Effective way to become “The Idiot Son-in-Law” #1: Work side-by-side with your wife’s father on a household project, that also happens to be his trade. Interior painting, ferinstance. On the bright side, my son has a spiffy new color covering the walls in his room.
Any other effective ways? I ask only because I’m looking to further establish my familial reputation.
Beginner level: Drink to excess at family gatherings. Make obtuse comments.
Intermediate: Hit on the cousins. Petty theft of family heirlooms.
Advanced: Dismember pregnant wife, dump in bay. Immediately start affair after news conference.
Hit on wife’s sister. Or mother. Note: this might get you hit.
Geepers, all I had to do was marry the girl. 26 years later, my Father-in-Law still doesn’t understand what I do for a living and often looks at me as if I should be wearing a helmet at all times.
I’m not Chinese. I’m not an engineer. I make jokes.
When my in-laws came to visit for the first time, they couldn’t understand a word of English. Still don’t. But they did observe that I made a joke with an airport employee. Then I tried to speak with them in my fairly hopeless Chinese.
Less than 45 minutes after they had first laid eyes on me, my father in law said that in China I would either be in a lunatic asylum or labor camp. Next day I tried to help him install a satellite dish (back in the days you had these big dishes to pick up the Chinese state television). He’s an aerospace engineer. I don’t know which was worse in his eyes. I couldn’t read the instructions (only in Chinese) or that I didn’t know how to use the device to find the direction and elevation of the satellite.
My mother-in-law thinks I’m a freaking awesome husband and father. I work hard, earn good money, don’t drink or smoke and like to do things with my wife and daughter. She tells of FiL any time he makes an untoward comment. BTW, my spoken Chinese is still horrible, but I can pretty much follow what he is saying. He knows this but will talk about me as if I’m a dog in the room.
Oh yeah! Our daughter is adopted. After eight years of marriage, I thought I had made some progress rehabilitating myself. But apparently in Chinese culture adoption is beyond stupid.
Mother in law started from the same point regarding adoption. But 12 hours after seeing our baby, she was the center of her universe.
These are good, but I fear some of them might kinda be treading possibly sorta slightly into “The Jerk Husband” territory. It’s a fine line, I know.
Misremember that his adoring term for his wife, your M-I-L, is the big woman and instead refer to her as la mama grande.
… and that’s one instance where stress makes a world of difference. The way you wrote it means “the big tit”.
Use a lot of malapropisms and mixed metaphors, in a supremely confident manner. Say things like:
“…not to beat that with a dead horse.”
“That’s a mute point.”
“Let’s get together and shoot the fat.”
Maybe that’s what he actually called her.