Sunday, May 06, 2007

Becoming the perfect son-in-law: Part I

We here at lynandstew don't want to just entertain and offend (although we do quite enjoy the latter, it's entertaining for us), we also want to educate and inspire. Especially for those of you who are married, in a civil union, or in a devoted on-line relationship, our goal is to help you be as happy as we are, which of course means happier than you currently are.

After much discussion here at headquarters we've decided it is time to formalize our founts of wisdom (not to be confused with that most wonderfully sung American hymn Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing) into a quick online course of 12 easy sessions. We're entitling the course "In-laws: Curse or Blessing: an inter-disciplinary study".

Now obviously we didn't put enough colons in that to be a true academic course...we're still awaiting our accreditation. The goal is to supplement our little course titles that you might have noticed on the right hand bar of this website (if you haven't noticed I will assume it's because you hate me, no that's alright I'm used to it).

Okay maybe we're not going to do a full course on in-laws but I do want to say quite simply that in-laws can be very difficult for any spouse. "Why?", our single readers ask. Well quite simply put they're not your blood relations. Your blood relations have to love you. This is codified somewhere in the Constitution right after the amendment saying everyone has the right to fight for the right to party, and that all left-handed people can be enslaved (that second one was later revoked).

This means that your blood relations have to do things like get you high paying jobs in their company, lend you money, and donate kidneys to you when needed. If they don't do those things the whole family can publicly flog them (or at least that's what I think I read in my constitutional law class).

In-laws on the other hand have no legal requirement to love you or like you. Well some might be grateful for taking off their hands irksome children, most consider you an interloper. You are in their minds an outsider worthy only of scorn, or at most the kind of compassion you would show a three legged dog. For more information about this phenomenon please rent the documentary "Meet the Parents".

All of that said I have to admit that I have the greatest in-laws on earth. Imagine this scene. It's my first Sunday visiting my in-laws house. The whole family arises early to go to church together. While there is a bit of a mad rush as the seven of us try to use one bathroom (not at the same time for those who needed clarification) our scramble is polite and we all find ourselves ready on time. We spend a lovely morning at church. We then to proceed home. Now this is where some stories can end tragically. I know people who would force their children to continue in their Sunday best, or to read scriptures at the table together, or to turn on a cd of very corny religious pop music.

Those people are not MY in-laws though. With not a word to the other members of the congregation we rush home, change into shorts and t-shirts. All of Wife's family promptly finds a couch, cushion, or free space of floor to take a nap except for my mother-in-law. She changes quickly, turns on the kitchen tv, and starts watching football while cooking a succulent roast. (For our international readers that's football played with our hands not feet) How awesome is that?

Now you can imagine that my desire to impress these people grew immensely after this. It is to that end that I have strove (striven?) to be the best son-in-law out there. How do I do this? Well I have one simple rule. Be a completely incompetent handyman. This means that I have to rely on my father-in-law to help me salvage the mistakes I make on my own house. From putting holes in ceilings, to mis-wiring the electric without my father-in-law we'd be living in a glorified lean-to. More on this will follow.

Song of the day: So Says I by the Shins. Why such a well known band you might ask? Well quite simply because they did a song about the evils of communism and made the video of animated penguins! I mean penguins oppressing each other in a communist dictatorship! How great is that? Feel the revolution comrade!

10 comments:

Cameron said...

Hopefully the Shins will finally be able to wipe communism off the face of the earth forever. But on the downside, if there wasn't any communism, how would we get our kids to eat their vegetables? I guess we'd have to change it to 'children in Iran are hungry'

Roy @ UNM said...

I've long awaited marriage advice from Stew. I find it interesting that incompetence makes you a favorite with dad, while that same trait makes me a disappointment...I have much to learn from you.

dastew said...

Well I think his expectations are just a lot lower for me Dave.

Roy @ UNM said...

I assumed I was just incompetent even in my incompetenece...

Mom said...

Thanks Stew. If this is all true, (in-law stuff) then I expect you at some point to move closer to the one who cooks the roast. Take care of my oldest daughter. Love, Mom

dastew said...

You know you could move somewhere closer to your daughter instead...that way we don't have to say we live in *shudders* Wyoming or Utah. Think of how much greener it is out here in the east. Why here we stand no (or at least a lot less than you) risk of our tulips being frozen over in snow.

GK said...

Football played with the hands is called Rugby. I understand you guys wear more padding than we do, but its still rugby :P

Saying good stuff on your blog so the In-Laws will read it - also a good tip :)

But honestly, the handyman tip is gold-dust Stew, can't wait for part 2.

dastew said...

GK: Rugby is the bomb. I keep in touch with the Albany club but have yet to make it to a practice. I keep telling myself that I'll do it before the summer ends, it just seems my schedule never works. In good news my alma mater did make the US collegiate rugby championships this year. The bad news is they got absolutely crushed, being held to only one try. Here's the link to the championship games if you want to check out BYU's loss.

GK said...

Wow, I didn't realise rugby had any following in America. I'm more of a football (the one using the feet) fan myself.

m3ng said...

You guys just love playing with balls!

In-laws are great. I have crazy ones, cool ones, anti-birthday ones, handyman ones, technical ones, and crazy ones.