Get me out of here! Tactfully.
November 26, 2010 7:47 AM Subscribe
How can I peacefully and tactfully get out of the huge family Thanksgiving celebration for next year, or years after that? I've finally reached the end of my rope, I think.
posted by kpht to human relations (60 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Every year, I swear it is my last going to my family's Thanksgiving as I'm starving, waiting to eat, but I end up going again and again.
My family isn't terrible by any means, and they're not bad hosts, there's just a lot of them and it's very chaotic. My mother has three siblings, all with 2-3 kids from 10-18 years old. Thanksgiving is about 20-23 people at two tables. I've tried to bow out, only to get a bunch of guilt from my mom, my grandmother, and others. Also complicating things: my in-laws also attend and get along well with my family, as they're both only children and have no other family.
I dislike attending because I'm told to be there at X hour (I've taken to showing up at X+45), only dinner isn't served until 2-3 hours later - this year, nearly 4 hours later. I spent 7 hours there yesterday before I could escape, and I was the first to do so. Isn't that excessive?
I am 36 weeks pregnant and was not only starving, but had to pacify my toddler in a non-kidproofed house for four hours while he was also starving. I realize it takes a hell of a lot of effort to make a meal for so many people and I don't mean to be ungrateful, but three hours late every year is really annoying (I usually bring a side dish that requires only microwaving). There's never enough chairs to sit in and socialize, I'm always stuck at the kid's table with misbehaving youngsters while their parents socialize in another room.
I just want to stay home and have Thanksgiving at my house, and my husband has wanted the same for awhile. Without all the people - who I see at least 5 other times a year at various other events such as group birthday parties, graduations, etc. If my immediate family would like to, they could come.
I want to mitigate the guilt and passive-aggressiveness, especially from my mom, when I finally put my foot down. I realize I'm also unfortunately putting my inlaws in a weird spot - and it's not like I have a terrible time, I just... don't want to go. How can I tactfully decline when I've gone every year since my birth and live within an hour and a half and it's what Everyone Just Does? Next year we'll have a toddler and a baby. We're going to have the same issue with Christmas, I think. I just want my family to have its own traditions and make things really low-key and non-stressful for my kids.
Or should I just suck it up and keep going because it's about my family and not me?