What are your words of love?My mother-in-law is a flood of gifts | Emma Bedington

The cold hard coming we had, TS Eliot probably didn’t say about an hour traffic looking for a Covid test clinic at Hull Industrial Estate, Storm Erwen Rock Ferry Crossroads, Rotterdam Dock, lunch at Hypermarket Burrito Bar, and a rain drive. Probably 3 countries. But three of us (my husband, second son, and I, not Magi) finally went from York to Normandy last weekend after being interrupted for two years by a jerky video call to my step-in-law. Arrived with me before Christmas. ‘Forehead, chin, or ceiling. Due to anxiety, age and illness, these previously fearless travelers have been trapped in their native France.

But we weren’t the ones who had the gifts. We had dinner at another relative’s house and visited my house-in-law on Sunday morning, leaving a three-hour time frame before returning home. Regardless of her time frame from 8:30 am to 11:30 am, my mother-in-law started breakfast with a variety of breads, pastries, fruits and specially purchased Christmas jams on arrival. Lunch-yes, lunch-was already well prepared, so I had to eat it right away. After a short digestion, we returned to the table at 10:45 am for scallops, guinea fowl and cabbage roasting, and Camembert.

The meal was a side show of the main event. It started innocently. “Do you have what you need at home?” My mother-in-law asked me to gesture around the flat. “This place needs to be emptied.” “Maybe a spoon?” I simply said that it was too late to register my husband’s desperate gesture. I should have known it better 24 years later, but I forgot. My mother-in-law’s “word of love” gives us something. She jumped out of the table and started moving in the drawer, rattling and pulling out a handful of spoons (“Look: Grapefruit Spoon!” She said, squeezing a serrated object into my pocket), followed. I pulled out another fork.Next was a presentation box of 12 pretty coffee spoons (TS Elliott will know what to do with them), Then three ladle. My husband’s head fell forward and hit a glass Bomboniere (a candy presentation plate, suggesting a French attitude towards a family-sized Maltesers bag rather than me).

In the next 90 minutes, I couldn’t get rid of the vegetable dish, two blankets, a few quilts, a tablecloth and a matching napkin, one of the face cream gift boxes and body lotion, and a free-standing hammock. My husband and his mother clashed over some towels, I think mainly because they missed screaming at each other. The number of picnic bags quickly increased to three: clementine, mango, more roast meat and camembert, and half a prune bag. (“They have holes!” She said. It was as if this rocked us.) A handful of lettuce wrapped in tin foil and a stealth croissant that someone refused at breakfast. Was hidden in the kitchen paper. There is also a full kitchen roll just in case. “How about a can of duck confit?” She rhetorically asked, trying to push it into the bag. “Or lentils?” “There are lentils in Britain!” The husband said in a vague and useless protest. When we lived in Brussels, my mother-in-law once brought us a can of mussels.

My father-in-law took part in the act, a bottle of dusty wine from my husband’s birth year (“it’s probably scary”), more wine, and the deadly, perhaps illegal, of his late Uncle Jack. Produced a bottle of Calvados. He also offered a mountain bike, but couldn’t fit it in the car. “Sure we have a roof rack they can take?” My mother-in-law said she stopped but didn’t want to admit defeat.

This is what a two year frustrated love looks like. Boots full of things we don’t need. A moaning bag for birthdays, meals, holidays, missed hugs, all cross-examinations about grandchildren’s love life, or nuggets of one-sided advice. “We miss you,” said his father-in-law. The mother-in-law pushed the disputed towel into the last gap left under her son’s feet in the car and handed him an envelope of euros. We also miss them, and Omicron means we don’t know when we will see them again. All I can do is put in a few spoons of grapefruit.

What are your words of love?My mother-in-law is a flood of gifts | Emma Bedington

Source link What are your words of love?My mother-in-law is a flood of gifts | Emma Bedington

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