I was a little worried going into Thanksgiving. As our wedding slowly creeps up, I’m bracing myself more and more for Paul’s mom to start getting pushy and difficult about things. It keeps not happening, which is this bizarre combination of relief combined with a different kind of worry about why because I truly don’t know what to make of it. Is it a calm before the storm, or did she learn a lesson with Jacob and Katie’s wedding, making her attempt to step back and leave us be? It’s a mystery.
On top of that, for reasons even more mysterious, she broke away from tradition and decided to host her own small Thanksgiving dinner instead of the annual trip out to her parents’ with the extended family. My personal hope/theory is, in a vague nutshell, is that she’s recognizing they’re kind of toxic in their own right and is making an effort to distance herself from them, but no one knows for sure. There are other less optimistic alternatives, like the possibility that she’s just isolating herself. Because we didn’t know what her reasons were, we didn’t really know what kind of Thanksgiving we’d be walking into–on one hand, it would be a smaller and likely more low-key event. On the other hand, she could’ve just been really, really difficult to deal with. Like I said, I’ve been anticipating wedding blowups, and like I said, she keeps surprising me.
One downside was I didn’t get to spend time with sweet baby Woody, their dachshund I’m determined to liberate one day. I’m not saying he didn’t get any love without us there, but I am saying he missed out on a significant number of pets, tummy scratches, cuddles, and encouraging whispers in his ear. Poor Woody. We have a nice Thanksgiving and he suffers for it.
We actually had a pretty nice evening, mostly spent talking to Emily. My friends and I used to have this joke that every relationship has sort of an unofficial third member, a close friend who’s always kind of there or hangs out with the couple a lot–even if they’re in their own relationship. Like, I was probably Scott and Terra’s third through college, and Terra was probably mine and Paul’s for a while, but more and more, I think Emily is becoming our third. I know I’ve said this before, but I never thought I’d so enjoy the company of a 19-year-old when I myself am 27.
As for the early afternoon, that was spent at my parents’, which was also a small gathering–Brandon ended up going to the hospital with chest pain, which turned out to be nothing. He’s had it happen before so I’m thinking it’s just some strange quirk of his body’s when he’s sick, and it’s why dinner still went on as planned and my mother didn’t panic and go to the hospital. She told Kelly to let us know if it did end up being serious and if she needed anything, but it was fine. So Paul and I had dinner with my parents and Duke and watched some of IFC’s day-long Rocky Horror marathon, which my mother has somehow never seen in its entirety, despite my dad and I both being fans. On that note, my dad liking that movie makes no sense at all, which we discussed.
So maybe this goes down as our best Thanksgiving to date–no drama and no chaos, just a pleasant surprise of calm.
I thought about it a little over the last day or so, and maybe I’ll elaborate at a later date, but…it seems that being pleasantly surprised by calm is the way things have been going lately. I’m still guarded on pretty much all fronts, mostly because I don’t realistically expect this all to last, but it seems that all the things that used to be my biggest sources of stress and anxiety are just kind of…gone. Well, maybe not gone, but I think things have sort of leveled out, at least temporarily, to where if you would’ve asked me three or four years ago, this is what I would’ve wanted. Now, if I had the choice, I think I’d still have preferred this to come then rather than now. I needed it more then. But it’s still nice, and I’m still grateful.