Am I Wrong for Testing My Mother-in-Law on Christmas?

I wanted to figure out who my mother-in-law really was, so I bought her two Christmas presents to reveal her true nature — one was personal and sentimental, the other was lavish.

I tested my mother-in-law for Christmas, and the encounter left me both amused and slightly bewildered.

Our story is a love story, mixed race edition. I am Sue, a Black woman, and my husband, Richard, is a white man I met at work. It was one of those meet-cute-love-at-first-sight moments. And, to make it even sweeter, we married secretly because we wanted our wedding to be intimate, where it was just the two of us.

But this is where it gets interesting.

Like most love stories, Richard and I are from different worlds — his family is wealthy and influential, whereas I grew up on the other end of the spectrum. Naturally, this meant that I have lived through my fair share of prejudice and being pushed around for it. Thankfully, now, I am well into my career and earning goof money.

Due to our intimate wedding ceremony, I did not get to meet my mother-in-law, Diane, but Richard had always told me stories about her. But still, judging from my own past, I wanted to make my own opinion of the woman who raised my husband — therefore, I devised a little test.

I had to face the anticipation of only meeting her, as Richard’s father had died before we even met.

The test I wanted to play on Diane involved me buying her two gifts for Christmas. The first was an incredibly sentimental gift — a hand-painted stone with a picture of her cat, and the second was an expensive, luxurious Gucci handbag.

The initial plan was to give her the stone first, gauge her reaction to something intimate, thoughtful, and beautiful, and then hit her with the big reveal of something grander.

White gift box with blue ribbon. | Source: Pexels

White gift box with blue ribbon. | Source: Pexels

So, we went over to her home on Christmas Eve, and while we sat around drinking eggnog, I gave her the first present. She took the beautifully packaged stone and unwrapped it with confusion etched across her face. She muttered a “Thank you,” and promptly stowed the stone back into its box.

I cautiously asked her if she liked it, mentioning that her beloved pet was painted onto the stone. To which she replied, “It’s fine, but it doesn’t quite suit my house, Sue. Maybe you should take it back. If I’m being honest, it does look a bit cheap for my taste.”

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