It has been a surprise to me, to embrace my husband’s family — that sometimes-forced relationship with people you might not love as much as your partner. And goodness knows they may feel ambivalent about you, too. I thought the relationship would be OK, kind of like an anthropological study, but I never imagined that I would actually like my extended family, and look to my father-in-law for counsel or comfort.
My father-in-law, Arthur, was from Brooklyn. He was a fussy eater and a straight shooter. It took developing some thicker skin — and when directed at me, involved making a lot of pie dough.