Ahh, dining with your mother-in-law! If it wasn’t already fraught with tension because you are a vegetarian and she has never heard of tofu, well, then, you must be prepared to follow a certain protocol to help smooth mealtime over, and make the experience an overall pleasant one at best! Here we go:
Top Tip #1) Be prepared to be enticed by lots of sugary temptations!
Even though you have recently committed to losing that last ten pounds, and removed all treats from your pantry, and have implemented an exercise program that you are sure to stick with THIS time, once and for all, your MIL will undoubtedly sabotage you with phrases such as, “I made TWO chocolate pies last night,” and, “There’s a couple of Collacchi on the counter!” several times a day. Who can maintain a healthy regimen in a war-zone such as this? So you don’t. Strategy? Throw a couple of five pound weights in the car and some sneakers so you can take a walk around the mall or if she has a dog, offer to take it for a walk––a lot. Any excuse to get you out of that house! Just don’t beat yourself up and you can get back on track as soon as you return home.
Top Tip #2) Steer clear of religion and politics when dining with your MIL!
If she does happen to make a real doozy, do not respond. Just ask her to pass the salad and then find out exactly how she makes her dressing––was it two parts vinegar to one part oil, or the other way around?
Top Tip #3) Never let your MIL know that you’ve enjoyed a drink (casual or otherwise).
If your MIL loves to tell the tale about how she used to go down to the local bar and shoot pool and drink lots of beer, even if you’ve heard the legend many time, act as if it is the first and make sure to thrown in a complimentary statement or two such as how much you love that occasional glass of Pink Zinfandel every so often. However, in this case, she may surprise you by subtlety questioning your sobriety, so therefore it is always best to let mom be the one to brag about the beer!
Top Tip #4) Happily go along with your MIL’s plans.
When it comes to visits with the in-laws, there may be a secret society of which you are just simply not a member (sigh)! Everyone in the house seems to know about the goings on—except for you, that is! When it is announced that you will be leaving in ten minutes for an evening meal out, you timidly inquisite as to where you might be going. “Out! We talked about it, you know!” Ahh yes, the ol’ “We talked about it!” That’s okay! Just smile, quietly throwing a couple of packs of tic tacs in your purse so that you can offer mom and the gang a minty treat on the way home from the evening meal at the Dinosaur BBQ! They have a great salad bar, there, you know!
Top Tip #5) Avoid flatulating around your MIL.
If you do accidentally let one escape from your nether-regions, your MIL may wave her hand furiously in front of her nose, contorting her face as if she had just ingested prune juice and tuna and yell, “OH MY GOD, [insert your name here]! THAT WAS SOOO DISGUSTING!” Apologize profusely and quickly exit the room affecting the most horror and shame you can possibly muster. Next time, hold it in if mom is within the radius of a football field. Actually, never mind––let ’er rip and just blame it on the cat.