It’s almost Thanksgiving again. That should be a happy holiday, but for me, after last year’s fiasco, I regard it with fear and dread. My children (I have two of them) are in their thirties and forties — so grownups, although the minute they cross my doorstep they become undisciplined spoiled brats. Last year my son (the one in his forties and divorced from a ten-year marriage) brought his new girlfriend with him and what a disaster that was. First, she didn’t lift a hand to help, second, I believe she was on drugs, third, she puked all over my guest bathroom and then passed out on the floor next to the toilet. I asked him to please not bring her this year, but guess what? Now they’re married, so of course he’ll have her in tow, and every time I see her, she drinks too much and reeks of marijuana. As for my younger child, the one in her thirties, she’s gay with a butch girlfriend and both of them are politically far left, which means constant arguments with my right-wing husband. My question to you is: a) should I invite a bunch of strays and make it a big gathering to drown out some of the unpleasantness? b) should I set a pretty table, invite only close family members and pray for the best? or c) should I cancel the whole damned event and eat a turkey dinner with my husband at our local diner? BTW, even though C seems obvious, I cringe at the thought of taking such a cowardly way out.
Angry & Confused
From the way you write and your concluding sentence, I know you’ll never go for option ‘C’. Also, I sense a certain feistiness in you that warms to a fight. I could go on and on about how this girl is your new daughter-in-law and you should treat her with patience and deference. But if she always shows up drunk and stoned, your wisest course of action is to not let the newly marrieds in the house unless the wife is sober. In my view you could do either ‘A’ or ‘B’. Given the political climate, fights will break out no matter what, so the question is do you want a lot of people present to witness family arguments or only a handful? This is your show, and you can run it any way you want.
REACTIONS TO A MOTHER’S DYING WISH
Dear Dying Wish,
My son stopped talking to me because of a stupid minor incident and after a lot of thought I decided to cut him out of my will. When we were back on speaking terms again several years later, I reinstated him. I must say the action I took (cutting him out of the will) made me feel a lot better.
Teresa G., Austin
Dear Dying Wish,
You know what? When you’re dead you’re dead — who cares what’s going on with all the suckers you’ve left behind.
Ron T., Cedar Park, TX
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Disclaimer: CD Knowles is not a doctor or psychotherapist. Any opinions expressed on Knowles Knows are just that — opinions.