Dealing with my in-laws is always enlightening in some way. Sometimes it's enlightening to know just how long I can bite my tongue before I have to get away from the situation or say something insulting. Sometimes it's enlightening to know just how different my upbringing was to Ace's. Sometimes it's enlightening to know just how little faith they have in their son to do something with his life.
Easter dinner, which was a new thing for me to experience with my in-laws (I'm pretty sure in years past they've just gone out to eat). The meal itself went fairly smoothly. My sister-in-law dominated the conversation about the relatives of celebrities, which was interesting and kept the conversation light (something I was thankful for, I love my sister-in-law). The food was fairly good, although I still find the idea of adding melted Red Hots to the rub for the ham odd (it didn't taste particularly cinnamon like, so it seemed kind of wasted).
Then came my mother-in-law reading out stuff about her family's history to my niece. Weird, but fitting with the ancestor theme from lunch and not something she was forcing Ace and I to participate in. When we went out to get some pie (key lime and some other flavor, both good partially because they were store bought), things got a little weirder.
My mother-in-law's ancestor owed some money to a John Smith. We don't know which John Smith, and it's not like the name immediately points to someone specific (there is no more of a generic name). I have no clue why it was important enough to be written down, but I feel that way about how many cattle, bed warmers, and acres of land her ancestors had too (also all written down). It was interesting to ponder that maybe it was the John Smith that knew Pocahontas, but given that I don't know what years this ancestor lived, it's hard to say either way.
Then my father-in-law pipped up that Darrell wouldn't be in the record books because he doesn't owe money to anyone famous. That's true, we don't owe money to anyone with any kind of name, but that's not really important. My father-in-law has decided that his 31 year old son will never do anything important enough to make history because he hasn't yet. It's not like Ace's life expectancy is 40 (in which case, he could make history but he'd have to hurry up to do so), so it's kind of silly to declare him past the point of potentially making history.
I'm not saying that I think Ace will be well known in the history books. I don't know. I don't really care. But I hate that my father-in-law thinks it was an appropriate thing to say. If Ace and I took him seriously, we might as well lay down and not move for the rest of our lives (which would be considerably shorter if we did lay down and not move) because we obviously are going to be stuck in the same position we are in (or only slightly better than where we are now) for the rest of our lives. At least, that's the implication we are getting off of what he is saying.
And you know what? My father-in-law is unlikely to make history. He hasn't so far, and is much closer to the end of his life than Ace and I are to the end of ours at this point. Maybe he's just jealous that we have more time to make history. But most likely, he just doesn't believe in his son. And that is sad.