Dear So-and-So

Dear Future Daughters-in-Law

Can we talk?

Great. Have a seat.

No. That wasn’t a suggestion, have a seat. This is going to take a while.

Look. I have a confession to make. I’ve been a rather …. erhm … controlling mother to my boys. And as a result, they will not tolerate a woman who tells them what to do, yells at them, or tries to brush their unruly, greasy hair before going to a family function; I know these things.

So, word to the wise – don’t do those things if you hope to have one inkling of a chance with my sons.

In addition, it’s crucial that you have a sense of humor. Not only for my boys’ sakes, but for me, too. For you see? I have a rather warped sense of humor and tend to find the funny in the weirdest places. And if you don’t laugh?

I won’t like you.

I like being around people who can laugh at themselves. I like being around people who don’t take themselves too seriously. And it’s important that I like you. Why? Because if I don’t like you, I’m betting my sons’ won’t like you either.

And even if they do, you’re going to, at some point, HAVE to deal with me.

So. Laugh, damn it. It’ll make life a lot easier.

I also should point out, that if you talk too loud? Or you think you’re a know-it-all? I will take great delight in bringing you down a notch or two. Because even though I admire confidence and independence? I do not tolerate cocky ignorance very well. So, check your b*tchy attitudes at the door, please.

But if you must know the deal breaker with me? Here it is:

You must treat my sons like the gods they are. Because even though they are sweet, kind, gentle, caring, intelligent, sweet, handsome, courteous boys, they are human and if you trample on their self-esteem too much, you’ll have me to deal with.

And my mama bear getup? Is scary. (Trust me on this one).

I also feel compelled to add, that you are not allowed to get in the way of my son’s ambitions in life. Just as I fully expect them to support you in what ever you decide to do, I absolutely expect you to do the same. So, if he would like to occasionally (and I say occasionally because his first obligation is to be there for YOU) go out with his friends and have a good time, without you, then you must allow him to do so. It doesn’t mean he’s leaving you, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you, it just means he needs a little guy time.

Get over yourself. ‘Kay?

In exchange for your understanding and your willingness to bend over backwards to make sure he is happy and well-cared for, I will guarantee he will be an excellent husband, and someday father to your future children.

How can I guarantee that, you ask? Because I’ve taken great pains to teach my sons that if and/or when they reach the stage in their life that they have children, it is their top priority to make sure that that child grows up with both a mother AND a father. Even if that means they have to endure hardship (i.e. YOU) to obtain that goal.

But it would be so much more fun, for all of us, if you were the sort of girl that made it easy on all of us.

That is why I pray, every night and any other time that girls are mentioned (which seems to be more and more frequently, much to my chagrin), that when my sons choose a life-long mate, that they take the time to really choose wisely. That they don’t make any rash decisions (or DO anything rash, if you catch my drift) that they will then be forced to re-live either on a daily basis or anytime during visitation rights.

I’m writing this letter to you, not to scare you (unless it’s working and then, well, good), but to forewarn you that I don’t tolerate fools very well. In fact, it’s safe to say, I have zero patience for weak, wishy-washy women who blow dinner into a full-scale drama-fest every other night. That if you have any hope of getting along with me, you will know your mind, say what you mean and mean what you say. And yet, be willing to give in gracefully and to treat those around you fairly, when the situation warrants such behavior.

I respect a woman who is fair. Who is not afraid to admit when she’s wrong and to keep her emotions both in check and under control.

If you can do all of that, if you think you might be the woman of my sons’ dreams, then step forward and let the games begin.


Your future mother-in-law

P.S. I’m really NOT as scary as I make myself out to be. No, actually, I’m worse.

P.S.S. Okay, so I exaggerated a bit on that last P.S. I will make every effort to get along with you.

P.S.S.S. But if I’ve been fair with you and you STILL act like a brat? All bets are off, missy.