This was not my first introduction to family dynamics, nor was I unaware of the possible misunderstandings of family. But what started as a simple Thanksgiving at home, turned into a full blown who is going where and when fiasco that left my head spinning a bit. It all started by us announcing to my Mother-in-Law that we were going to spend Thanksgiving very low-key and probably have dinner with just Dixie at her home. Dixie is Chris's 97-year-old grandmother who does much better in small groups due to hearing issues and with her developing memory problems, is obviously much more comfortable at home. This was met with, "Fabulous idea." I, of course, told Lynn (MIL) that she should come to make it a truly lovely Thanksgiving, but we really wanted to do the dinner at Dixie's house. Of course, of course, all is well. Then a week later she asks what are plans are again. Chris tells her our plans for a second time, quite clearly that we will be visiting Dixie at her home and Lynn should come so we can all be together.
Imagine my surprise when 2 days before Thanksgiving I get a message from my new Sister-In-Law saying how she and Brett can't wait to see us at Lynn's house on Thanksgiving night. They are doing lunch with her family but will be stopping by to see us...it's been so long. WHAT? I quickly leave a message saying we have no intention of going to Lynn's house. Chris has to work the day before and Thanksgiving Day the graveyard shift so we are having an early dinner with Dixie. Come to find out Dixie will be at Lynn's. Are you kidding me?
I didn't want to step on any toes or cause any problems, but Chris needs to sleep and we had expressed our wishes, so why was everything being changed? And how do I change it back without starting a big family feud? This is one thing you have to figure out when you have been "in-lawed." You have spent your entire life learning the best way to deal with your parents and family and now you have a whole new set of parents to deal with. Come to find out, they do not respond the same way as your family and they have entirely different ways of getting what they want. A whole new map must be built.
Now, I hate to say the universe stepped in to provide me with my way...I think that might be overreaching, but I was annoyed. Then Lynn got a horrible flu. This forced her to stay in Virginia longer and ended with us getting to have a small Thanksgiving at Dixie's house. I did all the cooking and we transported it over, Lynn came cause she was feeling better, and Chris got to sleep as much as possible. I would never wish illness on anyone, but the change in plans provided us with EXACTLY the Thanksgiving we wanted and Lynn even got her split-pea soup. I think it turned out for the best...leaving me thankful for my family and the flu.