Better plan ahead next time

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:52

    Thanksgiving dinner needs advance planning as I work full time and go to college nights. All the furniture is crammed into the bedroom when I move it out of the living room so I can expand the dinning room to fit an additional two picnic tables and twenty people; family and two friends. On Thanksgiving, I get up a 4 a.m. to start cooking. This was to be a "formal" dinner so I asked the beer drinkers not to bring their six packs - besides, I thought it would keep the peace better - little did I know. One has to picture this dinner. The first sister and family arrive and want to know why the bedroom is so crammed. I think; "Maybe next time I should put the furniture on the roof." The next sister Patty and her husband arrive and I was informed he brought his own mixed drinks because he did not like what I was serving. It was going to be one of those days. He starts in the morning and gets more obnoxious as he drinks. I serve the food buffet style, it saves the passing disasters. The first in line has eaten most of their food before grace is said and before my husband and I could sit down. My husband, at the end of the line, said all mashed potatoes are gone! I peeled and mashed TEN pounds of potatoes. I scrape some from the pot. Not that I got to eat much, because the serving dishes need a refill. During the lull between dinner and dessert, Patty's husband decided the sister did not keep the car (he sold her) clean enough. He inspected it. No one could deter him from being loud and insulting; the sister is in tears. Patty takes him outside for a talk. Sister runs to the bedroom for tissues. My friends are in shock, this dinner will give them conversation for some time. Then someone lets the cat out of the spare bedroom. They had to snoop. I had to catch the terrified animal before anyone opens the outside door and he gets out. I get scratched by the frantic cat, but get him back into the room. After dessert Patty decides she needed a smoke. As everyone knows, we do not smoke, and I have allergies. I said, "The ash tray is on the deck". My mother chimes in that Patty's cigarette won't "hurt" me and Patty lit up at the table (over my objections). The incoming breeze from the open deck door blew the smoke throughout the house. She used the china for her ash tray! And she did not smoke just "one". Why could she not go out on the deck? I take my prescription medicine. I want to ask the sister and her husband to go home - my husband argues that would really start a fight as my mother would go also. Okay by me, my sister's cigs took precedence over my breathing. After dinner there are piles of dishes and pots that need washing, furniture moved, the house needs airing out. I am exhausted, can't breath, have a headache, and have to go to work on Friday. As they were leaving the sister asked: "Why are you so cranky?" Patty and the obnoxious husband got the kids in the car and he drove home. Murphy (and his laws) have nothing on this dinner. Everyone leaves, the quiet is wonderful, I give my thanks.