Surely one of the scariest words in the dictionary. Unless you fall heads-over-heels in love with an orphan - or you have the option to call for a hit squad, you'll have to deal with a mother-in-law sooner or later in life.
I find the best way to deal with a crotchety mother-in-law is to suck up to her. Majorly. Cosset, pamper and cater to her every whim and fancy; treat her like a fucking queen even if she's the most ornery shrew around. Though I'm sure my ertswhile mother-in-law would wish me in the deepest bowels of hell, I couldn't be a sweeter son-in-law more solicitous of her needs.
Seriously. Go ask Charming Calvin.
Flowers for the mother-in-law?
Age-old advice I'm sure the independent young ladies these days are loath to take. Just take a look at this recent article where an almost newlywed gets a nasty scold from her admittedly imprudent mother-in-law. No doubt the liberated Miss Independents of today would rail violently against such old-fashioned censure!
Though she could have been more circumspect with her comments, I kinda agree with the mother-in-law. Knowing that she's likely on probation, the aspiring daughter-in-law should have been far more punctilious in her behaviour.
Never believe mi casa es su casa - even if your sweet mother-in-law says so with a winning smile. Even if she treats you like a cherished long-lost daughter, that doesn't mean it's time to kick up your heels, grab a beer and slouch on the couch. Never. Always keep your guard up and be on your best behaviour. Judgemental eyes are always watching.
So why should you sweeten up your mother-in-law anyway?
1) There's the obvious reason that she actually brought up the man you love! You're not only marrying the man, you're getting the family as well. So if you hate her, you hate him. End of story. Hence don't get married then.
2) Miss Manners, people! How you behave with your partner's parents reflects on your own family and upbringing. Act like a sloppy bitch at your in-laws and they would presume you were brought up that way. In the lowest stables. So behave!
Seriously as long as you're not actually living full-time with the in-laws, you can bloody well maintain some decorum for a few days while you're there. Stick that rude, brash attitude in the closet. Swallow some criticism, whether valid or not. How difficult can it be to keep up a sweet, smiling, sunshiney front for a couple of days in front of the critical in-laws!