Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Killing with Sweetness

In Confucian ideals, filial piety is one of the virtues to be held above all else: a respect for the parents and ancestors.

Perhaps it was the way I was brought up but I've always believed that particular respect should also extend to the venerable elders of the family, and as we grow up and get married, our in-laws as well. Despite the fact that some might be far less deserving.

Rather than tolerate the occasional hostility from the in-laws, modern Miss Independents seem to find these familial shackles an appalling burden instead. Even prior to any official engagement, I already find colleagues and friends wishing to distance themselves from their soon-to-be in-laws. Even a vitriolic termagant who preferred herself hanged, drawn and quartered rather than live anywhere within a 500 mile radius of her redoubtable mother-in-law.

Call!
Darn the things I do for the in-laws. I could have sworn Madame Borgia poisoned the food.


Don't they realize that getting on the in-laws hit list would be detrimental to their spousal relationship? Nothing good ever comes from warring with the mother-in-law after all. Filial piety aside, haven't these ladies ever heard of killing with sweetness?

Apparently a lesson Heidi Withers never learnt well. Her shocking behaviour at the in-laws compelled her prospective mother-in-law to send a withering e-mail on proper etiquette and manners. Certainly would make for some interesting family dinners in the future.

Which is why I'm ever so solicitous of my own erstwhile mother-in-law Madame Borgia - especially during one of her infamous society lunches.

Calvin : Psst. Don't you hate lei cha 擂茶?
Paul : It's grass and leaves crushed together!
Calvin : So why are you eating it?
Paul : Do I have a choice? It's made by your mother.
Calvin : So?
Paul : I'd swallow it down even if it were made of pounded brick. Or at least pretend to. And I'd still say it's the most delicious lunch ever.
Calvin : You are one crazy nutjob.
Palu : Maybe I should compose an ode in praise of it!

Unlike the Borgias other in-law - the snotty Miz Borgia - who pursed her lips and sneered over such unsavoury offerings. Preoccupied with the latest fashion trends in Milan, she hardly deigned to even lift a manicured finger to help. Seriously. Is it so hard to play the sycophantic dutiful daughter-in-law for just one weekend?

What happened to respect for the in-laws?

5 comments:

Life for Beginners | Kenny Mah said...

Fear or respect, what's the difference here again? :P

Tom said...

When you marry your man, you're marrying the family that comes with him. I always keep that in mind.

Janvier said...

It's a clash of culture and dominant wills that means staying apart from the in-laws!

The Carolyn-Heidi case seems more fraught with hostility from the start!

savante said...

When it comes to the in-laws, I guess a bit of both, kenny.

Definitely. I don't see how the young girls of today can think of separating the two, tom.

Imagine what life would be like for Heidi and gang after the wedding, janvier.

Ban said...

Methinks gay men must work twice as hard to endear the in-laws.