NR Digital

Jared and Other Sons-In-Law

by Jay Nordlinger

Angles on a relationship

Quite possibly, the most ticklish relationship in human history is that between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. Naomi and Ruth, from the Bible, are the ideal, not the norm. But the relationship between father-in-law and son-in-law can be ticklish, too. Moses enjoyed a warm, mutually supportive relationship with his father-in-law, Jethro (also called Reuel, confusingly). Other people have a less easy time.

There’s a story about Churchill—there’s always a story about Churchill. He didn’t like his son-in-law Vic Oliver, an entertainer, who was married to the Churchills’ daughter Sarah. One day, Oliver tried to make conversation with his father-in-law. “Which figure in the war do you admire most?” he asked. Churchill said, “Mussolini.” Astonished, Oliver asked, “Why?” Churchill said, “Because he had the courage to have his son-in-law shot.”

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