My mother-in-law is leaving today. I have mixed emotions about this. She's been a great help, but our relationship is strained at times, and I'll be glad to rule the roost again, so to speak.
One of my mother-in-law's most admirable qualities is her generosity. She is a true caregiver. She gives of her time, her money, her wisdom. I learned early on that if I complimented her on something in her house or something that she was wearing that she'd almost inevitably give said thing to me. I am careful about the compliments as I feel guilty sometimes for all the things she gives me just because I say I like them.
When she arrived at our house, she was wearing a gorgeous rust-orange fall raincoat. I love orange. It's my favorite color by a long shot. I could tell it was a new coat. I thought to myself, "If I compliment her on that coat, it could be mine! All mine!"
I felt bad for thinking that.
For about 30 seconds.
Then I said, "That coat is really beautiful! I just love that color!"
Her bags are packed, she's all set to go to the airport, and guess what's hanging on the hook by my front door?
A rust-orange fall raincoat.