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Things are the usual chaotic mess around here. Holiday celebrations stretch from last weekend well into November. It all started when Crazy D announced he and his new girlfriend would like to visit her parents (several hours away) for Thanksgiving. Trying to be the reasonable, accommodating mother-in-law (potentially), I said, gracious smile on my face, “Not a problem. We can switch our celebration to the following weekend. Go. Enjoy time with her parents.”

My inner self was less charitable, thinking, “But I can’t get the nice fresh organic turkey I usually get since it will be after real Thanksgiving.” I did point this out to Crazy D, in the nicest possible tone. “Oh, I hadn’t thought of that, Mom. I really love the organic bird.”

Then he brightened: “But, hey, you and I are the only ones who’ll be eating it since The Girlfriend is vegan. Problem solved!” he added cheerfully.

Problem solved? Are you kidding me? I thought we got rid of all our vegans years ago! Now we just have a couple of vegetarians …those I can cope with. And no, I didn’t kill them off, they reformed. I’m old and tired…making three kinds of stuffing and dreaming up creative ways to present kale (which I personally hate) and other slimy vegetables is a lot of work. Plus, my kitchen is having some renos done on it and we may or may not have countertops then. Or a sink. But, if we have it the later weekend, at least we’ll have each other.

The date had been settled…or so I thought. But I should have known this crowd better. I mentioned, nonchalantly to L’il Sis, that Crazy D had requested dinner on the Saturday of the weekend. Early last week, Crazy D asked if we could change the date to Sunday. “Sure, I don’t see why not,” I commented.

I emailed L’il Sis with the change. She had a very busy week and didn’t check her email until five days later. (I know…even I, the least tech savvy person in the family, check my email compulsively) and so wasn’t aware of the change. “But Other Brother can’t come on Sunday. Where does Crazy D get off changing the date again? He already changed the weekend! You only get one change per person. I want dinner on Saturday!”

“I didn’t realize there was a rule book about changing your mind,” I ventured quietly.

“Well, it isn’t fair!” L’il Sis announced testily.

“Well, I’m just the mother. I feel weak when these things happen. YOU deal with your brother. I wash my hands of it!”

“Fine. I’ll text him.”

And she did. We will be having our festivities on Saturday. I have no idea what L’il Sis said to Crazy D, but I insist that everyone put on their game face and make nice. I’m too old for this shit! Planning an event with this crew is like herding cats. At least Gill is easy to please — she’s just grateful for a turkey, curling up in her ‘nest’ with a heating pad and possibly a pet or two. No organizing required. And, since living in the UK, she knows how to ‘go with the flow’. I must warn her, however, that when she returns for Christmas, she’ll have to up her negotiating skills , sharpen her elbows or get trampled in the melee.