Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Compromise: The Art of Averaging Unhappiness

Dear Readers, Dr. S wishes to put an end to the Annual Christmas Argument.  He proposes that he take the boys, and *not* me, up there every other year (including this year for complex reasons which I will spare you).  In return, I will not argue about it any more.  I would be fine with NEVER AGAIN but in the interests of marital harmony, I think this will make everyone equally unhappy.

(My mother-in-law's surgery went fine and her breast cancer is Stage I.  Odds are very good that, God willing and like her own mother, she will die in bed, of extreme old age, after 98+ years of life.  And by the way, she chose to have surgery at a time that would 'ruin Christmas' because it was so important to her to go to my brother-in-law's sixth helicopter-pilot-school graduation [I am completely serious] which, it turns out, isn't even happening in February anyways, rather than see her grandchildren.  So no, I don't have any sympathy left.  Also, imagine that there was something you found morally repugnant or inedible in some way - pork trotters, or chicken feet, or chocolate-covered slugs, or lutefisk, or, if you're my spouse, shredded coconut.  Now imagine someone served nothing but that to you, for nine years, every time you went to see them, knowing that you hated it, with an exclamation of "But it's our tradition!"  Then tell me how often you'd go visit.)


  1. Lutefisk IS rather repugnant. And hey, you get a few days with no children!! I hope you're planning something fun, like lots of books and tea. Perhaps a sewing project for yourself.

    Your husband is a very dutiful son to his unworthy parents. An admirable quality, and yet... Since I've got a husband like that as well, you have my sympathies. (Though I believe my in-laws have more genuine goodwill than yours. They'd never serve me lutefisk, or neglect seeing their grandchild.)

    1. I am going to Richmond! I am going to DC! I am going to the enormous thrift shop near my sister's apartment!

      I feel that your in-laws are a lot crazier, but also a lot more willing to abide by at least some boundaries. Win some, lose some...

  2. Compromises. One of the fun parts of marriage ;)
    From my perspective, shredded coconut was the most edible off your list. However, my husband is convinced mushrooms are inedible. At least his mom cuts them in half only so that he can remove them from the meal. Another compromise, I guess. And hey, you don't need to go, so that part is good news! (And I'm glad the prognosis is good because this can be an awful disease.)

    1. I like coconut, personally. More for me.

      I knew all along that her prognosis was good - it was a variety with over 85% 5-year survival for all stages. So... yeah. I also wanted to make clear why my animosity is untempered by the fact that she has a cancer diagnosis - sure she does but in this case I don't think it makes a good excuse for being a jerk. I've seen a lot of bad outcomes but fortunately this won't be one.


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