Saturday, November 21, 2015

A debacle in the making?

I come from a family where chronic punctuality issues run rampant and advanced planning is an art that they've never mastered.  No joking.  As literally the only person in my family who is ever on time and has the foresight to plan anything ahead of time, I have hosted Thanksgiving at my house for the last couple of years.  Frankly hosting approximately 20 people at my house was far less stressful than dealing with the disarray that accompanies my family trying to "plan" anything.

In mid October I started to plan for Thanksgiving this year, assuming I was hosting again since it had worked out so well for the past several years.  Almost immediately I was met with a whole bunch of excuses.  It's too far to travel (I don't define 150 miles as far, plus for a long time I lived even farther away and still managed to not miss a holiday).  It's a pain to travel with kids.  Tight on cash.  Whatever.  It was painfully apparent that people didn't really want to come to my house this year.  So in a fit of rage I said we could just have it at my mom and dad's house, knowing full well that I would be the one who ended up cooking and cleaning up, just like I have for years (at my house or my mom's), with minimal help.

Once my pregnant sister found out that Thanksgiving* was going to be at our parent's house she started "planning."  When I say planning, what I really mean is that she started inviting people, mostly extended family and friends.  The guest list ballooned to 30.  Then 40.  Then 50.  Then 60**.  I was apparently the only one who had the foresight to point that there was no way that our parent's house could accommodate this many bodies, even accounting for those who won't be able to come (likely because it's being planned at the last minute).  At my suggestion, they were able to find a hall (with a commercial kitchen where we can cook the food) that could accommodate everyone.  So at least we won't be climbing over one another and there will be sufficient restroom facilities.  Unfortunately the facility does not allow alcohol, but there are ways to get around that little inconvenience. 

My pregnant sister called me today to talk about Thanksgiving.  I figured she wanted to talk about food.  Since, you know, if you invite 60 freaking people to Thanksgiving dinner, you have to feed them.  Nope.  She wanted to talk about decorating the building they rented.  I hung up on her, which was probably preferable to the alternate scenario where I told her exactly what was on my mind.***  Spoiler alert: I do not care about centerpieces for the tables.  Not even a little bit. 

Long story short, I sent out a spreadsheet detailing the things that needed to be purchased, tasks that needed to be done, and a timeline, with assignments for everyone.  I honestly don't think they realize how much prep goes into it.  Like the turkey needs to be out of the freezer to thaw in the fridge 4-5 days before dinner.  Now I just need for them to follow directions (another thing that my family is genetically predisposed to not do well).

So I don't know if it will be a debacle or not.  I hope not.  It's a toss up at this point.  The only thing that is certain is that there will be a lot of stress for me.  I love my family, I really do, but if I didn't look so much like my dad and paternal grandma, I would swear that the hospital sent my parent's home with the wrong baby.  I'm not a whole lot like my family.  I hope this is one of those times where I'm getting myself all worked up for something that wont' be that bad.

* We always have our family Thanksgiving on the Saturday after the holiday because it just seems to work best. 
**No fertility problems in my family! Except me, of course.  Speaking of that, the last time I saw most of these people was at my youngest sister's wedding two years ago.  Many seemed to have my reproductive plans on their mind then, so I'm sure that there will be more questions, especially in light of the fact that in a few weeks over one calendar year all three of my siblings will have birthed one child.
***I partially blame PMS.  Because apparently I'm going to be one of the "lucky" women who continues to have a regular(ish) cycle with an IUD.  And I get all ragey when I'm PMSing.  Yeah.  I don't really want to be around me either.


  1. Argh! I think you have good reason to be ragey, PMS or no PMS. I'm pretty sure if one or two members of our family did this, and then relied on others to organise and cook, there would be a major battle long before Thanksgiving! I'm gobsmacked.

  2. It would made me mad - that there are 30 extra people invited without me knowing. This means so much extra work and extra costs.
    wishing you all the best for Thanksgiving.

  3. We must come from the same roots! My family is the exact same way! Last year, Thanksgiving fell on my mom's birthday. So in February, of that year, I told her we needed to find a place big enough for her family since they had already said they would come. I found this beautiful cabin that would have easily fit us all. But no, she didn't want to spend the money. I had told her my sibling could all pitch in, but she knew she'd end up lending them the money for it. Two weeks before Thanksgiving was when she suddenly realized there was no way to fit all the guest in her house. So she booked a hotel, that was half as nice as the cabin I had found, and cost just as much.
    My favorite Thanksgivings are the years we stay home, just the husband and I.

    1. It makes me happy to read this comment. Not happy in the "you have to deal with it too" sense, but happy in the "thank god I'm not the only one who has to deal with it" sense.

      We deal with whatever madness there is for Thanksgiving and spend Christmas at home, just the two of us. It's like our prize for handling Thanksgiving!

  4. Holy crap!! 60 people??! You are a SAINT for agreeing to go along with this madness!! I haven't read ahead to see how things unfolded, but I hope you survived with your sanity intact!! (((hugs)))

    1. Luckily it ended up only being around 40 plus or minus a few. My sanity is still (mostly) intact, thankfully! :)