This weekend is usually designated as what I used to affectionately call “in-law Thanksgiving,” when you gather with the non-alpha in-laws to celebrate the holiday (as opposed to the real feast with your actual family).
For further clarification, the “alpha in-laws” are typically the woman’s family. I’m not sure why that is. It likely harks back to that old adage my grandmother often cited, “A son’s a son ‘til he takes a wife. A daughter’s a daughter all her life.” While that is not always the situation, fortunately, it worked out that way for me. My family was the alpha. I’m not sure I could have survived had it been otherwise. There were three sisters-in-law, and having only a big brother, I never really understood how to relate or get along with sisters. Besides, two of those women viewed my husband as the “baby brother.” And my mother-in-law? She was my brunette Marie Barone of “Everybody Loves Raymond” (impeccably portrayed by the late Doris Roberts). I never questioned the precept governing alpha in-laws as long as it was working in my favor. Continue reading