Laying Down The Mother-In-Law Law
Wednesday - February 13, 2008
I have to say that the Super Bowl this year was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Of course, I was rooting for the Giants, so that’s easy for me to say. Everyone likes the underdog, and when they win, victory is sweet. In my case, victory was about as sweet as biting into a lemon.
Lately the tradition has become that the family watches the Super Bowl at our house. We have a pretty great time, although team loyalty sometimes runs deep. This year was no different, and before the kickoff I polled the room to see who was supporting what team.
I asked who was supporting the Giants, and everyone’s hand in the room went up. Everyone’s except my mother-in-law’s. She was the sole fan of the Patriots, and that immediately took the air out of my sails. I looked at her and said, “Now I can’t say anything bad about your Patriots.”
She looked at me and, in all sincerity, I thought she uttered, “Bring it.”
This gave me the green light to get obnoxious throughout the game. Because of the kind of game it was, my energy was building up like a volcano ready to erupt. When the Patriots were in the lead near the end of the fourth quarter, I was six inches away from the TV screen waiting for something big to happen.
It did, when Eli Manning threw the game-winning pass into the end zone. I temporarily went insane, because I went right up to my mother-in-law and yelled, “In your face!” The entire room went quiet and everyone looked at me having just yelled at one of the most powerful women in my life.
She didn’t say a thing, she just sat there with a smile. When my brain clicked back on, I tried to downplay my arrogance and the rest of the evening seemed to go like normal. On Tuesday following the Super Bowl, it was Fat Tuesday at our house in preparation for Ash Wednesday and Lent.
When I got home from work, I walked through the door hoping to quench my all-day anticipation of fresh, homemade malasadas from my wife’s mother - an annual family tradition on “doughnut day.” The absence of that aroma had me searching the entire kitchen.
My wife walked in and said, “Guess what?” I looked at her thinking what could be more important than malasadas? She continued, “My mom completely forgot that it was malasada day.” I immediately was suspicious that I had just received my “pay-back” for Super Bowl Sunday.
Of course, my mother-in-law would never really do anything like that intentionally, so I chalked it up as an honest mistake. Next year, however, I already know who I’m cheering for to win the Super Bowl.
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