Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Mom wears a thong; girls want to follow suit

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My husband, his parents and his sister rotate hosting duties for Thanksgiving every year. It's our turn.

My husband and I decided to do something different this year. We did not want to worry about cooking or cleaning up, so we reserved (and paid for) a private Thanksgiving Day dinner at a popular steakhouse. We had no expectation of anyone paying for their meal; we only hoped it would be a good time.

My husband mentioned the restaurant plan to his mother, and she immediately said that they would not be participating. She wants a "traditional" Thanksgiving, and said we were "lazy" for hosting at a restaurant.

She also told my sister-in-law that we must have money to waste, and is trying to convince her to host Thanksgiving herself, instead of coming to the restaurant with us.

My sister-in-law is trying to make everyone happy, and hasn't committed to anything yet. My mother-in-law has dug in and refuses to even discuss the topic with us anymore.

I am hurt by this reaction. However, I do not feel we should change our plans because of her, or just give in, when our intention was to do something nice. What should we do?

-- Wondering

Dear Wondering: You need to realize that it's possible that if you announced to your mother-in-law that you were hosting at your home but would be serving lobster instead of traditional turkey, she might have a problem.

Many people have a specific vision of what this holiday is supposed to be about, and her vision seems to be one of you, laboring over a roasting pan, basting a turkey.

But if it's your turn and whether you want to host this at a steakhouse, a Chinese restaurant or at the Tim Hortons on the highway, then your family should give it a try.

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