There was a letter to Dear Abby tonight about a woman who had taken a vacation with her father-in-law. All kinds of old biddies, gossips, and busybodies were apparently blabbing all over about the impropriety of such a thing. “Well! I never!” You know what it was like when we were kids. Even though her *husband* and *mother-in-law* were perfectly happy with it. I dunno.

What is wrong with two in-laws taking a vacation together with nothing sleazy going on? Maybe they share some interests or have compatible traveling personalities. I am not sure that I could ever have traveled with my father-in-law without us strangling each other or whatever. Don’t get me wrong. I *loved* my father-in-law. I hit it off with him almost right away. When I was young and I couldn’t get home very often to see my own parents, I felt a dad-like spirit in him. When he was around, I could take a tiny little break from being a young woman living alone and trying to make a living with a serial killer in my town (yes there was one then, he’s dead now). I felt safe when I was around the Gumper. But The Gumper and I most certainly didn’t agree on everything and I doubt that we’d have had a relaxing time vacationing together. For one thing, he (legitimately) needed to stop and stretch his legs frequently. When I’m trying to get somewhere, everybody better be wearing some pretty darn thick underwear. Rest area? Oh, we just passed that. 47 miles to the next one.

But if we *had* been compatible traveling companions and there had been an opportunity to vacation together, why not? The woman who wrote in didn’t say what her age was but last fall, the GG (aka my husband of 26 years) collaborated on a trip around Lake Superior with his mother-in-law (The Commander, aka my mother) and her sister-in-law (Radical Betty, my dad’s sister). The GG had more vacation time than he could use and, as octogenarians, the others were just a *leetle* bit intimidated by driving that distance alone. It seemed like a chauffeur was in order. The GG drove the Commander’s car, the Comm and Radical Betty didn’t have to worry about driving. They had a great time. I was home alone. Everybody was happy. I certainly was not worried about any improper behavior. At least not anything other than the usual stuff that happens on Fin Family Moominbeach. You know, things like gin margaritas and ongoing arguments about the identity of various moles and hedgehogs.

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