My mother-in-law was a strong woman. She was a very successful entrepreneur her whole life. She single-handedly supported a family of seven, and strangely enough she was a chauvinist, but not in the way you think.
I find the wording hard to figure out because I want to say, even though she was female, she was a male chauvinist. She thought men were superior to women, even though she was breaking the very stereotypes she professed to believe.
In later years, as I schlepped her from doctor to doctor, she would proclaim that men were such better drivers, and then she would turn around and tell me that I was the best driver she had ever seen.
I would say the thing that irritated me most was what she deemed the “best Christmas - a Guy Christmas.”
For one reason or another I wasn’t there, and nobody else’s girlfriends came either. I guess because of that, all the gifts were joke gifts, and they all got mislabeled, and the wrong people received the wrong gifts, and it went downhill from there.
I think part of the reason it was such a great holiday was because she had her sons all to herself, and I get that. I can appreciate what a gift it was not to have to share their attention.
I also think there was a little more truth to the Guy Christmas. I realize this is slightly stereotypical, but in my reality, it has also been true. If it is a mixed gathering, I probably put more stress on myself because I know women typically notice details more. A woman will notice and comment on the centerpiece, the wrapping and ribbons, the tree decorations, where a man – if the turkey is good, wouldn’t realize the kitchen was on fire unless he needed to get back in there for seconds.
My brothers-in-law will tease me mercilessly about almost everything but if dinner is good– well, actually no, they’ll still tease me, but a lot can be overlooked.
This year I’ve been behind. I can’t seem to get everything done that I normally do, and I’ve been stressing about it. I haven’t been able to make myself slow down and enjoy the season the way I normally do.
Late last night, Paul went out to run an errand. While he was gone, he called me and said to meet him in the driveway. He wanted to show me some lights.
I ran outside, pjs and all and climbed in the car. Christmas music was playing as he drove me around the neighborhood, and we looked at lights. (His mom would think he’s such a good driver!) Everything else could wait while we spent a little time together.
We may end up ordering pizza for Christmas dinner if everything goes sideways and that will work too. Although the teasing will never end for that one.