Friday, August 24, 2007


Reasons why I'm nervous about meeting my future parents-in-law this weekend:
  1. They were very upset that Torsten spent so much money (well, really it was our money since we have combined finances) on an engagement ring--they think it's crazy to buy a diamond instead of a plain band with no stone. I am now convinced that they see me as some foreign, money-grubbing, demanding bitch.
  2. They don't speak English. The only German I know is the dirty stuff, which will not exactly be fitting for the occasion. Also, Torsten told them that I was doing German lessons, but those kind of fell by the wayside, so they will be expecting my German to be better than it is.
  3. They were kind of upset that Torsten and I got engaged before they had met me. I'm sure that they think I'm a psycho bitch (see also: reason number 1) and are just going to be looking for flaws.
  4. They are already upset that Torsten doesn't live in Germany anymore. Now that he's marrying an American, they know that he will likely never move back to Germany. I think they blame me for this.
  5. We are going to discuss wedding finances with them while they're here. Everyone knows what a sticky topic this can be, and that's true even when there aren't all these other issues to deal with. Plus, Torsten's mom called him yesterday to say that she hoped we weren't making reservations at too many fancy restaurants because that would get expensive. That does not bode well as far as generous wedding funding is concerned.
  6. Torsten's mom keeps her house sparkling clean. We do not keep our apartment sparkling clean. His mom has apparently always hoped that he would wind up with a woman who would whip him into shape, cleanliness-wise. I am not that woman. She will be disappointed.
Whew. Okay. I just have to remember they live in Germany, so even if they hate me, I won't be seeing them that often and even when I do, we'll barely be able to communicate. Is it bad, that I'm focusing on the lack of open communication as the potential saving grace?


  1. There is nothing more stressful than talking about money, and on your first meeting too!!!! I don't even like talking $$ with my own parents. Have you talked to them on the phone in broken English/German? How long will they be in town? Are they staying with you (you may have answered this in previous posts, and I'm sorry if I'm asking for a repeat)

  2. Ug! I've been very happy that my in-laws live far away. My MIL was hoping for a domestic DIL and didn't get one. Also, we got married before I met them.

    Money is awful. And as the groom's parents, they may be thinking they're not really expected to contribute much anyway.

  3. Flibberty--I have never talked to them on the phone or even sent them an email. We have seen photos of each other and that is all. They will be in the US for three weeks but they're traveling on their own for part of it, so I think they'll be here in DC for a total of about 10 days. They are staying in a hotel, thank god. And I don't think I've answered these questions before, so don't worry--no repeats.

    Swistle--Your comment does not exactly make me feel better about the impending doom, I mean, upcoming visit. But at least I know I have someone to whine to who will completely understand.

  4. First - breathe.

    There are a lot of "they are upset"s in there. If they are really that poopy, then you could be perfect and they will still be poopy. If they decide to meet the woman their son loves to death and be poopy about it, theres isn't much you can do about that either. Except to remember not to take it personally. Very difficult, I know.

    Don't worry about disappointing them. Don't worry about disappointing ANYBODY. Ever. You are a kind person, you'll always treat people properly.

    But, maybe they aren't as upset as it seems? Maybe their feelings are just a bit hurt, they miss their son, and meeting you and seeing you welcome them into your life may do quite a lot to mend those hearts.

    Remember - BREATHE.

    I'll be thinking of you! I am certain this will go much better than you expect.

  5. That sounded kinda preachy. I didn't mean to sound preachy!

    Thinking of you!

  6. my best friend's MIL is french and doesn't speak english, and my best friend doesn't really speak french. the MIL doesn't dislike her, as far as i'm aware, but my friend has reported that the language barrier does certainly help prevent her from having a mean, overbearing MIL in the first place ;-)

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  8. Artemisia--I didn't interpret your comment as preachy at all. I appreciate the advice, and I think you're probably right that a lot of what they're so upset about has to do with feeling very far away from their son, and that once we've met and all of that, things will be much better. I'm hoping, anyway.

    Alice--It's good to have firsthand evidence that my "the less communication, the better" theory might actually work. The only problem with my plan is that we want our kids to be bilingual, and as such I intend to learn German, so eventually there will in fact have to be some communication.

  9. Good grief woman! Your soon to be mother-in-law sounds freakish!!! A cheap freak to be exact. Just ride out their visit with as much calm as you can possibly muster up. At least they don't live in the same country or even continent!

    Best of luck my dear!