I've always prided myself on being "good with the parents". I'm
the kind of girl that mums love and immediately draw to their
bosom. With my girlfriend's mother however it was decidedly
different and bosoms of any kind are to be kept firmly under
Before my current girlfriend - 5 years and counting, thank you -
I was with a chap and I can honestly report that I was considered
the perfect in-law. Not so with hers: within months I was a
declared outlaw. No matter how charming, I seemed destined to
I don't think it helped that they thought that I had somehow
managed to seduce her into this "alternative lifestyle", an
illusion my girlfriend did nothing to discourage. It was easier to
allow her mother to believe that I was the lesbian temptress. It
went nicely with my other titles; dyke destroyer of dreams (their
white picket fence dream of a heterosexual daughter), grandchilld
withholder (in their world two women can't have a baby) or
white wedding massacrer (her mother's perfect wedding scrap book
didn't include two brides). They probably imagined that she was all
set to marry a rich, good looking - and male - banker until I
showed up, putting her under my "quirky" spell, and dazzling her
with the offer of shared clothes and cats. Who could resist? She's
only human after all.
The early days were the worst. Should they treat me like a
daughter- or son-in-law? My "father-in-law" for example, didn't
know whether to flirt with me or give me a cigar, pat me on the
back and talk man to er… man with me. Awkward. Apparently the
solution was to hide out in his room listening to music for hours
on end, for the entire duration of my stay.
My "mother-in-law", a woman for whom hope springs eternal, held
on to the belief that her daughter might eventually meet the right
man and treated me more like a school chum on extended sleep over.
The only time my girlfriend tried floating the idea of marriage she
replied in excited stage whisper "…won't Sarah mind?" When she was
informed that it was actually me she'd be doing the marrying with
there followed a look of despondency.
However, five years on they are beginning to see advantages. My
"father-in-law" is grateful that his manhood is not being
challenged by a younger buck, plus he thinks he is off the hook
paying for a big wedding. And, as for my "mother-in-law", she
enjoys regular city breaks where she can have fun with "the girls"
and go out for sushi. We are reliably informed that men don't like