Darcie Maranich

Darcie Maranich


This time of year there is a lot of talk about change. People resolve to change their bodies, change their habits and change their lives. It’s true. You can simply skim through the Target sale ad for proof. What’s on sale? Exercise equipment for those wanting to change their bodies. Monthly planners for those wanting to change their hectic schedules. And storage boxes, bins, and baskets for those wanting to change their closets. This time of year, it’s all about change.

I’m resistant to change.

I used to make resolutions but then sometime around Valentine’s Day of each year I’d notice that those aforementioned resolutions had vanished into thin air. So much for change. What really soured my taste for change, though, was my mother-in-law. Our relationship is far from pretty and really quite complicated so I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say that she was the one who ultimately left me feeling as though change was a four letter word.

It happened when she came to visit for my son’s first birthday party. The day was a hectic mess, thrown off by an ill-planned sink replacement in my kitchen and a monsoon storm that threatened my outdoor decorations. My type-A personality was not to be deterred, though. My heart was set on the perfect party and the perfect party we would have. With plenty of help from my willing husband, the party was salvaged in the end, despite the fact that my mother-in-law stood defiantly by, hampering our efforts every step of the way. For reasons I’ll never understand, she wanted to see me fail. She held out hope for a flop of a party, most likely just so she could deliver a jab of an I told you so. And when the visit had come to an end and she said her goodbyes, she made sure to tell me that I’d have to change my perfectionist ways if I wanted to fit into her family.

You can imagine, then, that I was determined to do anything but.

This year, I did make a list of ways that I wanted to enhance, enrich and improve various aspects of my life. Suspiciously lacking, though, is the word change. My list of goals includes bullet points like:

• Cook with kale more often

• Take an online photography class

• Perfect a sangria recipe

Admittedly, I love that that last one thumbs its nose at my mother-in-law in its embrace of those perfectionist ways she’s so opposed to. In fact, I’m happy to report that nary a one of the twenty-five bullet points on my list (see it in its entirety on my blog at www.suchthespot.com) mentions the ‘c’ word.

I recognize that the New Year presents a great opportunity for a fresh start. But rather than focus solely on change, I prefer to acknowledge that which I’m getting right and build on that solid foundation. The opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come, after all, shouldn’t go ignored.

(3) comments

John J Flanagan

Interesting article, BUT the writer needs to show more class and avoid saying unkind things about her mother in law in a published article.. Nobody is perfect, including the writer.

Darcie Maranich

I'll be the first to admit that I'm far from perfect, John. And while I would never spread lies or disclose personal information about someone in a published article, my style of writing is one that doesn't hold any punches. I take pride in my transparency and--over years of blogging--I've found that my readers can relate with and appreciate my honesty. I'm sorry it rubs you the wrong way!

John J Flanagan

I suppose one might view the article as a sign of transparency, however, the reality is that few authors openly make unkind comments about their spouse's mother in a published article. I will not continue this as an argument, but in my view, it would have been better had you left the comment about your mother in law out of the piece. I am of the old school and feel that respect for one's elders in familial settings is a way to keep the cohesive nature of the relationship from becoming more strained. All men,whether or not they are honest, do love their mothers for the most part, and even when there are temperamental fractures and disagreements. The worst thing is when the wife attacks a man's mother even verbally, because in doing so, she is hurting the feelings of her husband. It puts the husband in the difficult situation of being between two warring women in his life, both of whom he probably loves very much.

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