Thanksgiving this year will have land mines planted in the cranberry sauce. There are souls hanging in the balance and racial tension and cultural conflicts, all centered around the Kansas City contingent. There is so much woven subtext I can't even present it in an organized manner.
It seems the Very Muslim nephew and Semi-Muslim sister-in-law and Jack Muslim niece have been busy getting busy. Each person has a better half, most of them shrouded in mystery.
First, our niece. She is the Jack Muslim. Her better half will be present. Her boyfriend of over a year is Christian and blond and working and almost has a college degree. They are seriously involved but not married. Any other time this would cause comment. Wilma would say, "I don't understand how you kids can have such long engagements. I wanted to get married as soon as possible because I was WORRIED about my SOUL."
No one will say a word this year against a long pre-marital entanglement. Why? Gary's sister Sandy (the niece and nephew's mother) has found herself a short pre-marital entanglement.
Evidently there's a Muslim corner of Match.com. It's kind of like J-Date, but M-Date. And without any emphasis on "Date." More like M-Arranged Marriage.
Sandy has made plans with a Saudi man who lives in Michigan. He will not be there. I’m not sure how much he knows about Sandy’s plans. Sandy will talk about him. We don't know how much of what she says is based in reality.
The Saudi man is brown, in contrast to Sandy, who is pink, and the niece (brown, sometimes pink when it suits her) and the nephew (browner than brown by choice, brown and pink biologically). I would love to say the family is a wonderful blended family without racism, and it mostly is, but for the nephew. He is disgusted his sister is dating someone who isn't brown.
He, on the other hand, enraged everyone when he was courting a Michigan girl on M-Date and took the photos of his pink relatives off his Facebook page. This "browning" scheme worked because he has given this girl an engagement ring. The initial plan was for his very brown biological father/stranger to negotiate for him, but the father found himself too busy to do the one thing his son has asked him for. Instead, Sandy is going up to Michigan to arrange things. She has dyed her hair defiantly blonde to look as pink as possible.
(The elephant in the room? Before you ask, "wasn't he married befo -"
We don't talk about that. Sandy says the new fiancée knows about the previous wedding, but perhaps not all the horrible details.)
The Saudi man won’t be there, but the fiancée girl might come to Thanksgiving. I won't mention the previous wife. I will try not to press her to see if she knows about her betrothed's smoking drinking womanizing materialistic addicted past.
So, here are things not to talk about at Thanksgiving:
The pinkness of the long-term boyfriend. (The brownness of anyone is not in question.)
The length of the long-term courtship AND the brevity of the short-term courtships.
The previous marriage.
Hell and various ways to get there in comparative religions.
Anything that isn't happening in the present at the actual dinner table.