Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Offside Interference


Today I feel wise and on top of things. The shopping for Thursday's Thanksgiving dinner is complete, the menu is written and it's all over but the cooking, the belt loosening, food coma and the dishes. Some people are preparing for Thursday in other ways. For instance, my daughter has rented The Ref to get some pointers.

After yesterday's post, I started rereading some of the items in my insane asylum, including the Easter post about the lovely time we had with my father in law. You see, the heat is on and some people, OK, one person, is starting to ramp up about what he can bring for dinner. After the Easter offerings, I've been telling my husband and my son that he can bring nothing to the table. Nada. Zilch. Please, please, his company is enough! Of course, this is going over like a lead balloon because it's removing control and MLTL, not content with just being a guest, is starting to write his own menu. For instance, how about ordering turkey and all the fixings from a local catering company and eating at his house? No. I don't want to chase Rachel all over his house to keep her out of trouble. I want to be comfortable with her. Well then, he'd like to buy the ham we'll eat. Ham? He wants me to cook a fresh ham for Thanksgiving dinner. For my entire life, it's always been turkey and I'm not about to change that. I don't know what it is about ham, but he always talks about this meat. It has to be served at every single holiday meal for him, or the meal is incomplete.

About 20 years ago, a little after the birth of my son, I took it upon myself to host a gigantic family meal on Christmas Eve. I invited my in laws and their assorted relatives, including THE aunts. After slaving all day at the stove to make everything perfect, we all sat down to the table and my father in law said, "where's the ham I bought?" He had left it at his house 3 miles away. Making such a fuss that he had to have that ham, my husband left to go fetch it. By the time he returned, everyone else, including my father in law, had eaten what I'd prepared. Dinner was over and some tempers were simmering just below the boiling point. MLTL was angry because his wife (not him) had forgotten his ham and during dinner, we got to listen to him chastise her for her lapse of memory. My husband was royally pissed that he had to go fetch a ham that nobody else wanted. I was furious that this man had disrupted the dinner I'd prepared for days for something only he wanted. MLTL had ruined dinner, which was his subconscious plan all along, but he got his ham. I never said a word to him about that ham that nobody ate, but I will say, it was the last time I cooked a meal for 30 people.

This time, I'd finally like to tell MLTL what to do with that ham he wants me to cook on Thursday, but because it's a no win situation, I won't. But neither will I cook it for him. If he wants it, he can babysit a fresh ham in the oven all by himself. Instead, I'm going to practice the sage advice of Distracted by Shiny Objects:

"Have you ever tried the trick of mentally going through the grocery store and putting items in your cart alphabetically?? apples, bananas, cherries, doughnuts, etc...makes you look like you're listening to a conversation but allows you to be a bit removed. I've found it helpful a time or two."

If that doesn't work, I've stocked up on wine...

21 comments:

Rose said...

My vote is for the wine. And just to make sure I've got something else in MY back pocket (so to speak) for the big family day, I'm going to the ortho doctor for my neck problem (stress makes it tighten up) and plan on getting some medication. I won't mix them but I'll have options! Good luck!

Miss 376 said...

Look forward to seeing which tactics worked

sapphireblue said...

Ooooooooh! The joys of family! Your f-i-l sounds like mine. We need a support group.

Poetikat said...

I love, "The Ref". It is the quintessential dysfunctional Christmas movie.

I say, "stuff the ham!" (in the purely British sense of the phrase).

Anonymous said...

Thought you'd find this site enjoyable.
www.mrkibbie.com - I did not see any references to adding a ham to your holiday meals; but the man does resemble MLTL a bit.

Don't worry too much about your menu; stick with the turkey, green beans, potatoes, and wine. I will be satisfied with just those things.

Sebba

Rudee said...

Sebba, I don't know how you found that video, but I've never quite seen kibbee ever look like that. And beef instead of lamb? Don't think so...very funny.

Sandy said...

hahaha, that ham is bound to be an issue again...well hope not! Have a great Thanksgiving!

We are just laying low because some work, some go to other family and me, I've seen all my kids and grandkids lately a lot, so just having a quiet day at home sounds good.

Stephanie V said...

That grocery cart idea is terrific! I'd love to have the presence of mind to remember it when I wish the yammering would stop.

Turkeys and Thanksgiving just go together. At Christmas we get a little more open-minded and admit the ham to the table. In our house, anyway, just 'cuz some folks like it.

Winifred said...

Maybe the daft old beggar never got ham when he was little, ham deprivation! Now he has a ham obsession.

I have to say your husband is amazing. Fancy missing his dinner for a ham. Like Poetikat don't know why he didn't tell him to stuff it. Tell me how on earth has that old goat survived? His children must be angels.

Beginning to think it's great we only have one big holiday a year to survive and my husband does all the cooking bless him. I do know people who have turkey and ham for Christmas. Weird or what!

Have a lovely hamless holiday Rudee.

Jadekitty said...

I'm crossing my fingers that the day is bump and wrinkle free for you :)

Brenda said...

Maybe you could tape the news piece on Paula Deen getting hit in the head with a ham, and play it for him whenever he brings it up. Just kidding, of course. I thought it was kinda mean of the news to keep showing it when the poor woman was probably in pain. She had a good sense of humor about it afterwards though. We will look forward to hearing of more tales of MLTL. It is starting to become like a series we watch on TV or something. Ha! Good luck Rudee!

Ruth said...

Serve the food you want and drink lots of wine. Tell him oven too small for ham and turkey.Enjoy your dinner.

Lisa L said...

i am so freakin' in awe of you entertaining this man year, after year, after year. you deserve as much wine as you want...i'll be sending encouraging vibes to you!

Renie Burghardt said...

Just a quick stop to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, Rudee. Forget the oinks and enjoy the gobble gobble's!

Hugs,

Renie

Renie Burghardt said...

Just a quick stop to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, Rudee. Forget the oinks and enjoy the gobble gobble's!

Hugs,

Renie

Rositta said...

Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. I'm taking a blog break but I'm still reading. I'll be interested in reading the outcome and lots of wine always works...ciao

Gail said...

Happy Thanksgiving! It is just one day, you can make it.

SkippyMom said...

Rudee I can empathize. My own Mother pulled this crap all the time. For over 20 years I made a sit down for Thanksgiving for everyone [and before that my grandmother did it, my Mom has never cooked Thanksgiving. Ever]And for Christmas we have a huge buffet throughout the day.

My favorite [not] add on she HAD to have was pickled herring in mayonnaise on our Christmas buffet. I promptly told her to remove it. She said no and said she wanted it - I told her the sight of it was making me [and some of our guests] gag - I was ready to vomit - she was insistent it stay.

I was 32 years old and had just about enough, I picked it up, walked over to the disposal and poured that hot mess right down, rinsed the dish and said "Fine, my house, my rules."

She pouted, oh boy did she pout, but tough beans - I pick my battles with her, but she is NOT marching into my house and making me and some of our guests nauseous with her "gift". She could've just put them aside or in the kitchen, but NO had to be on the buffet table.

Let the old AH eat his ham at home and ignore him. Worked for me. :)

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving and I will raise my mimosa in thoughts of NO ham. :)

Queenmothermamaw said...

Man things like that really make a holiday a miserable time.
QMM

laurie said...

i vote for the wine.

Miss T said...

I think that he should stay home with his ham.