Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The Minefield of Turkey
We leave tomorrow. Wearing full body armor and drinking heavily, because it is my in-laws, such as they are, and the only way to get through these sorts of events is to come prepared.

This holiday will be particularly exciting in many ways. Of course, there's the big obvious one, whereby my mother-in-law becomes a chest-thumping hair-pulling puddle of emotion and proclaims how devastated she is during her "first holiday as a widow." Happily, we have already gone through the "first birthday as a widow," "first family gather as a widow," and "first bowel movement as a widow."

But then there's some other subtle things, such as the fact that Willem and I just minutes ago left from having our wills notarized. Aren't we grownups? For the most part, all she needs to know is that there ARE new wills (so Willem's old one from 1985 is invalid) and that she is Willem's backup health care proxy if I'm out of commission as well. But there's a tricky little part of that sentence: "needs" to know. Because we all know she's going to ask that big awkward question of, "So who gets the kids." And then we'll deal with the fallout of the fact that we've named my mother, and if she's not available we've named the geographically nearest person on the state's Sex Offender Registry, and if he's not available then maybe my mother-in-law can inherit guardianship. So that'll be fun.

And there are lots more... we were just discussing last night the ever-increasing list of sentences we can not speak at the Thanksgiving dinner table:
Cast of characters:
C=mother-in-law, H=now-deceased father-in-law, D=MIL's sister/hostess, P=D's husband, A=Willem's brother, D's son=D's adult son

  • "So, Willem's birth mother contacted him last month!"

  • "We named my mother as guardian of the kids if something should happen to both Willem and I. She's trustee and backup power of attorney, too."

  • "Do you think A is gay? Because I kind of do."

  • "We're thinking of moving to Prince Edward Island in a few years. Yes, really."

  • "Oh, by the way, C, Emily can't come spend a week with you next summer. I'm afraid that your constant negativity and defensiveness is becoming toxic."

  • "We had really great sex Tuesday night. And Sunday."

  • "So how about those Democrats? Man, did they ever kick ass in the elections!"

  • "C, tell everyone what you said about D's cooking abilities."

  • "Wow, things are really a lot less tense during the holidays now that H is dead."

  • "I'd like to raise a toast to the next president of the United States,
    Hillary Clinton."

  • "Hey D, can you ease up on the control freakishness for half a second? Being in a wheelchair does not make you queen of the world."

  • "P, tell us all the story of your infidelity to D years ago."

  • "What about you, D's son? Are you gay too?"

Good times, I tell you. Pass the peas.