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Advice from Dear Webby
Cheap at Thanksgiving?

Dear Webby,

Our entire family gets together for Thanksgiving at my home (it's the largest). I make the turkey and other members bring the side dishes. My problem is with two sisters in law. One never offers to bring anything and the other brings "Potato Salad" which of course doesn't fit in. What is wrong with them?

Signed: Upset not thankful

Dear Upset,

How lucky you are that your family chooses to spend the holiday together and at your home. You must make them feel very comfortable.

To the sister in law that doesn't bring anything, does she cook at all? Is she perhaps afraid to compete with the "sisters"? Could she possibly think that you all get together and plan the meal, and maybe feels like an outsider?

Does she entertain you during the year and not ask for help? Or is she lazy? I would make a comment that since the family has gotten so big you will put her on next years list of cooks and does she have a specialty she would like to bring (hopefully not potato salad).

As to the potato salad sister in law, how unique! Does she come from a warm climate; do you think her mother always made it? Has she been complimented on it, and maybe thinks people look forward to it (maybe some do)?

I would say nothing - enjoy a mouthful along with the mashed potatoes and yams. Try and remember what this holiday is all about and enjoy the sometimes imperfect people you share it with.

Someday when Thanksgiving memories are shared I bet everyone will remember the "potato salad" with a smile more than the mashed potatoes.

Who knows? She may have started a tradition and years from now someone will try to figure out how potato salad became part of the family's celebration.


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