I’m writing a series of posts about why I love my (immediate) family. This is the second installment. All quality photographs (the professional ones) courtesy of the incredible Meredith Perdue.
Windy, Windz, Winder, aka Best Mother-in-Law Ever
As any new girlfriend would be, I was very nervous before I met Guion’s mother for the first time. Guion was, after all, the firstborn, beloved son. As life and literature had taught me, mothers have a thing with their firstborn sons and often don’t take to other interested women kindly. It took me a few days to decide on the right dress to wear. I pestered my roommate about how I should wear my hair. I was anxious.
Mike and Windy were taking the two of us out to dinner at 411 West. The men had a hard time finding parking, and so Guion joined Mike in the car–which left Windy and me together for almost 15 minutes in the restaurant. I was so worried. What would she think of me? Would she decide in these next minutes that I was an unsuitable match for her matchless son?
Windy, however, instantly put me at ease. She talked to me warmly and confidentially, as if I were an old friend.
Windy is one of the most gentle and laidback people I know. Nothing seems to ruffle her. She has always welcomed me warmly into the family, even when Guion and I were only dating. She has never emitted even the slightest trace of rivalry or jealousy toward me, those vices that mothers-in-law are traditionally supposed to possess; Windy has only ever shown me love without condition.
Windy and I forge an alliance when we’re with the family. Aside from Aoive, Windy lived in and raised a household of men. Unlike my mother, she had no band of fellow women to support her and her causes. We were magnetized to each other by the mere fact of our common sex. Windy made me feel valued and welcomed by trusting me as her feminine confidante. I know I can always count on her to be in my corner during playful family disputes.
We keep secrets and clean the kitchen together. We set the table and tell the men what’s up. When I am with her in Southern Pines, I feel like I am a part of this generations-old tradition of reciprocal trust and reliance between women. This sounds weird, but I see it this way: Windy showed me how naturally one can fall into familial unity with another woman, to be welcomed into the family fold of womenfolk, to instantly assume domestic roles of cooking and keeping the peace. It sounds very old-fashioned, but I like it. When I’m with Windy, I feel like I’ve finally been given a membership to this club of good Southern womanhood.