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Be Thankful They Are Leaving

, , , , , , , | Related | November 28, 2019

(Every year for Thanksgiving, we have several family and extended family members come to our house, since we have a big dining room and a good-size living room, so there’s space for everyone to sit and eat. One year, my brother gets married and his wife invites her mother and her younger siblings to our home for Thanksgiving, giving me about two days’ notice about the six extra guests. Usually, I’m pretty informal about dinner, but on holidays, I insist everyone put away all technology and actually interact with each other while we eat. My sister-in-law’s youngest brother comes up to me.)

Youngest Brother: “I’ll take my food into the garage and play video games during dinner, thanks.”

Me: “No, you can’t do that. We all sit around the dinner table for dinner.”

Youngest Brother: *starts throwing a fit*

His Mother: “But we are your guests and you should accommodate his little quirks.”

Me: “He will eat at the table, or play games and not eat. His choice.”

(She storms out of the house with her children in tow.)

His Mother: “We’ll never come back!”

(Unbelievably, for two years we really don’t see them again even though they live less than thirty minutes away. My sister-in-law occasionally mentions that they would really like to come back for Thanksgiving and finally gets around to actually asking if they could come this year.)

Me: “I never banned them from the house or from celebrating with us. They are welcome but will be expected to eat at the table like the rest of us.”

(She says that is fine and invites the brood back. The youngest brother sits at the table, looks around at the food, and announces:)

Youngest Brother: “I want [Fast Food Place], instead.”

(I expect his mother or my sister-in-law to point out how ridiculous that is, but they are looking at me like this is a perfectly reasonable request.)

Me: “You can eat what is in front of you, or ask your mother about [Fast Food Place].”

His Mother: “But we’re your guests and you should accommodate us!

(She’s apparently really fond of that phrase! I give up on being polite at that point and simply say no.)

His Mother: “What do you mean, no?!” 

Me: “You’re a native English speaker. I’m sure you know the meaning of the word.” 

Youngest Brother: “My teeth hurt and I can’t eat anything but [Fast Food Place] chicken nuggets.”

(That is such an absurd statement I don’t even acknowledge it. His mother is busy turning a really alarming reddish-purple color and doesn’t say anything, either. Finally, after a few minutes of silence, the boy starts whining.)

Youngest Brother: “My lips hurt and I can only eat [Fast Food Place]!” *then yelling* “My whole mouth is hurting and I need chicken nuggets!”

(His mother is glaring at me as her son begins to really pitch a fit.)

Sister-In-Law: “[Fast Food Place] is open; you should just go out really quick and get him chicken nuggets.”

Me: “You’re welcome to go yourself and take him with you. I’ve cooked for two days and I’ll be d***ed if I am going to give in to this brat’s whining.”

(At me calling the boy a brat, his mother again stormed out with all her children in tow, including my sister-in-law. I have never been happier to be called a terrible host in my life, and I was so very relieved when my brother divorced that woman.)

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