Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Turkey Day Drama

I wanted to post about this yesterday, but yesterday was a lonnnggg day.  I was up with the sun and headed to NJ via the bus (the bus and early pregnancy really don't mix.  I felt so ill.) so I could go with Dad to his chemo appointment.  Then we came home, I ate a little, and took a short nap.  I made my grocery list, and went to Fairway.  Came home, went out to eat dinner at the diner, came home and started my prep cooking.  I wasn't in bed till 11:30pm, and I was really freaking tired by the end of it.

No sooner did I hit "publish" on that post about Thanksgiving food and what I was bringing to my in-laws' than my phone rings.  It's Ammie, my mother-in-law.  She was calling to discuss the e-mail I had sent her with my list of what I was bringing.  Here's how the conversation roughly went:

Ammie: If you haven't bought the pumpkin pie yet, don't bother.  I told Auntie to buy one.
Me: But I don't buy it, I make it.
Ammie: Don't bother.  Auntie needs to bring something, so I told her to bring it.  She'll pick it up at the store.  Actually, C (my sister-in-law) offered to make the pumpkin pie, but I told her not to so Auntie would have something to bring.
Me: But C makes the apple pie.  I make the pumpkin pie.
Ammie: C is making the apple pie.  But she also offered to make the pumpkin pie.  Anyway, don't worry about it.
Me: But I have to make one for my sister's family anyway.  It's no trouble to double the recipe.
Ammie: If you really want to bring it, okay, but I don't know what Auntie will bring then.
Me: Um, okay.  I guess I won't bring it?
Ammie:  Great.

Next, she told me "not to bother" bringing the carrots.  Apparently C made a kale and carrot recipe last year that they really liked, so she's doing that again.  And "not to bother" bringing my potato ricer with me either because she could handle the potatoes just fine and would use her hand mixer.  In the end, she agreed that I could bring the brine for the turkey (which by the way, I just made, and it took me 3 minutes), and I could plan on making the turkey gravy because I guess everyone still feels that my turkey gravy is slightly better than the jarred kind.

And then.  And then!  Let me backtrack a little.  When Jeeves and I stay at my in-laws' house, and my BIL and SIL and the nephews are there too, they get the big bedroom and we get the small bedroom.  The small bedroom doesn't have a door, it has a little sliding screen thingy.  In the morning, my nephews are up at 7:30am and they are LOUD.  So loud.  And sound carries and without a door, we wake up with them.  Jeeves and I talked about it and decided that we would like to sleep in the basement on the air mattress where it will be quieter, so he broached the subject with his mom and her immediate response was not "sure, fine," it was "Why don't you take our room and we'll take the small bedroom?"  This is very nice of her, but completely unacceptable to us.  I absolutely refuse to take my in-laws' bedroom.  Refuse.  Jeeves has been fighting with her about it for weeks because she. will. not. let. it. go.

So, after Ammie has totally shut me out of all the Thanksgiving cooking and left me feeling like a guest instead of a member of the family, she starts in on me about taking her bedroom.  I explained as politely as I could (even though I was feeling pretty angry at this point) that we would not take her room, that since it turned out the kids were only staying for one night that we would be fine with the small bedroom, and that I was very uncomfortable taking her room.  "I will not be happy.  I will not be comfortable," I kept repeating.  "But why?" she cried. "We're family, you should feel comfortable taking the room."  

Friends, it took all my self-control to not yell, "Clearly, we're not family!  If we were family, you would know how important Thanksgiving is to me, how hard it is for me to not be with my dad and my sister and my nephews, how much cooking makes me feel better and you wouldn't be trying to take my dishes away from me!"  I did not yell this.  I just kept repeating that we would not take the bedroom.

We got off the phone, and I basically burst into tears.  I'm chalking it up to pregnancy hormones.  Jeeves had been listening to my end of the conversation and he was like, "What's this about store-bought pumpkin pie?"  I told him what had happened and he completely backed me up.  I felt badly, like I was putting him in the middle of his family and me, but what else was I going to do?

I should say that I am pretty sure, like 99% sure, that Ammie's intentions were pure and kind.  That she is not trying to shut me out of Thanksgiving or make me feel like I'm not a participant, even though that's how it felt.  She thinks that because I am 11 weeks pregnant that I am a porcelain doll who has to spend her time on a Victorian fainting couch.  And she thinks that because my cat died last week, that I am not up for cooking.  She's trying to take stuff off my plate to be helpful.  But I am 35 years old and perfectly capable of deciding what I am and am not able to do, and if I offer to do something, it's not a false offer.  When I told Dad the story he said, "Awww, Meggie, she just doesn't know how important this stuff is to you.  She doesn't understand that cooking makes you feel better." And I'm sure he's right.

Jeeves took care of it, because he is awesome.  He immediately e-mailed his mom and said, "Megan always makes the pumpkin pie.  Tell Auntie to bring something else."  Then he e-mailed with his mom some more, explaining that I always cook the entire Thanksgiving dinner myself for my family, and that she needed to let me do something else.  So, I'm making green beans.  Not my first choice, but it's a Smitten Kitchen recipe and when has Deb Perelman ever steered me wrong?

Hopefully when we get to my in-laws' house tonight, there will be no more mention of the bedroom situation.

PS - I finished the pumpkin pies, and they look awesome.  I want to eat them now.


  1. I'm sorry you are having Turkey Day drama. I'm glad Jeeves emailed MIL and you got to make your pumpkin pies! Hope that the day goes better than you expect!

    1. Thanks, Kasey - it was a much better weekend than expected, but I am glad to be home.

  2. Anonymous7:14 PM

    Oooh yuck! I'm glad Jeeves said something to your MIL, but it sucks that he had too. I can TOTALLY relate. I have a hard time with MIL too - we're just so different it's so hard to communicate. I agree that she probably didn't do any of it to make you feel bad, but simply asking you if you were up to it would've have gone a lot further!

    Just a side note...funny story. When we stay at my MIL's she gives us her middle sons room in the basement, so we have privacy. Which is real nice. Except she insists on waking us up in the morning (I have no idea why) at like 7:00 am by creeping into the bedroom, and watching us sleep for a couple seconds before rubbing our arms and quietly whispering "Wake up love birds". Yep. It is as creepy as it sounds. Totally. In actuality, I think she's enjoying that we're in love and thinks it's cute to see us snuggling in our sleep - but it just comes off as crazy.

    I hope it's going better than you expect, and hopefully there will be no more issues!

    P.S: 11 weeks already?! Pretty exciting!!

    1. Ohmygod, Rach - I'm sure your MIL is very nice, but that story is TOTALLY creepy! I think I would shriek if I woke up to that! And yeah, past 11 weeks now (almost to 12!), the time is flying.... finally.

  3. Oh man. I'm sorry she unintentionally tried to ruin your holiday. I hope your husband was able to get everything squared away with no hard feelings or lingering drama, and that you are right now sleeping off a truly epic dinner topped off with scrumptious pie :)

    1. It was all fun and good in the end, but I do love Thanksgiving best when I get to cook everything!

  4. Dang, that is a bummer. Hope it all turned out ok. How can they not want homemade pumpkin pie?! Different priorities I suppose.

    1. I know, right? Why would you want store-bought pie over homemade? Whatever, I made it anyway and it was delicious, if I do say so myself.