The Sister-in-Law

16 Jan

Shaun Minor
Mary never, never liked her brother’s wife.  When Tom had seriously courted Shaun, Mary, then sixteen, explicitly told him not to marry her.  He did anyway.  It was one of the few times Mary didn’t get her way, and Mary always held that against Shaun.  Aside from the affront that Mary was not in control of her closest brother, the new wife didn’t ease her transition to the Minor family for Mary.  She was, by nature, pushy and mettlesome.  It was quite by accident, and a peccadillo offense, but Mary always too this personally.  Shaun was a social butterfly and made herself at home in the Minor family, offensively touting herself as the matriarch-in-grooming to the Dayton community.  This did not sit well with Mary, who grew up as part of the old-time Minor family–SHE was blood.  Also troubling to Mary was the fact that Shaun Minor didn’t realize her failings. Shaun’s presence in Mary’s life, as her favorite brother’s wife no less, antagonized Mary fiercely.   This sister-in-law of hers had no shame!

Shaun always had good intentions and a heart of gold, but she could be a little fanatical in her actions–her biggest fault was that she was just too much.  The town sort of tolerated her gossiping, and overlooked her social spasms.  Shaun moderated her lack of social skills with compassion–she would help anyone.  She has one of the biggest hearts in the community, despite her loose-lips.  She would try to help anyone, but she could be tangential and had a way of spreading information like wildfire–attributes Mary loathed. Also, Shaun knows all about the inner workings of the Minor family, including the fact Mary is gay.  Nothing will palliate this for Mary.

When my family and I met Mary’s sister-in-law, Shaun, she was a tyro substitute teacher and expert busy-body.  She offered to show us around the area she knew so well, which was nice because we were from out of state.   I think she also helped my mom get her teaching job, which helped get my dad’s foot in the custodial door.  So as a family, the Le4l’s owe a lot to Shaun’s generosity.  This is not to say we don’t get annoyed by her strong personality or lack of social etiquette sometimes.

When I was in fifth grade, Shawn subbed for my teacher, Miss Solari.  I was going through puberty and simultaneously trying to downplay any relationship with my parents.  I had gotten so much grief that my mom was a teacher at my elementary school that I loved the reprieve from my family.  For once, I was just Lau7el to the other kids at school, not that teacher’s kid who gets everything because her parents work here.  So what misstep Shawn employ immediately?  While she’s taking role, she calls my name and says she knows me, “Tell your mother hi for me!”  I was mortified and pissed off by her lapse (or absence) in judgement.    Then, after lunch, my class is silent reading and Shaun Minor has the nerve to ask me to be her little helper (not her exact words) and pass out papers.  I could NOT have that so I pretended to rub my eye and gave her the middle finger.  Shaun just needs to learn how to temper her urge to talk too much.  As an aside, at my very first real job ever, my boss, Mary Minor teased me about flipping off her sister-in-law.  Leave it to Dayton to remember every negative incident in a person’s (childish) past!

Mary had never mollified her disdain for her brother’s wife.  Even before I was close to Kim and Mary, I realized Mary could not stand Shaun, and did not consider her to be a true member of the Minor family.  Most annoyingly to Mary her sister-in-law didn’t allay the situation by being intimidated by Mary.  As rude as Mary was to Shaun, her in-law acted as if she didn’t notice the slights, and carried on like a legitimate member of the family.  Her sister-in-law was one of the few people that Mary disliked but could not exile from her life.  If Mary had her way, Shaun would be cast out of her family to be a mendicant.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: