This is mostly just a vent with a question at the end. My parents are very conservative and have a very strict sense of social decorum. My in-laws, though essentially very nice people at heart, do lack the general social graces. That created quite a bit of tension with me in the beginning, but I?ve since gotten to know them better and we get along fine now. However, every time my parents come and visit (about 3 or 4 times a year for about 2 weeks each, they are both retired), they insist on seeing my ILs frequently as to be ?polite?, and then inevitably get upset/offended because my ILs would say/do something that?s just not ?normal? in my parents? eyes, then I?d have to spend hours explaining to my parents that they shouldn?t take what my ILs do personally, etc. And it?s the same thing EVERY visit. Now, realizing that I can neither change my parents? attitude nor my IL?s behaviour, I?ve tried discouraging my parents from seeing my ILs, but they won?t because it wouldn?t be the ?polite? thing to do. I?ve even went as far as telling my mom that their complaining about my ILs was really stressing me out and making me dread their visits - that stopped them from openly complaining about my IL?s behaviour, but I could tell that they are still hurt and would go on and sulk for hours/days - my mom even went back to her room and cried after one gathering.
So anyways, onto the question - since lunches/dinners generally involve conversations which inevitably leads to discontentment, anyone has any suggestions for activities where we could all do together so that my parents would feel like they?ve ?seen? my ILs for the sake of being polite but that really involve minimal interaction?