My G! May I call you My G? You being Guidicelli and all. Congratulations to you and Sarah! It was a tough battle but you won. In Sun Tzu’s words, “mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy.” And surprise you did.
You did the impossible and for that, you deserve several bottles of 32-year old single malt whisky and not the light brandy you used to endorse. Real Japanese whisky, My G. But I digress. You won and your victory will echo through the halls of St. Valentine’s abode for years to come
But, ummmm…I know you’re enjoying your victory now but what are you planning to do next?
What do I mean? Well, what you do post-Divine is as (if not more!) important to how you and Sarah move on from this tricky time in your lives. An exit strategy, if you will. You know how in war movies one side ultimately wins the battle in the end? Well, that’s like this but now we’re at the part where the screen has gone black and we’re about to read the text informing us on who really REALLY won the war.
And since you’re a military man, I know you’ll appreciate a good war reference. So, US invasion of Iraq. Remember that? That went really well.
No, not really.
But that doesn’t have to be your fate, My G. Preparation is key.
You see, now, you’re a married man. Like it or not, you are connected to Sarah’s kin forever. FOREVER. Mommy Divine. FOREVER. They’re your in-laws. That’s life. And though you could avoid them, for now, you’ll have to meet them again one day. It might even be sooner, because of legal and financial matters and all that. So what you need to do is this: be kind.
I mean, you’re already kind. Everyone knows that. But you have to be a bit kinder. In-laws, they suck. There’s no way to mince words. They just suck. Some suck less. Some suck more. But in-laws just suck. And it’s not their fault. That’s just life and having different sets of values and all that. But, My G, you have to be kind.
Let me quote Sun Tzu again. “Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across,” he mentions in Art of War. So now that you’ve won this battle, what you need to show Mommy Divine is that their defeat is actually the best case scenario for them. That you don’t need to fight further. They don’t have to like you. But you can just co-exist. Which, honestly, is the best situation for a lot of guys. Do you know how hard it is to be the favorite son-in-law? It’s not easy, My G. Once you butter them up, you have to keep buttering them up ad infinitum. So being the second favorite son-in-law or even third, that’s good enough.
You don’t have to start with grand gestures. Those will always look fake. Just go with subtlety. You don’t have to live in the same house as them. NOT IDEAL, My G.
So, here’s what I think. Mother’s day. That’s in May. Are you catching my drift? Invite Mommy Divine for brunch. If they decline, you go there. Be the bigger man. If they shut the door, well, that sucks. But take that body blow. Just send her a bouquet or something she might like. Then try again on Father’s day. You don’t have to force it. But just be kind and make them see that you remember. Birthdays, anniversaries, never forget that stuff. And that’s good enough. I think Sarah will also appreciate it since she’ll see that you also care about her family. I know, Italians also value family so this will be easy for you.
In the end, they might hate you for now but when you and Sarah ultimately decide to have a child, that’s basically a reset button right there. Everything will be forgotten and buried in the past once their apo flashes a smile their way. All anger will melt and everyone will be winners. If you somehow manage to make it their very first apo, well that’s even a bigger game, set, and match, My G. No way they don’t melt right there.
Now, if Mommy Divine insists on making your son or daughter an artista that’s a whole ‘nother thing and we’ll have to talk again about that if and when that happens. For now, just be kind. But, remember, not TOO kind.
Congratulations and best wishes, Matteo and Sarah Guidicelli!