MIL is having her Labor Day picnic this Sunday. It is a week late because her sister will be visiting from out of state. When she called to tell me the change in plans I said that it was hubby's fire department picnic and that it would be up to him. She told me she would lay a guilt trip on him. As I told him that he rolled his eyes. Oh, like I care he says. We're going to the fire department. When he called to tell her that she said - no problem honey their are a few people who can't make it including your brother. (It's not a holiday unless brother comes)
And then she relayed once again her story. "I'll never be like MIL. She would make you come or feel bad about not coming. If you went to your family event one time (like Thanksgiving) then the next time you damn well better be with her (Christmas)." If someone can make it fine but if not that is OK.
She can say that little speech all she wants but her tone, her attitude and her words to me are an entirely different story. Last year I invited just my family for Thanksgiving. The year before was so awful I vowed never to invite my in-laws again. A week later she asked about Christmas. When I said I didn't know what was going on yet (Hubby may have been working). Her reply was, "you had your family for Thanksgiving so you WILL be here for Christmas."
And we were. My family is not hung up on celebrating the holiday on the date and we celebrated at another time. And the fact that my parents leave the next day for four months in Florida it is easier. Well, that was the worst Christmas I've ever had for many reasons. Worse than the Christmas I spent alone after my divorce. Bad in so many ways it warrants an entire blog entry. Needless to say when she asked me if I could believe nephew and fiance celebrated with their own families and not with each other I said yes. Because I will NEVER be in the position I was in last Christmas. If hubby and the kids want to go they are more than welcome. I will be at my brother's house celebrating with my niece and nephew (the cutest kids on the face of the planet in my humble and very biased opinion). That is if we're not on vacation (still working on that).
The good news in all of this is that hubby sees MIL for what she is and does. When she told him it was OK that we weren't coming his first thought was where is my guilt trip? Why do you tell my wife one thing and me another. He's not to the point yet where he can verbalize these questions to her but .... His family would rather bury their heads in the sand, turn purple and have a heart attack than express their true feelings. I witnessed that at Christmas too.