Boston "Her or Me" Party

I’ve just returned home from a book event in Boston where I met some 60 extraordinary, bright and engaging women – most of them current or former mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. I never know what to expect after I give a talk on It’s Either Her or Me and then open it up to discussion. Wow.

The stories abounded.

More than one turned the room into a continuum of raucous laughter but I think the mother-in-law story that may have taken the cake, so to speak, went like this.

A lovely woman who had been married for decades and whose mother-in-law has since passed away, told us about her wedding night. After a fun and elaborate party she and her new husband slipped into the suite they had reserved for the night. Expecting a night of privacy, intimacy and great sex, they were taken aback when they flipped on the lights.

Sprawled on the bed in full splendor, wearing an emerald green silk dressing gown with matching slippers trimmed in boa feathers, laid the mother-in-law. Arm stretched dramatically across her forehead, tears streaming down her face, she cried, “I no longer have a son!”

“Wait, it gets worse,” told our storyteller in the midst of “OMG’s” and hilarity.

The following morning she and her new husband left for their much longed-for honeymoon. It promised to be memorable. It was. When they showed up at their hotel they found the mother-in-law had already checked in.

Amazingly, despite all of the intrusiveness of her husband’s mother, this woman says she really was quite fond of her.

See, there is hope!

21
May
2010

Malcolm in the Middle

I know I always harp on how uncommunicative boys are as they get older, but this personality defect ends up effecting both the wife and the mother.

The other night as I flipped through the channels, I was drawn into a new sitcom, “The Middle.” The mother, played by Patricia Heaton, is running the snack bar at her high school-aged son’s basketball game. A pretty cheerleader named Morgan stops at her table and moons about her boyfriend who’s on the team. With that news, she points to none other than Axel, Heaton’s son. How long have they been going out? Six weeks. “He leaves me love notes daily,” the girl tells a shocked Heaton, who had no idea her son even had a girlfriend.

If you think such a premise is preposterous, then I’m pretty sure you aren’t the mother of a son. Yet.

Heaton goes home and tells her husband about the girl, and says she doesn’t trust her. (Girlfriends can relate to how they have to prove themselves over and over again before being accepted by his mom.) The doorbell rings. It’s Morgan who, being the perfect companion for their son, is carrying a basket of homemade muffins and says something like, “I know you have a ton of questions and I’m here to answer them. But for starters, we don’t have sex.”

Instantly, Heaton’s distrust turns to LOVE.

So what happens next? Most moms could have written the script. The girl breaks up with the son, who is left brokenhearted and, for a brief moment, seeks out his mom for comfort. This hasn’t happened since the days he thought girls were yucky.

The time is fleeting though and Heaton knows it. She also realizes that the next time her son has a girlfriend, she’ll still be the last to know.

Meanwhile Morgan, as the girlfriend, knows that she has to show his mother that she can be as nurturing and loving as she is. Hence, the muffins. But she also knows that the second she breaks off the relationship with the son, even if he’s the reason for the it, Mom will find fault with her.

Imagine what would happen if the boys actually opened up to both women?

14
May
2010

Happy Mother's Day!

It’s Mother’s Day. And, to be honest, I feel a little melancholy.

In about three hours a portion of my extended family will converge on my home. And, as I have done for 29 years (since my daughter was born) I will barbeque hamburgers and hotdogs. It may not seem like much but what leads up to this day takes a lot of planning.

Anticipating that this might be the one of two times my sister will visit (the other being Thanksgiving), and that my mom has spent the winter in Florida and is coming to my home for the first time in months, and because I like my kids to be proud of their home (even though they no longer live here!), I spend the preceding weeks cleaning the inside of my home, and raking and pruning and planting flowers on the outside.

I knew that my son was not coming home because he texted me last week that he was occupied with end-of-the-year school work (he’s in graduate school). I’m okay with his not coming home, but a TEXT! Am I the only mom who wishes technology had stopped at cell phones? It’s difficult enough to get sons to talk, and now they really don’t have to!

Wait.

I just remembered that small package that arrived in the mail a couple of days ago with a “Do Not Open Until Mother’s Day” written above the address. It’s from my son.

I’ll open it now. First of all there’s a card. It has a picture of garden implements on the outside and a Happy Mother’s Day printed on the bottom. My son has written a note inside, saying he hopes I like the books because he bought them at an independent book store in Providence. (What author doesn’t LOVE bookstores, especially independent ones!)

The first book is a guide to Spain (where I am heading in a few weeks) and a map. My son has attached a note to the front, saying that the map should be helpful WHEN I get lost. (So he does know me.)

The second is a tiny memo book, because, as a note with that points out, whenever I take a trip I always record every detail in a tiny memo book. (Often to the beat of my kids’ rolling their eyes.)

The third book is called A Little Piece of Earth. How to Grow Your Own Food in Small Spaces. The note attached to that says he wanted to buy it for himself “but I thought you would have more success!”

And the fourth book is Earth. Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. This includes a note that says, “all the rage in my circle.” His circle! My son – who’s studying for his masters in environmental policy – is asking his mom to take a look at something he and his friends find interesting.

Wow, what a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Thank God my son knows how to communicate using the written word.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!

09
May
2010

Signed copies of "It's Either Her or Me" Shipped to You!

Many people have asked me if there is a way for me to sign their copies of It’s Either Her or Me. There is! If you order It’s Either Her or Me from Amazon and have it shipped to me, then I will gladly sign the books (as personalized as you’d like) and ship them back to you. Email me first at [email protected] to give me a heads up that I’ll be receiving your books from Amazon, and to exchange our mailing addresses.

They make great gifts for mothers-in-law, daughters-in-law, sons, grandparents, sisters and sisters-in-law! As a special thank you, I’ll include a matching bookmark with each copy.

06
May
2010

New Reviews & Giveaway

There are several new blogger reviews , and another chance to win a copy, of It’s Either Her or Me.

If you have a book club, church and synagogue groups, school and library gathering, bridal shower, bachelorette party, junior league or any great group of girlfriends that would like to discuss how to get along with your mother-in-law, daughter-in-law or sister-in-law without really trying, take a peak at have book club, will travel!

Reviews:

Keeping up with the Wedemeyers (giveaway ended April 20)

Happy Healthy Families (giveaway ended April 25)

Reviews & Giveaways:

The Misplaced Miswesterner (ends May 6)

02
May
2010


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