Thursday, November 23, 2006
In a hotel hallway somewhere in New Jersey:
Family of four knocks on a door, to report that all are dressed and ready to head to Aunt D's for Thanksgiving dinner.

Door opens to reveal mother-in-law wearing no pants.

Said mother-in-law says, "Oh, okay, I was getting dressed slowly because I didn't know how long you would take. I'll be ready soon. Willem, can you come in here for a minute? I have something I need to talk to you about. It's private. Family business. Kate can wait with the kids, this is not for her."

Mother-in-law enters room. Wife gathers children, heads down to car, and bursts into tears because apparently there is a limit to just how much rudeness and exclusionary attitude she can take.

Husband later reports that at one point he explained to the mother-in-law, "Kate and I are a team. We tell each other everything. She already knows about this family business. We don't keep secrets from each other."

Mother-in-law replies, "Oh. Um. Well. H and I didn't have a relationship like that."

Bingo, sweetheart. Stop talking.

Last, overheard at a dining room table shortly after Thanksgiving dinner is served:

KATE: Jacob, for the fourth time, please sit facing the table. Just sit carefully. You're going to fall out of your chair.


KATE: [Stands up, gets the Mom Voice on] Jacob. You have three seconds to face the table, and then we're going to leave to have a talk.

AUNT D: Oh, leave him be, he's fine. He's just two.

KATE: [Takes Mom Voices off, tries Perky Family Voice] I've got it, thanks. He knows how to sit nicely.


KATE: Okay, bud, let's take a walk.

AUNT D: Oh, but he's only two, he's fine, just let him --

KATE: [Mom Voice back on] I've. Got. It. Thanks.

Removes child from table, has a brief, to-the-point, and might I add non-threatening chat with said two-year-old, who agrees that eating dinner sounds like a better idea than pouting somewhere, and then they both return to the table where they complete a lovely, delicious, polite and well-behaved meal. And no one gloats.

Visibly, anyway.