Monday, September 24, 2007

Ruining My Mother-in-Law's Tupperware

Remember about two weeks ago I told you that my mother-in-law gave me a kilo of reindeer meat? Well, she put the meat in a kind of tupperware. It's actually the kind of tupperware that comes with the fridge that she has. So the tupperware can be slid to its allotted slot on the fridge's door. It's more solid than regular tupperware.

Anyway, when I was preparing to cook the meat, I took it out of the freezer and "accidentally" put it on top of a stove that I had just used. Gladly I realized it a second afterward, but the damage was done. At the bottom of that tupperware there was a clear mark of the round burner. Yikes!!! I felt SOOOOOOOO guilty and embarrassed!

I told the incident to Arttu and he laughed when seeing my pitiful face. He said that his mother wouldn't be angry. Well, I had already known that she wouldn't be angry, but that didn't make me feel any better. After all, she's been SO generous and kind to me and all I have to do is take care of everything, but I have failed.

As you all know, last week we didn't go to my in-laws 'coz of Arttu's cousin's birthday party. So only last Saturday we went to my in-laws again. I had dreaded the day. I had practised saying, "Olen pahoillani" (I'm sorry) in my head over and over again just to make sure that I got it right.

On the way to my in-laws, my mother-in-law called. When I asked Arttu what she had said, he just replied, "We'll see." This is actually a typical Finnish attitude, not giving enough information to a question. I thought it was nothing big, so I just sat back and waited for the moment when I could say sorry to my mother-in-law.

About a minute away from my in-laws' house, Arttu turned left to a car park in front of a building (it looked like a house). I was stunned to see so many cars on the car park. Then we went inside the building and my mother-in-law hugged us (making me feel more uneasy 'coz I couldn't possibly tell her then and there about my stupidity). Turned out the building was being used to be a flea market. My mother-in-law introduced me to her friends and neighbour and then told me to look around in case I saw something that fit me. She also helped me picking the smaller sizes for me (there were many big sizes there). I finally chose two shirts and just as I had feared, when Arttu was about to pay, my mother-in-law said, "Minä maksan" (I'll pay). I thanked her right away, naturally, but her generosity only made me feel worse!!! AARRRRRRGGGGGHHHH!!! I couldn't wait to go to my in-laws' house to say sorryyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!

Well, we left first while my mother-in-law stayed there to talk to her friends. I turned to Arttu and said, " I feel even more guilty!!!!!" He just smiled and told me not to worry.

About 20 minutes after we got to their house, my mother-in-law finally came back home. I took out the Tupperware right away and said those words to her. At first she was confused, but then I made gestures with my hand to show the bottom part of the Tupperware. Then Arttu explained what had happened to her. She said it was okay. She didn't look angry or shocked or anything, but still I felt stuuuuuppiiiiiddd. I was relieved, but I felt so SMALL.

Well, I learnt A LOT about forgiveness and generosity that day. You see, even after that, my mother-in-law still gave me a big piece of FISH (you know that we can't afford buying fish 'coz it's so expensive!!!). And then when she saw me browsing through a clothing catalog, she said something, went inside her room, and came out with a short-sleeved jacket. She told me to try it on and it fit me well (just a bit too big but that should be fine), so she gave it to me. It also had such a warm lining, so it felt so good.

I honestly don't know what else I can do for my mother-in-law. I know she doesn't expect me to repay her, but I just want to do more for her. We'll see what I can come up with. The only thing I've given her is the occasional dessert that I make (sometimes it's not even perfect though usually the taste is fine). I don't know what I have done to deserve all this, but it reminds me about God's love and forgiveness for us. I just can't believe my luck to have such a wonderful mother-in-law.

By the way, this weekend we're gonna spend a night at my in-laws (Saturday-Sunday). The thing is, my mother-in-law's going to go on a weekend trip with some other people (Arttu said that she was involved in some kind of village activities), so she asked us if we would like to spend a night there. I think she might be a bit worried about leaving her husband behind. You see, Arttu's Dad's just been diagnosed with Alzheimer. I don't think it's at a late stage yet, 'coz he seems to be functioning pretty well, but still I notice that sometimes my mother-in-law'd remind him to take his medicine. I LOVE spending time at my in-laws. No TV, no computer, just us, food, warmth, books, and magazines. ;-D I can't wait for Saturday!!! ;-D

OK, now I HAVE to start studying Finnish to prepare for my course tomorrow he he he he he he...


  1. You are just so good...I love you to pieces...I have something for you at my site. hugs,Jackie

  2. AWWWW, Jackie, THANKS A LOT for the award!!! I'll post it tomorrow. ;-D And I LOVE YOU TOO!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Lucky you, you have a very sweet mother-in-law :)

  4. Mother Hen: Yeah, I know!!! She's just SO cool. Wish I could be such a cool lady when I become a mother-in-law later on he he he...

  5. Hey Amelia!

    What a lovely episode!
    I know what makes your mother-in-law act that way towards you: you love for her son! She senses that you really love him, and that he is happy with you; thus she is only trying to retribute what you do for her family! We have a saying in Portuguese "Quem do meu filho gosta, minha boca adoça!" (Transl: the one who loves my kid, sweetens my mouth! - got the feeling of it?).

    She is a wonderful lady, very generous; and I am surprise by her calm: it's amazing! As soon as you finish your Finnish lessons you shall have great convos with her! She must be very wise too :).

    I am impressed; you have a nice family, indeed :)!

    Have a nice class tomorrow :).


  6. Max: I knew she was always calm and composed, but I was worried 'coz she's a cook, so I know she loves her kitchen utensils...but maybe you're right. I'm just SO SO grateful for having her in my life. She truly makes me feel so welcome and comfortable here. And yes, I can't wait to master Finnish so I can speak to her he he he he...

  7. Your mother in law sounds like such a kind woman. I understand that you feel bad, but she understands that accidents happen to all of us. You get much pleasure from her giving you things, but I am pretty sure that she gets even more pleasure by giving them to you. I'm sure she doesn't want anything in return except for you to be good to her son. I know that is how I will feel when my son gets married. I've been married for almost 27 years and my mother in law still gives and gives and gives to us.

  8. Kathy: Yeah, I suppose that Moms are like that. I still want to give her more, anything I can give it attention or anything. I think one thing that'll make her happy is the day I can communicate with her without Arttu's help he he he...

    THANKS for sharing a mother's point of view, though. It helps me in understanding her more. ;-D

    HALLELUJAH for wonderful mothers-in-law!!! And CONGRATS for having been together for 27 years...and still going strong, Kathy!!!! ;-D

  9. Hi Amel!

    It's good to have good relationship with in-laws! I congratulate you for that Amel!

    My mom-in-law also likes to get things for me. My new apartment should be ready sometime early next year. And you know what? My mom-in-law is telling me that I don't have to worry a thing about kitchenware. She has bought a set complete with everything for me!

    Hope you have a fun time at your in-laws place this weekend Amel!


  10. You are lucky to have one another.
    Great family and relationship!!

    I know how you feel about being embarrassed...he he...In my part, sometimes, I become clumsy in front of my parents-in-laws because we are not that will grow with time. I know...he he...

    Hey, good luck in your classes!!

  11. Karen: Yeah, I'm SO glad that I have such good in-laws even though we can't communicate well yet.

    Your mother-in-law's going to buy you a complete set of kitchenware? That's WONDERFUL! And HURRAH for your new apt. next year! ;-D

    Choc Mint Girl: Crystal, yeah, I sometimes want to kick my own butt for being clumsy he he he...

    THANKS for your well-wishes about my class!!! ;-D

  12. Your mum-in-law sounds like a generous lady. She knows exactly what kind of person you are (i.e. responsible) but accidents happen. She will not blame you for sure. She can see that you love her son and his family dearly and that is most important to her....definitely much more important than her kitchen utensils. At this stage in her life, I'm sure she knows a good person when she sees one (i.e. you).

    You shouldn't be so hard on yourself. Just stay the way you are and she'll appreciate you.

  13. Blur Ting: THANKS for the advice. Yeah, I know sometimes I can be too hard on myself. I'll remember your words always. :-))))

  14. Your mom-in-law sounds like a lovely ladym but then.. to be honest.. you sound a lovely daughter-in-law. Look at it from her point of view. You gave up everything to be with her son and you try so hard to fit into his life, country language and family. How can she not love you? :-)

    Your story reminded me of our first Christmas as a married couple. My husband's business was having problems (self-employed) and we had almost no money. :-(

    We didn't want to worry family, but we did have to tell them that we could not buy gifts so to please not buy us gifts either.. or we'd feel guilty.

    Anyway.. my mom-in-law got around that. She never bought us gifts - she bought us groceries! When we went there before Christmas she had this BIG cardboard box. In it was a BIG tin of chocolates, two bottles of wine and every kind of good food you would ever want to have a great Christmas. It was one of the best gifts I've ever had.

    I know so many people who have had yucky in-laws. We're both very lucky!

  15. Hi, M!!! THANKS for your kind words. I suppose I never really thought of this from her point of view.

    Your mother-in-law's SUCH a lovely person! LOVE your story about the first Christmas!

    You're right. We're both SO LUCKY to have such WONDERFUL in-laws!!! ;-D