Remembering all the “mitigating circumstances” that are another person’s experience. I realized several years ago that some of my MIL’s characteristics have to do with poor eyesight and hearing—once you realize that, other things begin to make sense. So I’m glad I recognized that.
Remembering that it’s always weird and stressful to be in another person’s house, and the obligation is for us to make her feel comfortable and welcome, not the other way around.
Listening to my boss complain about his father ‘s visits helped with that, too. I’m remembering that MIL isn’t going to be with us forever, and we have to look for—and strive to create—those moments to treasure.
It’s been much easier this year. She hasn’t been (quite) as food obsessed, less insistent on paying for everything, just less maintenance altogether. The only moment, really, was about leaving the tip at the restaurant yesterday. Hrodebert said he would leave the tip, and was calculating 18% or so, and MIL insisted that because it was a buffet, one only had to leave a little bit. She wanted to leave $5; he wanted to leave $25. It’s true about buffets, that a full tip isn’t expected, but that’s for a restaurant where a couple employees come out every 15 minutes to wipe up the counters and refill the potato salad. This restaurant was serving drinks and wine, and there were three carvers at the turkey, ham, and roast beef stations, and a lot of labor-intensive food like shucked oysters, plus these people are working on Thanksgiving. That deserves a full tip.
At any rate, we left the $25, and had a very enjoyable meal. I would definitely go back there sometime on a normal night.
I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgivings!