This Thanks­giv­ing, just let the in-laws eat their pie

The Herald Sun - - Puzzles - CAROLYNHAX Email Carolyn at tellme@wash­post.com, fol­low her on Face­book at www.face­book. com/carolyn.hax or chat with her on­line at noon Eastern time each Fri­day at www. wash­ing­ton­post.com.

Dear Carolyn: My hus­band’s fam­ily is re­ally aca­demic, most are in school un­til their late 20s at least. My hus­band has a bach­e­lor’s de­gree and I have some col­lege but never in­ished. His fam­ily has al­ways been wel­com­ing and they aren’t snobby or any­thing— with the ex­cep­tion of Thanks­giv­ing. My in-laws host and­make a great meal. My hus­band’s sib­lings are never asked to con­trib­ute be­cause they are in in­als and “don’t have the time or money” to bring any­thing. We are al­ways asked to bring a dessert or some­thing.

My hus­band thinks I’m over­re­act­ing and doesn’t care, but for some rea­son this re­ally bugs me. How do I let it go? Or is it worth it to bring it up?

— Re­ally Bugged

Oh good­ness no. Please don’t. There are only two pos­si­bil­i­ties here. One is that the face­value ex­pla­na­tion is cor­rect: The sibs are all broke and slammed with in­als and you two are not broke and not slammed, so you are the only ones in a po­si­tion to help.

You will ind out whether this is true, by the way, if and when the now-stu­dents in­ish their pro­grams and are asked to bring pie. Or not.

The sec­ond is that your gut in­stinct is cor­rect— that you’re be­ing treated as an aca­dem­i­cally sec­ond-class ci­ti­zen.

If the lat­ter is true, then in the­ory it’s not de­fen­si­ble, but in prac­tice it’s not only a bit of a stretch (“Let the un­washed bring us pie!”), but it’s also play­ing out as en­joy­ing 364 days, ar­guably 365, of wel­com­ing and un­snobby peo­ple for the cost of one pie.

It’s nor­mal, even ine for our in­se­cu­ri­ties to raise their voices and drown out the­more ra­tio­nal ones in our heads some­times. We all just need to make sure we don’t slip and speak them out loud.

Dear Carolyn: Re: Pie?: Make the pie. Make it with a lov­ing heart, freely and vol­un­tar­ily. For all you know, the aca­demics in the fam­ily can’t cook.

— Anony­mous

This an­swer is the an­swer to so many things: Make the pie.

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