Despite the fact that Mr. Chili and I came right out and said – verbally and in writing – that we wanted to host Christmas at our house this year, the holiday will be celebrated at my in-laws’. So sayeth the Matriarchal Chili.
I’m trying very hard to be a grown up about this, even though we’re being treated as anything but. Mr. Chili is the only child in the same time zone as his parents: he has a twin brother in Alabama and two sisters who live in England (one always lived in England; the other moved there with her family this past spring). Being the local children, we are expected to be, do, and attend as dictated without regard to the fact that we may have other plans or desires.
Most of the time, this isn’t a problem. I’m happy to go to choral presentations or to help out when Matriarchal Chili is hosting a social event; I very often enjoy those things. The thing that’s burning my proverbial sugarplums is that we specifically said we wanted to host Christmas. We told her in person, we told her on the phone, and I told her in email, and we were completely and utterly disregarded. More to the point, M. Chili had the unmitigated gall to call me last night to tell me that I could – and I’m quoting verbatim here – “celebrate with your friends and those other people on another day.”
Those other people. You know, my family. Yet again, I am alienated because of my past. Because my family and I do not share DNA, they are not family in M. Chili’s eyes and, therefore, they can be relegated to another day. Not only that, but the fact that we’d like our children to have childhood memories of Christmases that do not involve having to dress up and leave the house to behave like miniature adults at a formal dinner with “family” we only see three times a year is being completely disregarded, as well.
Mr. Chili has a plan. He hopes to be able to manipulate the situation – specifically, the timing of dinner – such that we can be back in our own home , with those other people, by four in the afternoon. He feels powerless to do much else, and while I really wish that he’d stand up for me, I understand why he doesn’t: big picture, it’s just not worth it. We won’t get to be adults until the people who think they’re the adults die.