Marriage is one big crap shoot isn’t it? I mean everybody starts with the best intentions. At least I assume so. Maybe there are people who stand at the altar after paying a trillion dollars for a puffy white dress, 2 tons of baby’s breath, a rubbery chicken dinner and sketchy DJ who has multiple versions of the Macarena and know that it’s a non-starter. I doubt it. I think we all go into battle expecting to win, ignoring the rising divorce rate and positive that we’ll be part of the 45 percent who will live satisfactorily ever after.

Of course most of us don’t just marry one person though do we? There’s a big mess of baggage that becomes yours the minute the words “I do” leave your mouth: the in-laws. Back when I was paid to listen, I heard more in-law horror stories than I can count. Stuff that would make the most devoted of lovers call the whole thing off. You can’t do much about where you come from but you can be choosy about where you end up. If you ask me, not enough people consider this before their nuptials.

Well, I am doubly blessed matrimonial-wise. I snagged a great significant other and a great set of in-laws, or in-loves as I like to call them. They are smart and supportive, the whole lot of them, and they have great taste in books (and hats).

These are Neil’s parents (who will celebrate 50 years of murder-free marriage this October), responsible for raising three fine children, including Andrea, my lovely sister-in-law pictured here. Even my peripheral in-loves like Andrea’s husband Kris and Scott’s wife, also named Kris (the convenience I tell you!) are blessings. Boy Kris took these pictures as he should. He’s a screenwiter and director and he’s even made an awesome feature film called At Home By Myself With You, check it out some time.

Here’s my dog-in-law Hooper, who gives the book a five-lick rating:

And my sweet, happy child-in-law, my only nephew, Haythem. We’re not sure if he likes the book, mostly we’re just happy he hasn’t eaten it yet.

I’m pretty sure I would’ve married Neil even if he’d been born into a family of pirates and jezebels. But I have to admit it just makes things easier. The luck of this in-law draw never ceases to amaze me. I suppose the real luck was that Neil’s family allowed me in. Or maybe it’s that Neil didn’t run from the house screaming the first time he met the lunatics I call my family. Oh as if. We would’ve just handcuffed him to the radiator in the basement like everyone else who’s ever tried to get away.

So, how about your in-laws, luck or lunacy?