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My Mother-In-Law's Vagina
By Meredith Gordon

I'm looking at my Cabaret Singer-In-Law's vagina. My Cabaret Singer-In-Law is actually my Mother-In-Law who dreams of being a cabaret singer. At 70, she's still "hoping to have her moment." Regardless, right here, right now, I'm looking at her vagina, which she has "accidentally" shown to me by way of lifting her dress to show me her shoes.

"Look, my first Jimmy Choos," she says as she parts the thigh high slit of her dress to reveal her newest accessories. Unfortunately, shoes aren't the only accessory she has revealed. While she has been thoughtful enough to wear underwear, they're the lacy and sheer kind, worn more for decoration than for the coverage they provide.

Personally, I would understand her revealing her privates while showing me her shoes were she a midget or a woman suffering from Dwarfism, but my Cabaret Singer-In-Law is a 5'4" Manhattanite. Her shoes and her labia aren't that close together.

I can guarantee you that most humans have some idea when a private, rarely seen the light of day body part has been let free, but apparently my Cabaret Singer-In-Law's vagina is immune to temperature changes, breezes, and the beating sun. So that's how, in Mexico, on my wedding day, I am looking at my Cabaret Singer-In-Law's vagina.

Now, two years later, I'm standing in my Cabaret Singer-In-Law's Manhattan townhouse and that story comes to mind. My husband and I have brought our son to New York to visit his grandparents. Unfortunately, my Cabaret Singer-In-Law isn't happy. She's not spent her pre-decided, yet undisclosed to me, amount of time with her grandson. She's angry. She's frothing. She's yelling. I fear she'll break into song.

It all started with me asking my Father-In-Law if he wanted to go for a walk with the baby and me. "Nope," he says without looking up from his newspaper. "I don't want to spend time with you." He pauses and then reveals the conspiracy theory he's concocted that I've kept his grandchild away from him. "I woke up at 8:00 this morning just to spend time with the baby," he tells me.

"Remember," I tell him for what might be the 30th time, "the baby is on L.A. time so he sleeps until 9:00 am here." Thinking this will end the conversation and my Father-In-Law will apologize for assuming my child and I should have developed some form of telepathy and gotten up earlier to play with Grandpa, I turn to leave the room. But my Father-In-Law is dead set on telling me that I've kept the baby from him. Fine, everybody is entitled to his or her opinion, they're just not entitled to my baby.

While my Father-In-Law is animated, he's not personally attacking me. But animation turns into a Me Crusade when my Cabaret Singer-In-Law enters the room. She doesn't just want to tell me that she feels like she's been kept from her god-given right to spend all her time over-stimulating my child, she wants to tell me what's wrong with me as a human. As an aging housewife long since suffering from empty nest syndrome, she's spent her later years trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. In addition to singing she's tried various hobbies, careers, and groups hoping to find her place. There was her stint in an Off-Connecticut play which she quit due to "creative differences" with the director. She tried being an extra in films, but was fired after telling the star "he didn't seem emotionally connected." And she searched for answers in a new age church, but left after remembering she's Jewish Finally, at 70, she's figured out that the best way for her to spend her life is telling others how to fix theirs.

"You're very tightly wound," she begins. "You're very defensive and you're rude."

Stunned by her outburst, I attempt to keep my cool and respectfully reply, "I'm just trying to do a good job for my baby and at the same time be a good houseguest and stay out of your way."

She interrupts. "Well you're a terrible houseguest. You're rude." In addition to being rude, she tells me, I have obvious issues with life and obvious issues with my child.

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