thanks for nothing

every year thanksgiving brings with it the annual pilgrimage to visit the in-laws. which is both good and bad.

what’s really good is that my in-laws live about 3 hours away and they are getting old and they do not like to drive, so they do not drop in unexpectedly…ever. the bad news is that my mother-in-law is the quintessential snobby jewish new yorker with an unparalleled love for Barney’s, the legendary madison avenue mecca of luxury fashion. she can drink screwdrivers all day long without ever getting a buzz, and has mastered the art of the guilt trip. here’s a typical conversation:

me: so what are you guys planning for thanksgiving?
MIL: well, i don’t know. myron’s (yes, it’s really myron) eyesight is getting really bad and his circulation’s not so good so we will probably just stay home this year.
me: well, what if we drove up to see you?
MIL: oh dear, that’s really sweet. but you don’t have to.
me: well, we’d like to see you and the kids have been looking forward to it.
MIL: oh well, dear, if you insist. no pressure.

a red flag should have gone up when i first got engaged. the first words out of this woman’s mouth were, “so, when are you going to have grandchildren for us? no pressure.” apparently there was some pressure because i popped out the princess a mere 15 months after tying the knot, and since i’m not jewish by birth, i opted for a crash course in conversion, including the ritual mikvah (totally naked at about 8 months along) complete with attending rabbi and temple elder (trust me, it’s completely as bad as it sounds), just squeaking in under the wire so princess could avoid this whole nasty matrilineal descent issue.

i have been doing things without any pressure for my in-laws almost since day one.  it’s a game we play. i ask. they decline. i beg. they *finally* cave. it makes her happy. they love me. my husband owes me big time.

anyway, the saving grace is that my sister, dr. laura, lives about 20 minutes from my in-laws. god bless her. she actually sees them more than i do. and this year dr. laura volunteered to have turkey day at her house. our whole family plus the inlaws.

so we wake up early thanksgiving day and make the drive. dr. laura had most of the dinner catered, because well, she’s a doctor and she can afford to do that. everyone was supposed to make something homemade to bring. i made creamed spinach, which i lovingly scraped from the original HEB plastic container into a pyrex baking dish and presented as my very own.  

anyway, so the dinner was awesome. dr. laura outdid herself. 

all: who made the sweet potatoes?
dr. laura: i did.
all: who made the green bean casserole?
dr. laura: i did.
all: who made the stuffing?
dr. laura: i did.
all: who made the creamed spinach?
dr. laura: i did.

hell, i didn’t care. she can have the credit for that one too. i was just glad that she had the good sense to make sure there was a plenty o’ wine. of which i was drinking copious amounts to numb myself. as i laid on the couch with a nice buzz, food coma settling in,  i started wondering if there was really anything i was truly thankful for. and after a little thought, i decided there was.

  • i’m thankful that it’s no longer 100 degrees everyday.  now it’s only about 80 degrees.
  • i’m thankful that USA network will start showing “elf” in heavy rotation.
  • i’m thankful that me, sessie, and dr. laura have gotten over our petty childhood disagreements and can enjoy each other’s company as adults.
  • i’m thankful that HEB makes creamed spinach and that everyone actually said it was the best side dish there. (haha!)
  • i am thankful for great friends who can always make me laugh.
  • i’m thankful for my family, my health, my beautiful children.
  • i’m thankful we decided to stay in a hotel and that in a few hours we could gracefully make our exit (sometimes my husband is a lot smarter than he looks – another thing to be thankful for).

but mostly, i’m really glad that thanksgiving only comes once a year and that it’s over.

happy thanksgiving to everyone!!!

2 thoughts on “thanks for nothing

  1. Erin

    You’re mother-in-law sounds like a nightmare. Let’s hope she isn’t internet savvy … although if she can tolerate that level of vodka consumption I doubt she has time for things like blogs.

    Anyway, I’ve been watching and TiVoing crap movies on ABCFamily for two days straight now. And I know its sick but I fully intend to keep watching it until the bitter end because who doesn’t love spending the holidays with Shannon Doherty, John Boy, and William Shatner.


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