Monday, November 24, 2014

SUBJECT: Thanksgiving with Sharon

Happy Thanksgiving week! This post is fiction. It's based loosely on personal experience but is about 95% made up. For those of us who come from untraditional families, the holidays can be a little... special. Please enjoy an email exchange between me, my dad, my husband and my sister regarding our plans for Thanksgiving.
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TO: Lydia
FROM: Dad
DATE: Monday, November 24 7:30am EDT
RE: Can’t wait to see you

Hi Lydia. Just wanted to touch base about this week’s visit. I hope to arrive on Wednesday evening and plan to leave early Saturday (probably before breakfast - at say 5am). Does that work for you?

TO: Dad
FROM: Lydia
DATE: Monday, November 24 9:17am EDT
RE: Re: Can’t wait to see you

That sounds great. We’re all looking forward to seeing you. The kids can’t wait. They’re already fighting over who gets to sit next to you and if we should drag you out to that Festival of Lights things on Friday. Do you expect to be here in time for dinner on Weds?

TO: Lydia
FROM: Dad
DATE: Monday, November 24 9:20am EDT
RE: Re: Re: Can’t wait to see you

Yes for dinner on Weds. I’m shooting for 5pm but you never know with traffic. I’ll be in touch from the road so you have an accurate ETA. Are you still planning to make Thai food? Sharon and I can’t wait. She’s heard all about your spring rolls.


TO: Dad
FROM: Lydia
DATE: Monday, November 24 9:22am EDT
RE: Re: Re: Re: Can’t wait to see you

Who is Sharon?

TO: Lydia
FROM: Dad
DATE: Monday, November 24 9:30 am EDT
RE: Re: Re: Re: Re: Can’t wait to see you

My new girlfriend. She’s really wonderful and she can’t wait to meet you all. Didn’t your sister tell you about her? This is our first road trip together. We’re taking my car.

TO: Dad
FROM: Lydia
DATE: Monday, November 24 9:32am EDT
RE: Re: Re: Re: Re: Can’t wait to see you

This is the first that I’m hearing about this. Am I correct in assuming that Sharon is coming to our house for Thanksgiving? Is she staying with us?

TO: Lydia
FROM: Dad
DATE: Monday, November 24 9:40 am EDT
RE: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Can’t wait to see you

She’s my girlfriend so I certainly hope she’d be welcome to stay with you. That is what we had planned.

TO: Sister
FROM: Lydia
DATE: Monday, November 24 9:41 am EDT 
RE: Dad and his girlfriend what in the helling HELL is happening?

Dad just casually mentioned that he’s bringing his new girlfriend to Thanksgiving at my house. He said you knew about this. WHO IS THIS WOMAN? WHAT IS GOING ON? I’M ALREADY FREAKING OUT ABOUT THIS FREAKING STUPID HOLIDAY.

TO: Lydia
FROM: Sister
DATE: Monday, November 24 9:46 am EDT
RE: Re: Dad and his girlfriend what in the helling HELL is happening?

HOLY CRAPBALLS. I’m so sorry. I thought you knew. Why would he tell me and not tell you? They’ve been together for maybe 3 months. They met on the internet but she lives one town over from him. She’s actually really nice and he’s much less of an asshole when he’s with her so it could work out OK. 

But seriously. I thought you knew. So sorry.

TO: Sister
FROM: Lydia
DATE: Monday, November 24 9:50am EDT 
RE: Re: Re: Dad and his girlfriend what in the helling HELL is happening?

I don’t even know what to say right now. He just like casually mentioned it two days before he’s supposed to come. Oh hey I’ll be there for dinner, can’t wait to see the kids, Sharon wants to eat your spring rolls. Then he was all WHY ARE YOU BEING SO WEIRD, Lydia? SHE’S MY NEW INTERNET GIRLFRIEND THAT I JUST MET SO OF COURSE YOUR KIDS SHOULD CALL HER GRANDMA.

There’s a very good chance I may call this whole thing off. Need to go tell George. 

TO: George
FROM: Lydia
DATE: Monday, November 24 10:00am EDT 
RE: A little surprise from my charming father

So apparently my father is bringing his new girlfriend to our house for Thanksgiving. He just told me. Sister says she’s nice. What do we do?

TO: Lydia
FROM: George
DATE: Monday, November 24 10:24am EDT 
RE: Re: Re: A little surprise from my charming father

While I’m disinclined to have strangers stay in our house, you know our policy. Your family, you deal with it. 

TO: Dad
FROM: Lydia
DATE: Monday, November 24 11:59am EDT
RE: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Can’t wait to see you

Dad, it’s a little difficult for me to think you didn’t realize this was going to be an issue. You waited until the last possible minute to tell me you were bringing a guest - a stranger - to our house. I’m glad you’ve met someone and you’re happy but you didn’t handle this very well. I would feel more comfortable if you and Sharon stayed in a hotel. I’ll be happy to book it for you.

TO: Lydia
FROM: Dad
DATE: Monday, November 24 1:03PM EDT
RE: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Can’t wait to see you

Don’t be silly. There’s plenty of room at your house. We won’t be any bother. We like to go to bed early and besides, Sharon will probably want to retire extra early because she’s not used to kids and all three of them could be overwhelming for her.

See you Weds for dinner!

TO: Sister; George
FROM: Lydia
DATE: Monday, November 24 1:07PM EDT
FWD: RE: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Can’t wait to see you

LOOK AT THIS. Read what he sent me. The man is trying to kill me. KILL ME. 


TO: Lydia; George
FROM: Sister
DATE: Monday, November 24 5:03 PM EDT
FWD: RE: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Can’t wait to see you

I’m just so sorry. That part about not being used to kids? Yikes. Not sure what that means. Dad says her house is a tiny cape cod right on the water and it’s REALLY NICE.  You have to let me know how everything goes. 

I am here for you, woman.

TO: George, Sister
FROM: Lydia
DATE: Monday, November 24 6:16 PM EDT
FWD: RE: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Can’t wait to see you

Are you kidding me?! Do you have any f*&king idea what that means? THAT MEANS I HAVE TO CLEAN MY WHOLE HOUSE. It’s one thing if it’s just dad, he doesn’t notice anything and he doesn’t care. But this woman with the really nice house who is not used to kids who is going to be here in less than two days? That means a deep cleaning. That takes DAYS & DAYS because my house is GROSS. 

I have no time tomorrow and Weds. I have to finish grocery shopping and prepping all the food and there’s some stupid thing at the kids’ school about gratitude and giving thanks and the reason for the season and I NO LONGER HAVE TIME FOR THAT.

Sister, I love you but you are not here for me. You are up there, very far away and unable to help me peel potatoes or sweep up what will probably be about three huge garbage bags of dog hair. 

George, you should be prepared for me to be extremely unpleasant until sometime on Saturday when these people have left our home. Also, you need to stop at Home Depot on your way home from work tonight because we need to do something about the grout in the basement bathroom. And before you tell me I’m over-reacting you need to know that some woman who doesn’t like kids, who wasn’t even invited, who has a really nice house, and the bad judgement to date my father is not going to come to my house and give me the righteous sniff because she thinks we’re gross because this is how we live. Right?!

Also, sister. What is Sharon’s last name? I need to google her to make sure she doesn’t have a criminal record. 

Jesus Christ. I’m having a drink. I may be drunk by the time you get home. 

TO: Dad
FROM: Lydia
DATE: Wednesday, November 26 7:03am EDT
RE: See you tonight

We should be ready for you by 4 or 5 and look forward to seeing you. You guys on track to be here as planned?

TO: Lydia
FROM: Dad
DATE: Wednesday, November 26 10:34am EDT
RE: Re: See you tonight

We’re actually making great time and should be there right after lunch. Also, Sharon says thank you so much for having her. She brought a ton of stuff to contribute to Thanksgiving dinner, too. I told her you’d have plenty of vegetarian options but she wants to cook for you and George. Isn’t that nice of her? Also, do you have scotch or should I pick some up on the way. Single malt. 

TO: George; Sister
FROM: Lydia
DATE: Wednesday, November 26 10:37am EDT
RE: I can’t even. No can brain anymore. My dad.

She’s a vegetarian and she’s bringing “a ton of stuff” to cook for our Thanksgiving dinner. And he asked if we have liquor in the house so you know that he knows it’s going to be an awkward shit show.

TO: Sister
FROM: Lydia
DATE: Wednesday, November 26 8:48pm EDT
RE: Status Update

Putting the kids to bed so I thought I’d sneak you an update on how things are going. She does seem nice but she also voluntarily spends time with our father so I’m reserving judgement. 

Also, the “ton of stuff” she brought for our Thanksgiving dinner? Dad is an idiot. She brought bottles of really good wine, home-made bread, a bunch of amazing cheeses, and like marinated olives and toasted nuts and stuff. It’s actually awesome and George and I have been stuffing our faces.


TO: Sister
FROM: Lydia
DATE: Thursday, November 27 4:03pm EDT
RE: Another Status Update

You’re right about dad being less of an asshole around her. Maybe because they’re still in the honeymoon phase? He’s only used the horrible tone with me once so far. That’s some sort of miracle.

TO: Sister
FROM: Lydia
DATE: Friday, November 28 9:45pm EDT
RE: I’m just going to say it

We really like Sharon. Let’s hope dad doesn’t screw this up.

TO: Sharon
FROM: Lydia
DATE: Wednesday, December 3 4:18pm EDT
RE: Thank you for your thank you

Sharon, 

I just got your note. Thank you so much for your kind words. We had so much fun with you last weekend and trust me, the kids loved meeting you even more than you did them. My dad is very lucky to have you in his life. 

Please think about coming back for Easter! We’d love to have you! Maybe we can have another cheese feast?! If my dad has to work, you can just leave him at home. :)


xoxo, Lydia 

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11 comments:

  1. Lydia, you're awesome. You captured it exactly.

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  2. Feeling better about the upcoming holidays already! Thanks!!

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  3. I think we might share DNA. I've had the exact same exchange with my dad, my sister and my husband. He has the same rule about my family. I hope Sharon is still around. Our "Sharon" is still around and we love her dearly. If she and dad ever divorce, we are keeping her in the divorce.

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  4. All the best emails exchanges include cheese and grout!

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  5. Yep. And I laughed especially hard b/c my son's stepmom's name is Sharon

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  6. Yeah, that sounds about right. My husband and I have a bit of social anxiety, and the annual Christmas Eve family get together at my parents wound up with like 10 extra people (friends of my parents, and extended family of those friends). I was in a mild panic attack all night. My mom "forgot" to mention the family evening would have a friends and family portion.

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  7. Isn't that the way things usually work? We get all out of sorts at the beginning, come to terms with the fact that we can't change anything and decide to go with it. In the end everything turns out fine. Or not, those stories are pretty funny too!

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  8. My ex- MIL was a bugger for inviting extra relatives to things at our house and giving me three days notice.
    This included our wedding! She 'accidently invited' her cousin (whom my husband had never met), and called us a week before the day to tell us this person was coming now. After me going into a severe panic attack and reorganizing the tables, making an extra gift etc, she rings the day before to tell me that her cousin couldn't make it! I was by no means a bridezilla, but I nearly took her head off.

    ReplyDelete

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