My mother was horrified when she caught my in-laws kissing on my front lawn

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

My mother doesn't believe in public displays of affection, but my in-laws did.

Two years into my five-year marriage, my husband and I bought a house. It was a nice two-floor, four-bedroom, one-bathroom house with a detached two-car garage, and an unruly lawn.

The grass and hedges on our new property looked badly overgrown, and my mother-in-law kindly offered to help tame the wilderness with the help of her second husband.

One day, while my husband and I were both at work, my mother-in-law and her spouse came to our house with a truck filled with lawn maintenance equipment and set about chopping and mowing their way through our overgrown yard.

My husband and I greatly appreciated their help. One person who didn't appreciate what they brought to my yard was my mother.

When my mother stopped by the house shortly before I arrived home from work, she found two middle-aged adults kissing on my front lawn. While my mother watched, they moved to the hedges at the side of the house and then the backyard. Each time my mother-in-law and her spouse passed each other, hedge clippers in hand, they exchanged a kiss.

They mowed the lawn, and they kissed. They pulled weeds, and they kissed. They carted trash from the yard to the sidewalk, and they kissed.

My mother felt horrified. She and my father have never been openly affectionate, and the sight of two fully grown adults kissing in my front yard like two high school sweethearts canoodling in the Burger King takeout line made her ill.

I think she was overreacting.

There's nothing wrong with two committed partners sharing an affectionate moment in public. I think it's sweet.

My mother's argument was that two married adults who have been living together for years didn't "need" to kiss while mowing the lawn.

I was just happy they were mowing my lawn. It made no difference to me how many times they stopped to kiss before they finished. The important thing was that they did finish, and I didn't even have to lift a finger or a hedge clipper myself.

Who could ask for anything more?

My mother felt that my mother-in-law and her smitten second husband could have kissed at home before they left the house, and they could kiss again once they returned. Kissing in between was, in her words, "completely unnecessary."

Furthermore, my mother said a pair of forty-something twice-married grownups should have "matured out of that phase a long time ago." Once again, I must respectfully disagree. Loving your partner so much that you can't resist squeezing in a moment of affection whenever you can is a relationship goal.

In the end, my mother-in-law and her husband did a great job cleaning up my yard. In the three years I lived in that house with my husband, it never looked that good again. I would recommend their services to anyone--kissing not included.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

Massachusetts State

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