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My Married Life: Dinner Party Chitchat

One of my best friends has a tradition of throwing dinner parties every night of Thanksgiving weekend. We were invited on Saturday, which was great -- because if I wasn't officially over cooking for a full house by Friday, I sure as heck was by mid-weekend.

I have to admit though: The idea of taking my in-laws to any kind of party (even the kind where chewing is the main event) gave me pause. After all, these are Jack's staunchly conservative parents, and my friends are...well…not. In fact, these particular friends are all quite politically active. Some hold office, while others are merely officers in the local Democratic Party, but it's fair to say that none listen to Limbaugh or Beck daily (in contrast with my FIL).

In general, I avoid talking politics with my in-laws. This stands in stark contrast to my younger self who was obsessed with telling everyone what I thought about everything (slams fist on table), no matter how uninformed I might happen to be. Through trial and error, I have found that the more my mouth stays shut, the more familial harmony I'm capable of creating. Crazy, huh

Anyway, the dinner party was a great mix of people (a testament to my friend's hosting skills), and my in-laws were quickly absorbed into conversations in separate rooms. Since it was my good friend's party, I did what I always do and set about fluffing up the cheese and crackers and topping off everyone's wine. As I passed my father-in-law, I saw that he was chatting with (of all people) an expert on climate change policy and a so-far-left-he-alienates-my-most-hippie-dippy-friends organic farmer. I froze for a second, before heading to the kitchen to nervously stir a sauce. When my father-in-law finally came in to get something, I asked, "Do you need me to save you?" "No way," he said. "I'm having the time of my life. I never get to talk politics."

That's when I realized, the real reason I don't discuss politics with my in-laws isn't to protect them from getting upset, it's because I can't handle it. I'm the one that might go nuts and stomp out of the room yelling, "You're all idiots!"

Live and learn, right?

Do you have a policy on talking politics with the fam?

-- Holly

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