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Family Feud: If It Bends...

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Oh, Ruth and Sunda. A lawsuit? Really?

Mrs. Zafrin, Sunda Croonquist is your son's wife and the mother of your grandchildren. She is a comedian in a long, long line of comedians who have poked fun in a hyperbolic manner at their mothers-in-law. I'm fairly certain those of Henny Youngman, Rodney Dangerfield, and Don Rickles were not sitting in Borscht Belt booths flanked by legal counsel. And I suspect Kathy Griffin's own mother understands that her daughter's mom-based material is a combination of love and a kernel of truth on steroids.

Ms. Croonquist, if this is a way to garner publicity, it is a round-about display of family unity. But while you're making appearances on morning television (funny stuff on "Morning Meeting" with Dylan Ratigan), you and your secretly well-intentioned mother-in-law are clogging up our overloaded judicial system.

If this is a real family conflict that has gone way too far and has cut far too deep, it wouldn't be the first. All any of us need do is look at our own families and their strange and uniquely complex psychological ecosystems to get that. Or we could page through the first few books of the Bible, where there's nary a Brady, a Huxtable, or a Walton to be found.

That said, might you consider settling this whole thing in the privacy of your Brooklyn and/or New Jersey living rooms over coffee and some nice cake? Surely for your own sake, but also to teach us all a valuable and timely lesson; namely, that not all interpersonal dramas need be played out on the public stage in order for them to be "real" and certainly not for them to be resolved. You could be the ones to remind us that if an emotionally wounded mother-in-law stews in Midwood and the press is not there to cover it, she doth still stew.

Whatever the case may be, I hope you all come through this in one piece. As Lester (Alan Alda) says in Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors": If it bends, it's funny. If it breaks, it's not.