Post # 1
So DH’s brother called yesterday to ask if he and his girlfriend (they’ve been dating ~2-3 months) can stay with us this week while they’re in town for Thanksgiving. I agreed, but there are two small issues here that I need advice on.
1. His Girlfriend is vegetarian (well, pescatarian- she eats fish occasionally), but Darling Husband, Brother-In-Law, and I are not. I have no idea what meals to prepare, or even if I should prepare the meals. Darling Husband and I will be working all day except for Thanksgiving, so it will just be Brother-In-Law and his Girlfriend in the house. Do I need to cook for all of us, or give them free reign of the fridge and let them make their own meals?
2. I have incredibly bad social anxiety. I’ve met BIL’s girlfriend once, but only for a short time. This will be an entire week with someone I barely know- and I’m not very good with having people over at my house, even close family or friends (when I get off work, I come home to relax and unwind from being around people all day- I’m not prepared to come home and have two people in my house, especially since Darling Husband will probably still be at work when I get home.)
I’m not uncomfortable with Brother-In-Law and his Girlfriend, it’s people at my house in general that bothers me. They’ll be sharing space with us for a week, sleeping in our home, etc. and I don’t know how well I’m going to handle it. It’s worse because I’m not familiar with his Girlfriend, and honestly I’m not that close with Brother-In-Law either. I’m trying to remain calm/sociable but this whole scenario makes me want to cry. DH’s parents (BILs parents) live 45 minutes from us, and Brother-In-Law and his Girlfriend could easily stay there, but they want to stay with us. It’s just odd to me; this will be our first Thanksgiving together as a married couple and we’re going to have guests with us the whole time. Darling Husband says that his brother and his Girlfriend are serious, but I also find it weird that he’s bringing her to Thanksgiving with the whole family when they’re only dated a short time. I didn’t go with Darling Husband to family Thanksgiving until we were engaged. I don’t know- different couples are different I suppose.
I needed to vent somewhere besides to Darling Husband, because I know it will upset him if he thinks I don’t want his brother and Girlfriend with us. It’s not that I mind them, I would love to see them at Thanksgiving meal with the family- but they’re going to be at our house all week- that’s my main concern. I’m actually fighting off a panic attack every time I think about it. They arrive on Tuesday. Is there any advice I can use to help remain calm this week?
Post # 3
I understand why you’re anxious – a week is a long visit. BUT – 1) don’t worry about food. They are grown ups and can fend for themselves, and every vegetarian I know is super good about sorting out their own meals. Maybe buy a frozen pack of boca burgers for her, but don’t put yourself out. 2) this seems like a great opportunity to get to know your Brother-In-Law and his Girlfriend better. And if they are serious enough to be spending holidays together, she may well be your DH’s SIL some time soon.
Post # 4
@mrstea83: I think that as far as food as concerned, why not simply ask your Darling Husband for BIL’s GF’s # and either text or call?
I would text: Hi! It’s Mrstea83 🙂 I heard that you two are coming over for Thanksgiving and I wanted to have your favorite Thanksgiving dish on the menu. What is your preference?
I think this is a great way to break the ice and perhaps you can ease some of your social anxiety by texting a bit first so that the two of you are familiar with the eachother and she can see that you care about her. This way when she shows up, you can say something like ‘I’m so glad you responded to my texts’ or ‘It’s nice to have talked to you a bit more since the last time we met’.
I really love having my own space so I get it. Perhaps your Brother-In-Law and his Girlfriend want to explore the city and not be up under you the entire time. OR, have plans in place (or fake plans), so that you can give yourself some ‘breathing’ room if you have too. Even just running errands!
I know it’s your first Thanksgiving married, I get it…but….Given the choice between staying with PARENTS or staying with other young people who we can at least drink and not be so stiff around (this goes for either my SO’s brothers/SIL’s or my brother), I think I’d simply prefer to be around people my own age.
Also…if you Brother-In-Law is bringing his Girlfriend around family for the holidays…he likely feels serious about her so you might as well get to know her because what if he marries her?
Post # 5
@mrstea83: I would make one or two simple meals, such as spaghetti/pasta or a vegetarian lasagna, and make a spinach salad and garlic bread to go with that. No meat needed! I’d also fill the fridge and pantry with some veggie-friendly snacks (fresh fruit and vegetables, pita chips and hummus, cheese and crackers.) But I tend to overfeed my guests so don’t feel obligated! I am sure they will appreciate anything you do. 🙂
Post # 6
@mrstea83: also, as far as staying relaxed – while they are over, schedule in some me-time. Book a mani-pedi for yourself, have a long, leisurely session at the gym, meet a friend for a drink, or just announce you’re crashing early and curl up in your bed with a book and a glass of wine. You’re not expected to entertain them the entire time they are over! They are grownups and they have each other.