Just because you marry the girl shouldn't mean you marry the scary family
Ah that we could all be Wendy in the Adams Family and not Uncle Fester or Thing or that aunt...what was her name? I am pretty sure I am her in my own family. To my nieces and nephews I like to think of myself as that off-beat, tattooed somewhat cool aunt that drops in disrupts the family unit and leaves. My sisters have no choice but to like me since that is what my father drummed in their heads, leave no fallen comrade behind. Much to the consternation of my mother, my brother and I have a perfectly nice occasional relationship that suits us both. I only have one sister-in-law and I also see her occasionally.
I have three Bro's in-laws and I have developed a somewhat different relationship with each. They have all carefully tiptoed around the "divorce" but I find it refreshing to talk to them about the event since they have no pre-conceived notions of how I should behave. If they do have those notions they are choosing not to share them with me. Let me take a moment to highlight why I think there should be a day in their honor:
Bro-in-law Greg has had that distinction for the longest period of time. He married the sister that is closest in age and location to me and therefore has seen me through every relationship shift from my single days to my single again days. On more than one occasion in an effort to cheer me up and make me feel a part of the family he has endeavored to take me along on family outings. I in turn have almost killed him several times. There was the salmonella beef sandwich incident, the tree cutting with kick back incident, the sawing through his hand incident, the first time kayaking incident and most recently the missed hand off of the horse reins incident. One would expect him to flinch when I enter the room but bravely and I think somewhat blithely he continues to invite me along.
Bro-in-law Mike has been the recipient of my nettlesome personality. I like to get him stirred up on long car rides with the family when he is unable to exit the vehicle. Typically the conversation starts with innocuous comments regarding the weather that I am somehow able to derail so we can focus on our divergent political opinions. He has been thoughtful in his comments since the divorce but I have noticed his look of consternation regarding my attire. I admit, I am not a fashion maven but sometimes to his horror I wear socks and loafers with shorts and skirts. While I admit the dork look is not going to get me any dates, the last time I dressed to impress I was still going to discos. When I am ready for a makeover he will be the first guy I call.
Bro-in-law Wayne is a gracious host that usually has both me and my mother visiting at the same time. Apparently Mom and I both have a habit of 'cleaning' or as Wayne likes to point out 'hiding' his possessions. After a visit I usually receive a phone call inquiring where I put a pan or the remote control or his PC that he uses for work to feed and clothe his family. Since I am 5 foot 2 inches and shrinking and Mom has already shrunk from that height we are quite portable. This does not mean we are coordinated enough to figure out how to get in or out of the mini-van however. With infinite patience and a few eye rolls Wayne has loaded the two of us in the family car along with his three grown children and wife and off we go on another adventure. When the kids were small he would tell them the rules on these outings and almost always ended with "and the same goes for you Aunt". I would wink at the kids and we would scatter once we hit the fair or the carnival or the orchard.
Marry the girl, marry her family. Thanks guys...