Daily Archives: November 21, 2007

The Outlaws

J here with a few thoughts before we head out to T’s folks for a few days to “celebrate” Thanksgiving.  I’m going to probably sound like an old curmudgeon, but perhaps I am guilty of this just a wee bit.  First, you should know that Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday.  I don’t come from a very big family myself, and we never made a big to-do about any of the holidays; we were the least traditional family I’ve ever known.  Yeah, we ate turkey and what-not, but it was just a meal.

To me, Thanksgiving is a glutton’s holiday.  Eat lots of food, feel bloated, fall asleep.  That’s it.  That’s Thanksgiving to me in a nutshell.  So, for the almost ten years T and I have been together, I’ve begrudgingly loaded up the car and made the seven hour trip to endure this gluttony.  Well, except for last year.  Last year I won a hard-fought battle to stay in town, claiming “too much work,” which by the way is always true, to make the trip.  It was great.  I think we ended up at a buffet somewhere and didn’t have to wash a single dish.

Now, none of this is to say I don’t like T’s folks, who I lovingly call the “outlaws,” since I’m not legally connected to them.  I love them, and I look forward to all sorts of other family activities together, and these became even more meaningful after my parents died years ago.  I love to go camping, wine tasting,etc. but large events tend to stress T’s mom out big time.  The more people that come, the more stressed out she gets wanting everything to be perfect and shouldering all of the responsibilities for these holidays herself.  Anyway, somewhere along the way I decided that if we were going to survive the holidays with her, we ought to pitch in and help to alleviate some of the stress.  This worked a couple of times, and she was very grateful for the extra hands in the kitchen, but then, and I’m not sure how or when, but it occurred to her mom that with extra help, she could make the events even bigger and more complicated.  So now, two extra bodies in the kitchen only mean that three people are stressed out and exhausted by the time it’s all said and done.  My idea to help turned T and I into kitchen slaves, which seems patently unfair considering that no one else in the family has to travel seven hours just to be there.  Oh well.  Oldest daughter syndrome, I guess.

So that’s the back story.  Now, for those of you who read our password protected post, you know there’s a special added element to the stress this week.  We’ve got to somehow be helpful in the kitchen, keeping mom’s stress to a minimum and somehow deal with “the news”, which I’ve been desperately trying to change my attitude about.  AAAACKKK!

 Will let you all know how it goes.  One thing I can tell you before it all starts is that I am incredibly grateful to have these people as my Outlaws, stress and all.  These people embraced me and accepted me almost from the get-go.  They love me and never treat me as an outsider.  They truly are “our” family, not just T’s family, and so I experience all the joys and woes of being a member of this family, including holiday stress.  I’ll take it!

Ciao ladies, and have  a relaxing T-day.  I know I won’t, but at least I’ll be with my Outlaws.



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