Why Did My MIL Have To Friend Me On Facebook?!

Here’s what I like about Facebook: I can hide there. It’s great for procrastinating, and reading a friend’s posts or random article (although, since the presidential election that’s become a wholly depressing pastime). Often, I’ll post articles I’ve written or just share some random bullsh*t that’s popped into my head. I mean, isn’t that basically what we all do on Facebook? It’s a place we can meet up with friends without actually having to be in human contact. Awesome.

Well, not anymore. And I have my mother-in-law to thank for that. My in-laws are sweet people and wonderful grandparents, living a small town life in the ‘burbs. We get along well enough, but there is one thing I find extremely difficult when spending time with them: not f*cking swearing. I mean, sh*t. I have a potty mouth, and I don’t give a damn. For better or worse, I don’t censor myself (much) around my kids, either, on the agreement that bad words are not to be used in school or around friends as long as we keep our swearing purposeful, and at home. So far, so good.


So, yeah. I curse. I can’t help it! Whether my lasagna was f*cking awesome, or I’m angry and would rather scream sh*t! into the air than strangle my 2-year-old, I’ll go for profanity. It’s relaxing, it’s cathartic, and it’s part of who I am. But, here’s the thing: my MIL was raised in a time and place where swearing is extremely distasteful and improper. Phooey is about as R-rated as this woman gets, and she will leave the room if the vocabulary on a TV show becomes unsavory.

Over the years, I have learned to curb my cursing when I’m around her, but when I’m not around her, I get to be myself. Or, at least, I used to. Then my MIL sent me a mother-f*cking friend request on Facebook. Sh*t. For a few weeks I ignored it, but the guilt weighed me down. I didn’t want her to think I was snubbing her (which I was).

Suddenly, it’s like I’m not allowed to be me anymore. I’m constantly censoring my jokes or the articles I post, for fear that I’ll offend her prim and proper ways. Or, worse! Occasionally (like so many of us facing the realities of this new presidency), I find that I just cannot contain the shock and horror and I have to let the expletives come pouring out. It’s not until later, when my MIL “likes” an innocent picture of my kids at the playground that it hits me: of course! My mother-in-law must have received a notification that I’d posted something, then seen my sailor-mouthed tirade and just ignored it. The poor woman! It must’ve given her a heart attack!

In the end, I have decided I am just going to (mostly) be myself. Sure, I may shock her from time to time, but I don’t want to change who I am. I married her son, after all—not her—and after 15 years and two kids, I think she knows I have plenty of good qualities (even if some of ’em are just too f*cking awesome for her to handle).

Photo: Getty