came over, Poohi was a 4 month old – but we managed. We had a guest bedroom, so that made things slightly easier.

    1.5 months will fly , don’t worry , but I am sure the two of you will find a way to have fun.

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