The first time I met my parents in law it did not go terribly well. I understood fully that a man who was at that stage worth minus £200,000 was, at 44, materially older than a darling daughter and who had been married before was not exactly an ideal potential son in law. Indian families want their daughters to marry up not to marry a bankrupt bum who is a proven marital failure. I understood.
My mother in law had been trying to arrange for the Mrs to get hooked up with a nice Indian dentist from Plymouth. That is the sort of son in law she wanted and at every level I failed to meet the required standard. It was bad enough when her elder daughter fell in love with a Greek, we all know what the Bubbles are like don't we? Now the younger daughter was dating a bum with no money who was also a Tory voted and had a dim view of the NHS. Did I mention tht my Mother in law was a doctor?
It goes without saying that when the Mrs broke the bad news that the boyfriend was to become the husband, the subject of a pre-nup came up pretty quickly. That was then.
There was a lovely wedding at a Byron family home in the grim North which the Mother-in-law worked on tirelessly. The financial position has changed dramatically since our first meeting 42 months ago. I have earned big brownie points by quitting smoking (unlike the bubble brother in law) and, fingers crossed and notwithstanding my advanced years, a grandson will arrive shortly. And thus a card addressed to both of us arrived yesterday.
In face the envelope was marked with the surname Winnifrith for both os us. That is how my parents in law view us. They also know that their family originates from Madras. The Mrs, being a deluded lefty, retains her surname and thinks her family come from Chennai. Whatever....I am with the in-laws on both matters.
If a daughter of mine announced she was dating someone who was in my position of a few years ago I too would have been horrified. How things have improved all round. The Mrs has enjoyed , an excellent presented and cooked, breakfast in bed and is now having a lie in with my morbidly obese three legged cat Oakley. It is not going to be a full working day for them. Or for me.