fMiL first: the fMiL is a good lady and we get along, in general. but she;s one of those types that has ALREADY decorated for christmas--in fact she did it over veteran's day weekend. which means that every availble square inch of the house will be coated with a thick, tacky layer of red and green. needless to say our styles clash. to put it bluntly, i have taste and she... well, doesn't. she's really into the whole thomas kinkade/ geese-with-bows-around-their-necks thing. i bite my lip and try to pretend i can't see it, but usually to no avail.
Worse, she's a bad cook. I've had Thanksgiving there the past two years in a row (because believe it or not my family... ok, i'm just not going to go ther right now).and her turkey is not only dry but BLAND. so terribly BLAND. it makes me cry. it would be so EASY to sprinkle a little olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe some herbs on it before roasting, but no, she gets the cheapest, most genetically-engineered and hormone-injected butterball she can, occasionally remembers to take the plastic off, and then just sticks it RIGHT into the oven AS-IS. if she remembers to remove the giblets, they usually get tossed.
My mother may be a horrible human being, but at least she can cook. so can I. and each year I offer to contribute one dish (like pumpkin pie from scratch, instead of store-bought, or a Greek pasta salad) which have all gotten rave reviews from the relatives. thing is: we don't TELL them that i ever contribute anything, so it's kind of embarassing when they're all oohing and aahing over what I make, and there's LOTS of leftovers from what she makes. she sits there at the table embarassed and looking at me in this angry, tight-lipped way.
then, the grandmother: she's a very sweet, energetic old lady. perhaps too energetic. her whole life revolves around this horrible, slobbering rat-beast she calls her dog, Toby. fiance' and i both HATE that dog. usually she brings it with her. this year she won't, which is arguably worse because this woman talks a mile a minute and has a mouth like a sailor. she will NOT shut up about the dog. while the rest of us eat she'll be flapping her gums about toby this toby that toby's latest bowel movement.
in general, his family is a stark contrast from mine: there's lots of 'em, for one. they actually care about each other. but they're loud, tacky, bland, bush-loving, trailer-dwelling drinkers. they have a TINY house and yet manage to squeeze SEVEN TVs into that house, so literally in EVERY room, everywhere I look there's a TV blasting away on the Fox news channel or Earnest Saves Christmas.
thank GOD I have my NaNoWriMo novel.
"Oh gee, it's three in the afternoon and i'd love to do SHOTS with you, fMiL (true story), but i have a novel to go write..."