We were planning to spend a large portion of the day with my boyfriend’s family, but on the way we stopped for my regular weekly visit to my mother.  I dropped off the usual stuff (meals, books, and DVDs) as well as some Easter treats (chocolate cake and hot cross buns).  Then I did a couple of chores she’d set aside for me, including making out a bank deposit slip and updating the entries in her checkbook.

On the drive over to see my boyfriend’s family, we talked for a while in the car about our respective families.  I talked about my mother’s relationship with my brother (they live together, but hardly speak to each other), and my relationship with him (he speaks to me even less than he speaks to her).  Then we talked for a while about my boyfriend’s family and who might or might not show up for Easter dinner.  That was when I learned that his nephew (who used to be his niece) (which is part of a much longer story) might be coming to dinner and might be bringing a lot of emotional baggage to the table.  Apparently, there have been some family arguments brewing over the last few months.  And that’s when I said, “Well, I’m just letting you know that if he yells at me again, I’m going to start crying, because I’m not good at dealing with people yelling at me.”  To clarify, he hasn’t actually yelled at me since another family dinner several years ago, back when he was a she …

Anyway, the nephew in question didn’t show up for dinner, although we heard that he was at his father’s house a few blocks away.  We also heard some gossip about another branch of the family, and how one of the aunts was going to be spending Easter with one of her sons — one of the sons she’s currently getting along with, even though his new wife has butted heads with her several times recently.

You know, when I first started dating my boyfriend, I was worried about what he would think of my family and the various levels of dysfunction and skeletons in the closet.  But I soon learned that even though there was a lot of drama in my family, there was even more in his … if only because his family is a lot bigger than mine.  There is only so much drama that can fit in my family, in which most of my family members had two or three children.  Part of his family tree includes a couple who had SEVENTEEN children, so there’s a lot more fodder for drama and a larger proportion of people who might or might not be speaking to each other at any time.

So as it turns out, the dinner was mostly drama-free and fairly manageable.  We also had a group of six people at dinner instead of eight or ten, which means that I will be bringing some extra desserts to work tomorrow 🙂  The star of the show was the youngest member of the family, who is very lively and gregarious once she gets warmed up.  Which means that she was sullen and silent when she arrived (she’d just woken up from a nap), but after about 20 minutes or so she was wide awake, requesting extra helpings of manicotti, singing, jumping around, and playing “peekaboo” for much longer than I would have thought humanly possible.

Overall, we had a lot of great food and a very good time, with a minumum of family drama.

Sharing an Egg

I Now Have an Easter Egg!

Plating the Desserts

Dessert Assortment