Thursday, 8 December 2016

100 Good Things About Growing Old - Part Two - One Has Learned more about How to Handle Relationships

Husband - will be dealt with in a separate post

 Other relationships -  Good Things Which I Have Realised at Last, but only because of the passing of years   .....  Items 11 -20

11. It's not necessary to like my sister-in-law, merely to be polite and hide my true thoughts.

12. It's not necessary to clean the entire house to the point of exhaustion immediately prior to a visit from my mother-in-law.

13.  It's not necessary to like my mother-in-law, merely to be polite and hide my true thoughts.

14.  Although, actually, I have found, at this late stage, that I do in fact like my mother-in-law.  Or at least I respect her for her longevity, survival instincts, and exceptionally positive attitude to enjoying life. 

15. In fact I can learn from my mother-in-law on the subject of not apologising for my existence and actively seeking to enjoy life.

 With regard to the partners of adult children,

who may well become sons-in-law in the medium term, a set of different rules apply.  By this time, it is a good thing to have realised with age some things that caused problems in earlier days.

16.  I've learned - Never, ever criticise.  Anything.  Even when it is implicitly invited - eg "Mum, those curtains you've just bought are SO MUCH NICER than the ones we've just bought."

16.  I've learned - Never utter divisive comments about one sibling to another.

17. I've learned - Never offer any opinion at all on the subject of either the partner, his parents, siblings or family.

18.  Exactly as above in (17), but further, never offer such opinions to anyone, even my best friend, and only in very limited circumstances to my husband.  Because it becomes a habit, and one may say it in the wrong place or to the wrong person, or it may be repeated to the wrong person.

19.  I've learned  - never offer any opinion on the subject of money, how to handle it, or inter-personal relationships and money.

20.  I've invented a strategy - "The Clothes-Peg Rule". 
The clothes-peg rule came to me in an adult education class, when I realised that I normally said far too much, and that this was not a good thing.  In order to keep this habit under control, I must take a clothes-peg with me to class, and at awkward moments, grasp hold of it inside my pocket, and imagine it firmly clamping my top and bottom lips together. 

The clothes-peg rule also comes in handy in group social situations.


  1. I absolutely agree with you on nearly all of the above!!My greatest friend is always saying to me 'keep your gob shut' and I'm learning, without the aid of a clothes-peg, to heed her advice, though sometimes it's really,really hard. I should imagine that sons-in-law are easier to negotiate around, merely going by my experience of daughters-in-law. Personally, I think Mothers-of-Sons get a far rawer deal than Mothers-of-Daughters. Oops, should have brought my clothes peg along!!Off to find Part One of your Definitive Guide to Modern Sense and Sensibility.xx

  2. Nana, my friends who are mothers of sons would agree with you!