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An elderly couple dining together | Source: Amomama
An elderly couple dining together | Source: Amomama

My Future In-Laws Pretended Not to Know Me during Their Lunch — a Week Later, I Taught Them a Proper Lesson

Byron Loker
Jul 04, 2024
08:35 A.M.

I thought I had the perfect fiancé, but his parents were a different story. When they snubbed me in public, I decided to teach them a lesson at our wedding rehearsal dinner. Little did I know how this risky plan would change everything.

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I'd been engaged to Nathan for a year, and everything was perfect — except for one tiny, festering cloud: his family. From the moment I met them, they'd been frosty. Side-eye glances, the whole passive-aggressive nine yards. But they never gave me a reason in person.

An elderly man casting a cold look | Source: Pexels

An elderly man casting a cold look | Source: Pexels

I'm Cora, by the way. A biologist in my early 30s. I live a pretty modest life, despite... well, we'll get to that later.

Last week, I was out shopping for wedding stuff when I spotted Nathan's parents, Evelyn and Robert, at this fancy restaurant. They were with some young woman I didn't know.

I waved at them, trying to be friendly. But when they saw me, they both made these wry faces and pretended not to recognize me. It was the last straw.

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A woman waves in passing | Source: Pexels

A woman waves in passing | Source: Pexels

I told my best friend, Vanessa, later that day. We were having coffee at my place.

"They just... ignored you?" Vanessa's eyes widened. "That's so rude!"

I nodded, stirring my coffee absently. "I don't get it. What did I ever do to them?"

Vanessa leaned forward. "Maybe they think you're not good enough for their precious son."

"But why?" I frowned. "I mean, I know I'm not flashy, but I'm successful in my field."

A woman frowning in confusion | Source: Midjourney

A woman frowning in confusion | Source: Midjourney

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"They probably don't know that," Vanessa pointed out. "Have you ever told them about your work?"

I shook my head. "They never seemed interested. And honestly, I wanted them to like me for me, not for my job or... you know."

Vanessa nodded. She knew about my family's company. "So what are you going to do?"

A slow smile spread across my face. "I have an idea. The rehearsal dinner's next week..."

"Oh no," Vanessa laughed. "What are you planning?"

"Let's just say they're in for a surprise."

A woman smiles slyly, hinting at a surprise plan | Source: Pexels

A woman smiles slyly, hinting at a surprise plan | Source: Pexels

Vanessa raised an eyebrow. "Cora, are you sure about this? What if it backfires?"

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I sighed. "I know it's risky, but I'm tired of being treated like I'm not good enough. They need to see me for who I am."

"And who are you, exactly?" Vanessa asked, a twinkle in her eye.

I laughed. "A woman who's about to teach her future in-laws a lesson in humility."

The week flew by, and soon it was time for the rehearsal dinner. I hadn't told Nathan about my plan — I didn't want to strain his relationship with his parents.

As we entered the restaurant, I saw Evelyn and Robert already there. They pointedly avoided looking at me.

A woman walking towards a restaurant door | Source: Midjourney

A woman walking towards a restaurant door | Source: Midjourney

"Cora!" I heard a familiar voice. I turned to see my parents, William and Margaret, walking towards us.

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"Mom, Dad!" I hugged them both. "I'm so glad you could make it."

I noticed Evelyn and Robert staring at us, their mouths slightly open. I suppressed a smirk.

Nathan greeted my parents warmly. "Dr. and Dr. T —, it's great to see you again."

A man extending his hand in greeting | Source: Pexels

A man extending his hand in greeting | Source: Pexels

"Please, Nathan," my dad said, clapping him on the shoulder. "We've told you, it's William and Margaret."

I could practically see the gears turning in Evelyn and Robert's heads. They started whispering to each other, throwing glances our way.

We all approached them at their table, and Evelyn plastered on a fake smile. "Hello, I don't believe we've met. I'm Evelyn, Nathan's mother, and this is my husband, Robert."

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I looked at them blankly. "I'm sorry, do I know you?"

Their faces fell. Robert stuttered, "But... we're Nathan's parents. Surely you remember us?"

An elderly couple at a restaurant table | Source: Pexels

An elderly couple at a restaurant table | Source: Pexels

I maintained my confused expression. "Nathan, honey, have we met your parents before?"

Nathan looked bewildered. "Cora, what are you talking about? Of course, you've met them."

Evelyn's face was turning red. "Cora, we're so sorry. We didn't realize..."

I cut her off with a smirk. "Of course, I'm kidding. I know you like such jokes, don't you?"

The silence that followed was deafening. Nathan looked between us, confused. "What's going on here?"

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A man in a restaurant looking down | Source: Pexels

A man in a restaurant looking down | Source: Pexels

I took a deep breath. "Your parents pretended not to know me at a restaurant last week. I thought I'd return the favor."

Nathan's eyes widened. "Mom, Dad, is this true?"

Robert had the grace to look ashamed. "We... we didn't mean any harm."

"Really?" I raised an eyebrow. "Because it felt pretty harmful to me."

Evelyn stepped forward. "Cora, we were unfair to you. Please forgive us."

I looked at them calmly. "So now I'm worth your son after you've met my parents?"

A woman standing in a crowded restaurant | Source: Midjourney

A woman standing in a crowded restaurant | Source: Midjourney

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They flinched at my words. Nathan put a hand on my arm. "Cora, what do you mean?"

I turned to him. "They've been cold to me from the start, Nathan. I think they assumed I wasn't good enough for you because I live modestly."

Understanding dawned on his face. He turned to his parents. "Is that true?"

Evelyn wrung her hands. "We were wrong, Cora. We judged you without knowing the whole story."

"We are truly sorry," Robert added. "We hope you can forgive us."

An elderly man in a restaurant, looking remorseful | Source: Midjourney

An elderly man in a restaurant, looking remorseful | Source: Midjourney

I took a deep breath. "I appreciate your apologies, but remember, my worth isn't defined by my family or my profession. It's a shame you had to find out this way."

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They nodded, still looking uncomfortable. Nathan squeezed my hand. "I had no idea, Cora. I'm so sorry."

I squeezed back. "It's not your fault."

My mom cleared her throat. "Perhaps we should all sit down and start over?"

We moved to our table. As we sat, Nathan leaned over to me. "So, are you going to tell them about your company?"

A man and woman chatting in a restaurant | Source: Midjourney

A man and woman chatting in a restaurant | Source: Midjourney

I smiled. "Maybe. But first, I think we need to clear the air."

The dinner started awkwardly. Evelyn kept glancing at my parents, clearly curious but unsure how to ask about their background.

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"So, William," she finally ventured, "what field of medicine did you practice?"

My dad smiled. "Margaret and I are both surgeons. Cardiothoracic, to be specific."

Robert's eyebrows shot up. "That's... impressive. And you're retired now?"

A restaurant patron looking surprised | Source: Midjourney

A restaurant patron looking surprised | Source: Midjourney

"Semi-retired," my mom chimed in. "We still consult occasionally, but most of our time is spent on our company now."

I could see Evelyn and Robert exchange glances. Nathan, bless him, seemed oblivious to the undercurrents.

"Cora," Robert said, clearly trying to smooth things over, "Nathan's told us you're a biologist, but we'd love to hear more about your work."

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I took a sip of wine, considering how much to reveal. "Well, I actually own a laboratory. We do research in biotechnology."

Evelyn nearly choked on her water. "You... own a laboratory?"

A woman reacts with surprise at the table | Source: Midjourney

A woman reacts with surprise at the table | Source: Midjourney

I nodded. "It's part of my family's company. I'm a major shareholder."

Robert's eyes widened. "Your family's company?"

My dad chimed in. "Thompson Biotech. Margaret and I founded it after we stepped back from surgery."

The look on Evelyn and Robert's faces was priceless. Nathan squeezed my hand under the table, grinning.

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"I... we had no idea," Evelyn stammered.

"You never asked," I said simply.

An uncomfortable silence fell over the table. Nathan, ever the peacemaker, tried to lighten the mood.

A man at a restaurant table, smiling | Source: Midjourney

A man at a restaurant table, smiling | Source: Midjourney

"Hey, did I ever tell you guys about the time Cora and I went hiking and got lost?"

As Nathan launched into the story, I caught my mom's eye. She gave me a subtle nod of approval.

The rest of the evening passed more pleasantly. As we were leaving, Evelyn pulled me aside.

"Cora, I know we can't undo our behavior," she said, "but I hope you'll give us a chance to make it right."

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I looked at her for a moment. "I'm willing to try if you are."

She nodded earnestly. "We are. And... thank you for the wake-up call. We needed it."

A woman conversing outside a restaurant | Source: Midjourney

A woman conversing outside a restaurant | Source: Midjourney

As Nathan and I drove home, he turned to me. "That was quite a dinner."

I laughed. "It certainly was."

"You know," he said, "I fall in love with you more every day."

I smiled, feeling the tension of the past weeks finally lifting. "Me too, Nathan. Me too."

He was quiet for a moment, then said, "I'm sorry about my parents. I should have noticed how they were treating you."

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I shook my head. "It's not your fault. They were careful never to be overtly rude when you were around."

A woman smiling contentedly as she drives | Source: Midjourney

A woman smiling contentedly as she drives | Source: Midjourney

"Still," he insisted, "I should have been more aware. But I have to ask... why didn't you tell me about your family's company before?"

I sighed. "I wanted to be sure you loved me for me, not for my family's money or status. And then... I guess I was waiting for the right time."

Nathan nodded. "I understand. And for the record, I'd love you if you were flat broke. You know that, right?"

I laughed. "I know. It's one of the reasons I love you."

As we pulled up in front of our house, Nathan turned to me. "So, what now?"

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A vintage car parked in front of a house | Source: Pexels

A vintage car parked in front of a house | Source: Pexels

I thought for a moment. "Now, we move forward. Your parents know the truth, and they seem genuinely sorry. I'm willing to give them another chance."

Nathan smiled. "That's my girl. Always taking the high road."

I grinned back. "Well, someone has to keep this family in line."

As we walked into our house, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. The road ahead might not be easy, but with Nathan by my side, I was ready to face whatever came our way — in-laws and all.

A couple approaching a house at night | Source: Midjourney

A couple approaching a house at night | Source: Midjourney

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What would you have done? If you enjoyed this story, here's another one for you about a woman who took her fiancé to visit her parents, only for him to run out of the house in the middle of the night, screaming.

This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided “as is,” and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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