I may have painted a rather dismal picture of divorce, but it does have one major advantage: No more in-laws – well, almost. Put it this way, I usually only have to endure their company for short periods when I go to visit my daughter+.
Recently though, my ex called me to ask if I “want to spend the first week of the New Year with the youngster”. Translation: “I can’t get leave until the crèche reopens and I can’t find a reliable / affordable babysitter at short notice” Despite my cynicism with regard to her motives, I wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity to see Kyknoord Jr, so I readily agreed.
Apart from the fact that my ex seems to think I’m an idiot, the real down side to this was having to make nice to my former in-laws. My ex-MIL has the horns, saurian tail and fire-breathing capabilities that one would expect in a member of her species – in other words, she’s reasonably normal. My ex-father-in-law, on the other hand, is completely unbearable. He has the social skills of a pile of manure, although all things being equal, this is rather insulting to the manure. Given a choice between being in the same room as him for any length of time or being beaten over the head repeatedly with a sack of spanners, I would probably settle for the spanners. Less painful. More interesting. Easier to recover from.
+ my ex-wife went back home to Mum after we split. It’s a bit of a cliché, I know, but originality seldom features very heavily in marital strife.