Travels with Mary

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]raveling with Jamie’s mother is a treasured experience.

The thing about mother-in-laws is they have needs. Lots of needs. And their needs rank higher than yours. It’s only right. Try to remember, they’ve been alive longer than you. Long enough to have grown particular about these needs. Everything must be done in a specific way.

Even breakfast.

Look, I know you consider dried cereal to be a suitable breakfast. Most people do. But unless your mother-in-law is serving out a federal prison sentence, Raisin Bran will not do. No way, no how. She prefers you to rustle up three eggs, sausage, grits, bacon, and a glass of Alka-Seltzer. And please, be careful not to make the coffee too strong. It must be weak enough so that it’s the color of watered down scotch.

Something else to remember: schedules. They aren’t set in stone. Never. Schedules should be mysterious, and fun. Try removing your wristwatch and sliding it into your pocket. You won’t need it anymore. Being on time only takes the magic out of life.

Another important thing to keep in mind while traveling: Mother-in-laws have teacup-sized bladders. It’s not their fault. They come from the factory that way. But no need to worry, this is rarely an issue. Unless, of course, your mother-in-law sips a Big-Gulp sweet tea during your seven-hour-car-ride. In that case, you’ll want to look for cattle pastures off desolate Highway 10. When you escort her up to that old oak tree, make sure you bring her cane along.

Then, turn your back to her.

Plug your ears and sing Amazing Grace.