My a-mom always plans her Thanksgiving dinner around Sharon. Her name is always spoken with quiet reverence, and her wishes are always catered to. She decides what time dinner will be, and the menu will consist of. If she has a last-minute change of plans, everything changes with her. She is the determining factor in every decision about our Thanksgiving holiday.
Who is this Sharon? The matriarch of our family? An aging relative whose presence is anticipated by all? A celebrity who must fly in from great distances to join us?
Nope. She has never attended a single Thanksgiving dinner at my a-mom’s house. In fact, I’m not sure if she has ever been inside my a-mom’s house. She’s my sister’s mother-in-law.
I don’t usually care that everything is arranged around Sharon’s plans, but this year it kind of got to me. As I mentioned above, Sharon is very much revered by my a-mom. She puts extra special emphasis on her name, as in, “I spoke to SHARON about Thanksgiving…..”.
Like Sharon had Oprah on hold on the other line and took time out of her fabulous day just to speak to her. This year, I had a problem. I told a-mom that I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to make Thanksgiving or not. My husbands father is ill, and I’m just not making any plans right now. My husband’s parents are older than mine, and they are getting to the point that they need some care. I’ve told my a-mom that they have had some issues in the past.
A-mom then asked me if Juanita still drove. My mother-in-laws name is not Juanita, not even close. I’ve been married for 26 years, and I don’t think my mother has ever got her name right once. For years she called her Margaret, that’s a bit closer, but not quite it. I corrected her for about the first 10 years of my marriage, then I just kind of gave up. It wasn’t like she was calling up my mother-in-law to make her own thanksgiving plans.
Somehow my mother-in-law just never had the sway over a-mom that Sharon did.
I’m not going to Thanksgiving at her house this year. Though my husband understands about my a-mom, I’m not going to put him through that. I can just hear it now, after I’ve told a-mom that my husband’s father is ill, that my mother-in-law hasn’t driven for years, that they are coming to a place where they may not be able to be independent anymore, “How are Jim and Juanita, are they still in Texas?”
Wrong names. Wrong state.
I don’t want him to have to answer that.