Dear Readers, every year Dr. S and I have the same argument.
Me: "I dislike your parents, there's never anything I can eat, they're disrespectful and annoying, why do I have to go there, why can't they ever bother to come see us*, we don't even celebrate Christmas."
Him: "They annoy me too but they're my parents and therefore I love them and mostly I want to see my brother** and could you maybe be a little nicer to them? For 48 hours?"
Me: "We've been married for eight years and they haven't even bothered to ask if we'd like any input into the Annual Christmas Ordeal and I still hate it as much as I did eight years ago. No, more."
Him: "They're never going to change and we can accept it, or our kids can never spend time with their grandparents."
Me: "That would be fine with me."
Him: "BUT NOT ME!!! Why do we have to have this argument EVERY YEAR???"
HOWEVER! This year we get a delightful variation of Choose Your Own Family Dispute!
You are a 67-year-old woman, 50 pounds overweight and in poor condition physically, who is having a bilateral mastectomy and radical lymphadenectomy on Monday. The following Monday should you:
a) Attempt to have your Traditional Christmas with a big family dinner, six people staying in your house, four kinds of dessert, and all kinds of meals, while under the illusion that you, yourself, will be able to cook this;
b) Accept that you will maybe have been out of the hospital for five days by then and call this year a loss;
c) Insist that your small, snotty-nosed grandchildren come to 'play' with you even though you won't be able to lift your arms and they will give you a nasty cold and a hacking cough;
d) Be terminally miffed that your older son thinks (c) is both stupid and unrealistic and your daughter-in-law refuses to participate in this, and the son is therefore coming by himself;
3) All of (a), (c), and (d)!
* Tatoe is now 26 months old and his retired grandparents still haven't ever seen him. He is their Grandchild Number Two... of two. My parents and sister, all of whom are employed and lived twice as far away, each came to Cold State three times since Tatoe was born.
** Army, therefore limited leave. None of which he's ever used to come see us either, but whatever, not least because he doesn't expect us to come see him.