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Monday, 24 January 2011

A Mother-in-Law's Lament: A Monologue

Written by  Sherri Mandell

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When I go to Luke and Mindy's house, it's always so chaotic. The kids are running around half- naked, even in winter. It's all she can do to get clothes on them. They're usually filthy after an hour or two. And she never changes them. She doesn't even bathe them every day.

I want to see the kids clean and beautiful. But if I bring clothes as presents, Mindy always claims they're too big. But I want to make sure that they'll fit. Anyway big clothes makes it easier to dress the kids. But no, she puts them in the closet and I never see them again.

She doesn't understand that you can say no to a child. Those children are so spoiled. I keep my mouth shut because I don't want to do anything to make her defensive. I don't want her to feel that I don't approve of her.

Sometimes it gets so bad, I just go to my room for some peace and quiet. I can't say anything to her. She's so sensitive. If I say a word she gets defensive.

She takes no interest in any of my work or my life. I got my entire living room redecorated and she hardly noticed. She even let the kids eat on the couch while they were watching TV even though it was a brand new couch.

So I covered the couches with sheets while she was there. I try to be patient. I really do.

It's depressing to me that the only thing she knows how to talk about is Ricky Lake, or Jerry Springer. She doesn't even pick up a newspaper.

I want her to make more of a life for herself. I think she's depressed, honestly. She's always screaming at the kids or going to bed as soon as they go to bed. She never sits and talks. She only wants to gossip about whether or not Britanny Spears had a breast job or things that don't interest me at all.

I'm worried about Luke. He works all of the time. He wanted to be an architect but she got pregnant and he, being the decent guy he is, married her. Now he's working as a draftsman just to support them. It's such a pity. He has such talent. I'd like to help them. But every time I broach the subject with Luke he backs off and says they're fine.

I sometimes feel that Mindy is having babies because she doesn't know what else to do with her life. I want to help her but every time I try to talk to her I hit a glass wall.

Before they got married, I dreamed that she would be the daughter I never had. Especially since her mother died, I thought I could have a very strong close relationship with Mindy. But it's the opposite. I just wish I felt more welcome in my son's home.

Read the Daughter-in-law's Lament

Read Ms. Leah Shifrin Averick's Expert Advice To The Characters

Back to the Introduction

Last modified on Monday, 16 January 2012 17:50
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Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell has a Master's degree in Creative Writing and has taught writing at the University of Maryland and Penn State University. She is the author of the book Writers of the Holocaust. She has written articles for the Washington Post. She is married with four children

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