‘Why can’t I choose my own lehenga?? I am the bride. It’s my wedding and I should be able to pick whatever I want, without worrying about it being universally appealing,’ I cried to S, for the millionth time.It had been three months since our engagement, and here I was already battling MIL issues. The trouble was that my mother-in-law didn’t quite like the lehenga I had chosen for myself and I simply failed to see how someone could not like it. The result of our slowly brewing cold war was that my wedding was just a month away, and I still didn’t have a dress to wear to it!
It wasn’t like I was acting stuck up over a dress. It was just that I had spent the last two months looking for a perfect lehenga, and now that I had found it, I wasn’t ready to part ways with it. In fact, it was my mother-in-law who had suggested that I run around looking for my lehenga, all by myself, 'coz she wouldn’t mind anything I wore. And now, not only did she mind it, she thought her guests would mind it too! Did she have a better alternative in mind, though? No.Before things got worse, S decided to take matters into his own hand by taking us out shopping, together. Grudgingly, the plan took shape and two days later, we were looking at my dream lehenga, again. My mother-in-law asked the store manager to keep it aside for us, and asked me to come along with her to look at a few other pieces. As she started sifting through the racks, she started talking to me about the lehengas she was picking and how she thought they would look good on me. An hour later, we had our hands full with four other dresses and when I tried them on, I kinda liked how their colors and cuts complimented me. And then, it was time to make the final decision. My mother-in-law spoke first. ‘I liked the lehenga you had chosen. But, I have a few suggestions to make, if you are okay with it. I genuinely think they will make your lehenga look even better.’After I heard her suggestions, I decided I could make my peace with them. And I was glad I did, for on my wedding day, those little changes made a difference that otherwise only experience could have taught me.
I feel mothers-in-law have been painted in a bad light for so long, that we tend to take every difference in opinion with them the wrong way. After all, if we could fall in love with the sons they raised, maybe we could fall in love with them too.* Names changed to protect privacy.Images: ShutterstockHave a story you’d like to share? Just drop us an email here with your story – don’t forget to put #MyStory in the subject line. We’ll get back to you about whether we can feature it.