I did not meet my MIL until my nikah day. She refused to see me, although my FIL was kind enough to meet up with my parents several weeks before the wedding. You see, for me, bab pinang meminang ni tak ada. MrNordin pegi sendiri jumpa my parents in Ipoh, along with his three children, to ask for my hands in marriage. Parents dia tak masuk campur langsung. Ya lah... he had been married before and he knew what to do. So buat sendiri je lah. Infact, they didn't know about me until the very last minute, altho' I think they kinda suspect it already somewhere along the 3-year courtship (they always saw a green car parked outside their son's house ~ so apa kisah? Hee.. hee...)
Once we decided that we wanted to get married, MrNordin had invited both my parents to meet up with his family at his house as a matter of introduction. My FIL, both my BILs and everyone in my family came, except for my MIL, who locked herself up in her room and refused to come out. My FIL had to apologize saying that his wife was not feeling well that night, but all of us knew the real reason why she didn't come. She didn't like me. She refused to accept that his son was getting married to someone else after the wife passing. And I was not "her choice".
Luckily, I was forwarned about this. And mine was not an exceptional case. In fact, when MrNordin first got engaged to MrsNordin #1, his parents didn't even turn up ! Why? They didn't like MrsNordin # 1 either (at first). So, after knowing about how weird his parents were, I pun buat tak kisah saja lah. Mak dia suka ke tak suka, I don't care. I wasn't marrying her, right? That's what MrNordin kept on telling me, and because of that, I pun sanggup lah terima segala cabaran yang bakal mendatang....
But I kesian my parents lah. First time jumpa future besan, the lady besan tak ada. Nampak sangat macam dia tak suka sangat kat kita ni. But I'm glad my parents were very understanding about it as MrNordin had explained to them many times before that first meeting. Also, I think they trusted him with me, so they played along with the game.
So on the nikah day itself, I was supposed to meet my MIL for the first time. Imagine my fear, knowing that this woman didn't like me and could potentially ruin the most important day of my life. I was thinking, what if she didn't turn up? What if she said nasty words to me? Tapi I nekad je lah... Baju nikah semua dah pakai, make up were all done. Tak kan tak pegi pulak, ya tak?
The nikah was held at Masjid Keramat. Everyone seemed so tense that day, I didn't know why. Maybe it was me, maybe it was the circumstances... I don't know. My family, aunties, uncles, cousins were all there. Some friends were there too, including a whole bunch of other people whom I’ve never met before. I guess, those must be from MrNordin' s side of the family. But I wasn’t worried about them; I was more worried about meeting my MIL.
That’s why on the nikah day, I was crying a lot. I was so nervous. I kept on holding on to my dear friends' hands ~ Intan & Dada ~ who kept vigil next to me throughout the ceremony. I kept on asking myself, what have I got myself into? Can I do this? Are you sure about this? I saw MrNordin's 3 small children sitting quietly beside their father in the masjid, lagilah I rasa sedih!!
Then, my MIL arrived. I heard someone said to me, "Yati, ini lah mak Din.." Oh my God! She was walking up the stairs when I first saw her and she had that serious look on her face, unsmiling. Punyalah I gerun masa tu! I extended my hands to salam her, but dia salam sikit je and walked straight into the masjid with her entourage. She didn't even look at me! Wouldn't you feel hurt? I was! Orang lain semua nampak serba-salah, but I put up a brave front and told myself, "Tak apa... sabar...!" Seeing MrNordin in his white baju melayu sitting down infront of the kadi waiting for the akad, reminded me of the very reason why I was there. So, that small incident with his mother did not deter me from marrying this man I loved.
The ceremony went well. After the nikah, doa selamat and sarung cincin, I had to go around and salam people. First, I salam my mother (I cried), then my father (I cried again). Then, I was led towards my MIL, who was sitting next to MrNordin's aunty, head down. Gosh... how I dread this part! I walked slowly towards her, very nervous. Everyone was watching. I extended my hands towards her. I was afraid she wouldn't take it but she did. So, I salam her and kissed her hands. No word was spoken, tho'. Airmata dah berguguran ni... takut plus sedih!
I was about to go, when suddenly she pulled me into her arms. She gave me a hug and kissed me on both my cheeks, and she cried!! Oh my... that was so unexpected! I was so touched! I didn't expect her to do that coz I knew she didn't agree to the marriage for whatever reasons she had. I didn't know what to do but I felt so relieved that she had finally softened up. I held here there for a while and cried my eyes out. Upon seeing this, everybody else also started to cry. I saw all the ladies merah2 mata menangis. Like, finally the ice queen had melted and everyone could be happy now. I was so relieved!
So drama, huh? Hee.. hee... That was how I first met my MIL.
My MIL is a nice lady, very much like my mother, but she can be quite difficult sometimes. I don't blame her, she has had a bitter experience in life. My FIL married a second one when she was pregnant with my youngest BIL, and she only knew about it years after that. She was very bitter about this, and still is now, after more than 30 years. They still fight about it, the second wife is still very much in the picture, and I don't think they'll ever make peace with each other.
The main reason why she was against MrNordin marrying me was because I am from Ipoh (the second wife is from Ipoh as well). I was like a bad 'chi' to her as it reminded her of her past. Not everyone from Ipoh is a husband stealer, right? That was just her perception. Overtime, I've proven to her that I'm not actually what she thought I was. My intention when I married MrNordin was to jaga anak2 dia and for him to take care of me in return. I think I've done well in the children's department and we are happy as a family. So everyone else is secondary.
Whenever I see my MIL, I just be nice to her. I don't go overboard in trying to please her. Dulu, masa mula2 dulu ada lah jugak I tried to ambik hati dia. Beli kain lah, tudung lah, baju lah... Tapi semua yang I bagi, semua dia tak suka and were returned. Ahh... malas lah I nak bagi dia benda lagi lepas tu! So now when she complained that I never give her anything, I buat tak tau je. Kalau pegi mana2, we'll buy something for her, itu pun kalau ada terjumpa. Kalau tak, we don't. Kadang2, my husband sendiri kata tak payah beli untuk mak dia.
With this kind of MIL, one has to be extra patient. Cannot be over-sensitive; kalau tidak sure gaduh punya. I, for one, tak suka gaduh. Kalau my MIL call me and scream at me on the phone (oh yes, she's done that before), I just passed the phone to MrNordin. "B, you talk to your mother." Malas nak layan, buat sakit hati je. Most of the time, MrNordin is very supportive. I'm glad for that. Kalau tak, dah lama I angkat kaki ! Hee.. hee...
For those of you who have nice MIL, wonderful! Some MILs I know are very nice towards their DILs. For those who don't, just bear with them and try to be nice. That's all you need to do. Jangan fikir banyak2 sangat, nanti merana badan.
(Ignore the date on the photo, it's wrong. The actual date is 17/01/2004)