Here’s a Jeer Abby post just in time for the holidays (next week) (if you’re in the U.S.).
DEAR ABBY: This will be the fourth holiday season my boyfriend and I have shared together. We usually split Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations between our two families, although not equally.
The whole “not equally” part is a little ambiguous at this point, but let’s see where this is going.
I come from a large family that understands the need to “share” me with my boyfriend’s family. My boyfriend comes from a small family; he is the only child. Last Christmas, he was allowed to visit with my family for only 20 minutes.
Okay, reality check. Your family doesn’t really understand the need to share you, they just don’t really care if you’re there the whole time. With big families, there’s always too many people in the house anyway.
And what’s this whole “allowed to visit” nonsense? Do your parents have a meth lab in their basement? Or practice ritualistic animal sacrifices (not turkey-related) during the holidays?
This Thanksgiving all six of my mother’s siblings will be here with their families for the first time in five years. My uncle, who is in the Air Force and is being sent to the Middle East in December, will also be here. It is important to me that my boyfriend spend time with my family this Thanksgiving, but he always knuckles under to the guilt trip from his mother.
The easy answer here is that your boyfriend in a total pussy. And he probably is. But consider this: he might have some very valid reasons for not wanting to spend time with your mother’s six siblings and your uncle who’s about to get shipped off to the Middle East. If you were smart, you’d use your boyfriend as an excuse to spend time with his small family this year.
He says that until he graduates from college, he has to live by their rules, but I think their rules are unreasonable. We want only two or three hours with him. I don’t think this is unreasonable. What do you think? — WANTS TO SHARE
Holidays are a time for passive aggressive comments, petty arguments, tension headaches, heavy drinking, and shame. You also eat turkey and, if you’re lucky, ham. If your boyfriend is such a straight arrow (am I suddenly from the 50s?) that he’s afraid of pissing off his parents for fear that they’ll pull his tuition money, then please dump him now so you’ll have a rebound boyfriend in place by New Year’s Eve. He doesn’t understand that as the only child, he holds the trump card. They pull his tuition? He cuts off all communication. They’ll come crawling back like parents of only children always do.
Your boyfriend’s going to have to defy his parents sooner or later. But my guess is that it will be later… much later.