It is officially the Holiday Season, and it just wouldn't be the holiday season if there wasn't a little drama to deal with. Every year I try so hard to avoid pissing anyone off, and every year I seem to overlook one tiny little key detail. This year's detail: Make sure I invite myself to Thanksgiving dinner.
As usual, dinner was being held at my sister's house and my MIL's house. Hubs and I planned to dine at my sister's and have dessert at MIL's. This has been our tradition since we got married (or maybe before) because my sister and her family are Jewish and always take off to the mountains the week of Christmas, thus TG is the only time we see them for the holidays. So my family gets priority on TG and his family gets priority for Christmas.
This week was extremely busy. Hubs had to work every day except Wednesday and Thursday; meanwhile I spent all of last weekend helping one of my besties and her family set up for a bridal shower at their house, Monday hanging out with another of my besties who'd just returned from a 3 week trip to Europe, and Tuesday making caramel apples with a friend all day and pies with the in-laws all night. Then Wednesday Hubs was really excited about going to the L.A. auto show so there went another day (I'm kidding, it was actually a really good time). My house has certainly borne the brunt of my absence and desperately needs cleaning!
It wasn't until Wednesday evening as we drove home from L.A. that I realized I'd never heard from my sister about what time TG dinner would be. Assuming she'd be busy prepping for the big day, I texted my older brother to see if he'd heard from her. The answer was yes. He told me he'd talked to her the day before and that it would start at 3:00 but that he and his family would be arriving around 4:00. Since I knew that my brother et al were indeed planning to eat dinner at our sister's and not with his wife's family, I (stupidly, it turns out) took this to mean that dinner would start at 4:00, with people starting to arrive at 3:00, and Hubs and I accordingly planned to arrive around 3:30.
Of course on TG day we were running late. And I was having a bad day as it was, a little irritated that my sister never bothered to call or email or text me the time for dinner. So when my brother's wife texted me at 3:35 asking if we were coming, and saying that everyone already ate dinner at 3:00, I lost it. I tried really hard not to cry because my eye makeup looked fabulous, and because I didn't want to overreact. But I couldn't help it. Yes, there was still plenty of food left, but the whole point of TG is to eat with your family, not to pick over the remnants after everyone else was done with dinner. And let's face it, I felt flat-out overlooked. Somehow the rest of my family made it there on time to eat (even my brother who said he was arriving at 4), and it wasn't until they were done eating that they looked around the table and thought, "Huh. I wonder if Kit's coming."
After going back and forth about it several times, Hubs and I decided not to go to my sister's, but to eat dinner with his family at 4:30 instead. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I knew if we went to my sister's I wouldn't be able to hide my feelings. (The reasons why I can't/don't share my feelings with my sister would require their own lengthy post.) So I called my mom to let her know we wanted to see her and my dad and that I'd call again after dinner to see where they were. She tried to talk me into coming to my sister's, but to no avail.
Dinner with my in-laws was great. It was the kind of scene I remembered from childhood holidays at my grandparents' house - siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins all wandering around, drinking and snacking and mingling. Mom and Dad putting the finishing touches on dinner (albeit quite a bit later than 4:30). Everyone in a great mood and having a great time. After participating for a while in all the bustle, Hubs and I even had a quiet moment on a couch in the corner, and just watched everyone mill around the house as we nostalgically reminisced about our youths. It was almost perfect.
By the time dinner was over and the party was winding down it was already after 8:00, so I called my mom, as promised, and found out she and my dad were still at my sister's house. Hubs and I headed over with me still a little tense over the situation. Not that I should have been worried because both my mom and my sister were fairly inebriated by that point and probably wouldn't have noticed even if I'd said or done something rude. We made our obligatory appearance and I held back when my sister's husband asked how we got the time wrong. What I wanted to say was, "Because your wife doesn't find it useful or necessary to actually invite guests to her holiday dinners." What I actually said was a very brieft, tepid version of the truth. Not once did my sister acknowledge that it could have been even partially her mistake for not communicating. She just said how great it was that both our family and my in-laws live in town so Hubs and I didn't have to miss out on TG dinner.
So now we move forth head-on into the holiday madness. Tonight is TG dinner #3 with the rest of Hubs's family, next will be a tree-decorating party, followed by a Christmas party, Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas morning brunch, and two Christmas day dinners. There's still plenty of time for more drama!