In-laws are not parents

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Any normal, logical and practical person realises that it is not possible to adopt a new set of parents at 25+ years of age. But if this person is Indian, logic is replaced by high quotient of pretend emotionality.

Refusing to call your in laws “mom” and “dad” is met with shocked faces and gasps of horror. My logic is simple. I have one set of parents who are quite a handful and don’t need another set. Also, married men are treated like “sons in law” but married women are considered “daughters”. What this means is that Indian in-laws want someone to fit their idea of a “daughter”. They expect her to change her first name (a Sindhi wedding custom), her last name, dressing sense, food habits, lifestyle. Basically, everything about her.

(My in-laws expected me to live with them, change my last name, wear sarees, mangalsutra, quit non veg etc etc. To be fair, so did my parents. They refused to believe I was married since I didn’t change my last name. I had to courier them the marriage certificate. They thought I was in a live in relationship and lying. #truestory).

Please don’t be that asshole who goes “that didn’t happen to me so it doesn’t happen to anyone else”. If you were spared this torture, good for you. For the rest of us, it is a battle we fought and it took 10 years for MIL to stop trying to force puranpuli (ewwww) down my throat. My last resort to pressure tactics is puking. I have had the special power of puking at will since I was a kid and I used it frequently on my mother when she tried to force ayurveda churan on me. Works like magic.

There is no escape for women who go through the arranged marriage route. The whole process is designed in favour of men. Men who can’t find a women willing to fuck them have to ask mummy and daddy to be their pimp. These men only want women who will fit into their life conveniently. The objective is never to build a life together but instead for someone to be their whore, maid, cook, nanny, mother – all rolled into one. Actually, most Indian men expect that from their wives but atleast when you select your own partner you have the power to say “No”. But financial independence plays a big role in the power equation in a relationship.

(I’d rather be crude than a prude. And no, there is no in between).

But I digress. All I am trying to say is that I don’t call my in-laws “mom” and “dad”. Never have and never will. And I was clear with my parents that they shouldn’t have any such expectations from KC. We keep our families at a distance and their involvement in our life is minimal. Because good fences make good neighbours.