The picture.

4 years ago

When I first met my mother-in-law,

I couldn’t understand a damn thing my MIL said.

I did a lot of nodding and smiling.

But, in reality...nothin’.


I thought I was faking it really well actually.

I mean, why wouldn’t someone have a ‘mop’ in their back pocket.

I heard him laugh.

I looked up to see him staring at me

I knew I had been found out!


Mom, she doesn’t understand anything you are saying!

Well, thanks for that I guess.



As time passed, my ear grew adjusted to her Scottish accent.

I began to understand what she was saying,

But, I gotta tell ya,

I never, ever really understood that woman.


When we became engaged, she lived in British Columbia.

We thought it would be nice to send her a framed engagement photo.

We shipped it out to her.

This was a big deal gift in the eighties. 

We were so excited to do this. 


We flew out to visit her about year later. 

MIL met us at the door, when we arrived.

I gave Mom and son their privacy,

And, went on into the house.


As I set my bags down,

My brain questioned what my eyes had just taken in.

Was that a picture of me and Elvis?

I looked back up to the picture on the wall...

I gasped.

My hand shot up to cover my mouth. 

I turned to see if I was still alone.


He was right behind me,

He was looking at the picture too.


What son?


It was our engagement picture.

The very same one we had sent out to her.

She had painted over it.

Painted.  Over.  It.


His white sweater was now black with a shaky edged, white collar.

His receding hair line had been filled in.

He was sporting Elvis like side burns.

My eye brows were larger and darker.

It was awful! 

It was absolutely hilarious. 

I just stared at the photo in shock.


Who does things like that?

Why did you do that Mom?

Well, I didn’t like it. 


She didn’t like it. 


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