There was always a big family gathering for the holidays while I was growing up. The fact that most of the family didn’t exactly like each other (long story) made said holidays interesting. To say the least.
I remember escaping to my room a lot, not necessarily because I wasn’t having fun, but because, at fourteen, that’s what teenagers do. Especially teenagers who experience anxiety around large groups of people they’re not familiar with. (I still don’t like large groups of people I’m not familiar with.) And my bedroom was amazing. Seriously. I wish I had a picture to show you.
But I digress. Loud family gatherings were the norm for us. Then I turned eighteen. Alcoholism, my parent’s divorce, a lot of anger and not talking to my parents for two years, and those family holidays kind of fell to the wayside.
I also moved up north with my then boyfriend and since we both worked in the hospitality industry, it wasn’t easy to get away for the holidays. We stayed home for most of them and I tried to cook. (“Try” being the operative word. Thankfully, I’ve gotten much better with practice. My stuffing? Really good.)
Eventually, I started talking to my parents again. Jon and I moved back to the area, and, in the last two years, we were each given the opportunity to work normal people hours.
Suddenly we had holidays off. We were able to make plans. I didn’t have to worry that I might be scheduled to work on Christmas morning and how would I survive if I didn’t get to wake up and open presents and start eating chocolate at seven in the morning?! (Yes, I realize Christmas is more important than presents and chocolate.)
Our first order of business was Thanksgiving in Utah, where my older sister and her family had begun hosting Thanksgiving dinner years earlier. Last year was the first that the Husband and I were able to attend.
And let me just say this wasn’t like the family holidays from my childhood. This was fun. Everyone got along and drank and ate to their heart’s content. We played games and fought over scrabble. It was awesome.
Needless to say, I’ve been looking forward to going back since we drove away last year. And, in the past few days, my excitement has grown and grown and grown. I’m likely to burst by the time Wednesday rolls around.
But, of course, last night, the other shoe dropped. Turns out that my father-in-law and his brother have planned a last minute party for their mother’s (Jon’s Grandmother’s) 85th birthday. In Minnesota. For the DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING.
I said, “You can’t be serious.” Oh, but they were, Internet, and now I don’t know who to be mad at, which may be the most frustrating part. Maybe Jon? For considering going. Or his Dad for planning this at the last possible moment after everyone has already made plans. Or how about his Grandmother for turning eight-five on the wrong day? I know! It’s all completely unreasonable. I get that.
Jon said, “I’ll fly out of Las Vegas Friday morning, so at least I’ll be there for Thanksgiving.”
But it’s not the same. It’s not about Thanksgiving, it’s about the two of us spending time with my family, celebrating, being together. It’s a three-day event. Eating, eating, eating on Thursday, shopping and more eating on Friday, spending as much time together (eating) as we can on Saturday before we drive back home that night.
The thought of being there on my own while he flies off to Minnesota makes me want to cry. I don’t want to be the “supportive wife” here. I want to stomp my foot and demand that he do as I say. It’s too last minute. We can’t afford it. WE ALREADY HAVE PLANS.
But I’ve encouraged him to go. Because I don’t want him to resent me. And now I’m depressed.
Besides, this means I’ll have to partner with my Grandmother for charades and I don’t have nearly enough wine.