Yo Mama-in-Law

Posted on November 9, 2011


There are two categories of people who have been maligned over the years, IRS agents and mothers-in-law.  This post will not add to the well-deserved mountain of cow dung heaped on the IRS.  They know who they are, and they know about the bad things they have done.  This writer would, if she could, give them a sound spanking and send them to dinner without their supper, but they probably still wouldn’t apologize for the $47,600 they erroneously billed her for back in 2008.  And they will probably still require a tax return come next April 15, when what they really should have done was to not only apologize but to declare this writer (as some corporations and really rich people) a tax-free zone.  Now on to the second category, mothers-in-law.

 A survey conducted jointly by ThirdAge.com, the largest site for baby-boomer women, and GalTime.com, an online magazine for women, asked 1,868 mothers-in-law and 2,000 daughters-in-law what they thought of each other.  Needless to say, they did so in the form of a survey, rather than by gathering everyone together in a sound proof room and issuing padded clothing. 

Here are the results on mothers-in-law speaking about their daughters-in-law:
60% saw their son’s wife as either a daughter, a friend or the right woman for their son.
10% saw her as either the enemy or suspected that she was personally responsible for having started the Great Chicago Fire.

When asked if they actually liked their daughter-in-law, the numbers change a bit.
Over 50% said they did
45% thought that she was “just OK,” disliked her some of the time, or didn’t like her at all. 
Less than 1% held their daughters-in-law personally responsible for both the current economic meltdown and global warming.

If you notice that some of the numbers might not add up, don’t worry.  We don’t care, and we are moving on.  If you want to spend time figuring it out, that’s your business. 

Daughters-in-law had more negative views of their mothers-in-law.
24% considered their mother-in-law as a “frenemy”
12.9% saw their mothers-in-law as an outright enemy, although most admitted that they didn’t think their mothers-in-law would ever conduct a military attack on the United States.

The #1 cause of the negative feelings toward mothers-in-law is giving unsolicited advice.  (One respondent called herself a “controlling bitch,” and was proud of the fact that although her son and daughter-in-law had been married for 8 years, her son still lived at home and he and his wife hadn’t had sex yet.  “I know how to protect my baby, she told researchers, while pureeing her son’s dinner).

The good news for everyone is that on the whole, opinions weren’t as bad the  old stereotypes and comedy routines.  Just barely.   Husband Sons, when asked what they thought of the survey results, responded “Is dinner ready yet?”