At least it wasn't our personal drama.
Thanksgiving was supposed to be me, DH, the kids, my parents, and DH's grandmother over at my in-laws' house. I was bringing appetizers and dessert; we were eating around 4:30 and we'd planned to go over around noon so that the kids could take their naps there and we could have a good visit.
The phone rings around 2:00. It's MIL's niece...the one with three kids by three different guys. She was supposed to be hosting Thanksgiving for her bio-dad and her brothers, but they all bailed on her at the last minute and she wanted to come over. She told MIL it would be her, her husband, and their seven-year-old, and they'd bring everything she'd made for dinner. MIL said no problem.
The doorbell rings at 3:45. It's Niece's Daughter with her flavor-of-the-month boyfriend. (The girl is 19, and she's brought a different guy with her to every Thanksgiving and Christmas since she was about 15. I always wonder if any of those guys have any family of their own.) MIL had no clue they were planning to come, but she just set another two places. Then Niece, her husband, and her son show up...with another guy in tow. He's some family friend who's staying with them right now. For some reason, Niece failed to mention him or the daughter or the boyfriend when she said who was coming.
MIL throws on another place setting. If you're keeping score at home, the dinner that was originally planned for seven adults and two toddlers is now a dinner for twelve adults, two toddlers, and an elementary-school kid. MIL says under her breath, "At least they brought food."
We sit down to dinner, and Niece shares with us the news that she'll be a grandmother by the time she's forty. Her 22-year-old eldest son is expecting a baby with his girlfriend. And her 19-year-old daughter is now engaged to and living with the guy she's brought to dinner. Niece's husband is NOT happy about this at all, so he's not really speaking to the guy.
The way they got engaged? They went out of town for the weekend together, and Niece's Daughter comes home with an engagement ring and a barbell piercing through the cartilage of one ear. As Niece is telling us all this, I can't tell if she's more pissed off by the barbell or by the idea of her daughter getting married before she's old enough to drink legally. The barbell seemed to be the thing that was bothering her more.
And then the best comment came up. Niece: "Well, I just didn't feel like I could say too much about the engagement, because I was married and had a baby by the time I was her age."
It was so on the tip of my tongue to say, "Yes, and look how well that all turned out for you!" But I just smiled and kept drinking.
And here I was, thinking we'd have a quiet, low-key Thanksgiving this year.