DEAR ABBY: I'd like to comment on the letter from the couple who didn't want to honeymoon with their in-laws on a cruise. My husband and I were married in 1958. I lived in Louisiana. His parents were from Pennsylvania and came to our wedding. We were delighted to have them come that distance to attend. Their other son, Mike, was stationed in Biloxi, Miss., so a couple of days after the wedding my husband, his parents and I went to visit Mike in Biloxi. En route, we stopped in New Orleans and had the time of our lives. My in-laws paid all the expenses, as we were living on a shoestring. We had many laughs later about my in-laws coming along on our honeymoon.
My husband and I have since taken many trips. We've been to Europe three times, to Canada, and have traveled all over the United States. I dare say NONE of these trips was more fun than the honeymoon trip with my husband's mom and dad. By the way, Dad died in 1987. My mother-in-law died April 6. I say: Let your in-laws go with you. You won't regret it. -- MRS. BOB (LAURA) LAUER, POWELL, TENN.
DEAR LAURA: Your letter is a standout, particularly from the batch of mail "Honeymooning With the In-Laws" generated. Most contained dire warnings that the young woman should "run for the hills" while she still could -- or that the couple should stand together and lay down the law to his mother. Read on for the reaction of a reader who simply empathized:
DEAR ABBY: I feel for that bride. She has a mother-in-law who wants to share EVERY DETAIL of their life -- every special moment. That "mature woman" had better get a life of her own.
My mother-in-law didn't go on our honeymoon with us, but she finished unwrapping our wedding gifts "for us" and left them nicely displayed. She picked up our wedding album from the photographer and saw the pictures before we did. She wanted to tell us when to have our family (when I had morning sickness, she said, "Don't you wish you had waited?"). My in-laws also went on most vacations with us.
I hope that young woman loves her fiance a great deal, so their marriage lasts, as ours has. Good luck, honey, you have my sympathy. Sign me ... BEEN THERE
DEAR BEEN THERE: You deserve kudos for your ability to tolerate the frailties of others. I hope your mother-in-law realizes what a prize her son snagged when he married you. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: When our son told us he was going to get married in Rome, my wife and I discussed our options. We informed Steve that we would not just fly to Italy for the wedding; we would vacation in Sicily afterward. A few days later, Steve phoned to ask if he and his bride could go with us. Consequently, the bride, the groom and nine of their friends joined us.
The bride selected "bed and breakfast" accommodations and places to visit. We stayed in a castle at the foot of Mount Etna and at homes on farms. We saw all the highlights of Sicily. It was the best honeymoon I have ever been on, and gave my wife and me a chance to know and love our daughter-in-law even more. Honeymooning with the in-laws can be a great happening. -- RONALD L. SECORD, GLENDALE, ARIZ.
DEAR RONALD: Thank you for a thought-provoking letter. A honeymoon with the in-laws is like skinny-dipping. If all parties are willing, it can be terrific. If one party has reservations about it, it probably won't be much fun.