They tell men to take a long hard look at their mothers-in-law before marrying their daughters. It’s true, I am morphing into my mother. Not that my beloved minds, he worshipped my mother and she reciprocated. He might only have been one of her three son-in-laws but he was most definitely her favourite and, in her eyes, could do no wrong.
However, there are a few clear differences between me and my late mother. I’m much tidier and better organised, I get that from my Dad. If there was something my mother wanted or wanted to do, she would organise it, or get me to arrange it, otherwise she was happy to let Dad deal with everything else, while she occupied herself with the house and garden. I’m far too much of a control freak to allow that to ever happen. Plus, my beloved is nowhere near as reliable as my late father.
By the same token, you might imagine that my beloved would be turning into my late father-in-law. But, no it’s my brother-in-law, his younger brother, who’s the dead ringer. Instead, and much more worryingly, my beloved is turning into the outlaw, a women I haven’t seen for eight years and haven’t spoken to in around five. That’s not a complaint you understand, merely a statement of fact.
Horrifyingly, from time to time, I observe my beloved emulating odd habits or behaviours of hers. For example, my mother-in-law is a total hypochondriac. Most of my beloved’s weekly conversations with her are given over to her airing her various ailments in graphic detail. I know when she’s doing this from the look on my beloved’s face. She sees her weekly (minimum) trip to the doctor’s surgery as a social outing and she’s up for anything she can get out of him. To say that she’s a drain on the NHS is putting it mildly.
I still recall the last time we had dinner together, many years ago, to celebrate her 80th birthday – she’s now 92. She’d just had a colonoscopy and was intent on telling us all about it during dinner. I put my hand up and said; “Val, we really don’t need to know all the gory details, particularly not during dinner. The important thing is that the examination provided you with reassurance that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you”.
My beloved betrays worryingly similar issues. He’s regaled anyone who was foolish enough to ask chapter and verse about his broken leg and subsequent recovery. I keep telling him that people are merely being polite and all he needs to say is that everything is progressing nicely and he’s now fine.
In addition, and I suppose it’s inevitable as we age, I get daily updates on his health niggles. For example, he’s always imagining he’s got a pulled muscle which requires the application of some unguent or other. He has a large cupboard in his bathroom chock full of medicaments and implements such as infra-red heat lamps for self-medicating. I’m the complete opposite. I have a couple of plasters, some cream for insect bites and that’s it – not so much as an aspirin.
If challenged about his hypochondria, he’ll hotly deny it but……….. he recently went to the doctor to get a medical certificate to join a new cycling club and, to his delight, she said it was time for another blood test. The French are (quite rightly) keen on these and most people have them every six months, early detection and all that…..he’s off to the medical centre tomorrow. When he gets the results, he’ll pull out the one from last time, make comparisons and then check out on the internet whether he’s showing signs of anything. I keep telling him that’s the doc’s job!
Although, I joke about his similarities to his mother, given her current longevity, I can safely assume he’ll be keeping me company for many a year to come.