Ode to Mother-In-Law

Most men seem to have a disdain, an indifference, or complete dislike for their mother-in-law. I have the extreme priviledge of having the best mother-in-law in the world. She is so giving, cares so deeply for my children, and goes so out of her way (often) to display her love for my wife.

I will start by telling you how she and I were introduced.

It was the Autumn of 1999, and Erica and I were dating for about 2 months. Erica invited me to her mom’s house in Colonie (Albany), NY for the weekend. I drove my black 1987 Ford Ranger from Boston to the house, only getting lost once with the directions that I was provided. I could write an entire post just on Erica’s family giving and following directions, or their inability to do so.

Well, thank God for Stewart’s, and their insight in hiring exceptionally caring and directionally capable people, because they hooked it up. I arrived to the house in about 3.5 hours. Only 1/2 hour later then i should have. Everyone was waiting at the door when I got there.

Her mom introduced herself to me, then her older sister Jess, then younger brother Jimmy, little sister Rachel, followed by Faith (the Dog), and then this large man Michael. For any lesser of a man this would have been intimidating, but for Al Dancy it was expected and handled with nothing bu confidence and class. Well, maybe just some Eddie Haskell-ness.

We ate dinner and then everyone hung for a bit. I learned quickly that her family is incredibly funny, and they have a great sense of humor. I decided I would tell a joke that I had recently learned. Bad decision…Really…Extremely bad decision.

Disclaimer first: This joke in no way portrays my true feelings toward women, or what the Bible says about the roles of a Husband and Wife.

The joke goes like this…

…Well, let’s just say that the joke gives the impression that I am a sexist pig, that thinks men should rule over women, and discusses corporal punishment. I’ll leave it there.

Word of Advice and Caution. If you want your girlfriend’s mom to like you, and approve of your relationship, don’t tell this joke. If you want her to think you are a complete tool, who disrepects women, tell the joke. If it ruins your chance to marry her, it’s not my fault.

That was a really long weekend my friends.

I had a lot of ground to repair and make up just from one joke. Well, not just from the joke. Getting kicked out of college for a semester didn’t put me in her good graces either.

I title this as “Ode to Mother-In-Law,” because mother’s in-law are not celebrated nearly enough. I have learned some incredible life lessons from this woman. I learned the joy of working and striving for a goal and obtaining it. She asked me once, “Have you ever run track, or won in a sport, where you gave all you could, and wouldn’t give up?” My answer was “Nope” I had never experienced the “Thrill of Victory,” and she taught me how great it feels when you give your all and pour all your energy into something.

She taught me how rewarding it is to be hospitable. She is, in my opinion, the epitomy of hospitality. I have learned the joy of having an open home, and how great it feels when you know people come to your house and prefer it over others’ becuase you amke them feel comfortable.

What have you learned from you Mother-In-Law?

As usual…Livin’ Out Loud, 


This post takes part of Water Cooler Wednesdays at Ethos hosted by Randy Elrod.

2 Responses to “Ode to Mother-In-Law”

  1. billydotcom Says:

    I have learned 2 things from my Mother in law… 1. I was right to never start smoking. and 2 a box of wine is a horrible thing on many levels.

  2. Audra Krell Says:

    This is a fantastic post. I applaud you for celebrating your mother-in-law. This world could use a lot more celebrating.

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