The very best part of the trip was getting to know my new sister in law.
I'd met her two Christmases ago when I'd gone down for the holidays with Jim. She'd been the brand new bride then and I'd looked down upon her because she spent every single freaking moment in that people-pleasing mode that I used to struggle with in my years of fundigelicalism. It's an exhausting place to be. She seemed really insecure and determined to make everyone like her.
However I will admit I was as sick as can be on that trip and tripping on that wonderful liquid Vicodin cough syrup for my walking pneumonia. Not everything that came out of my mouth was rational and my thought processes were somewhat skewed. I do remember Jim getting rather anger with me because I wasn't falling all over the new sister in law and when asked a direct question I gave direct truthful, not necessarily pretty, answers.
Fast forward to this year. We spent a morning shopping together than opened a discussion about the Maw-in-Law and our mutual feelings of annoyance with Maw because of her unfeeling, uncensored commentary and her prejudices and general rudeness. We had so much in common it just wasn't even funny. We both verklempt and carried on. It was wonderful because for the first time someone else knew exactly why I was so hung up on some of the things my Maw-in-Law, retired university professor, said and did.
That plus we share a love of unusual handmade jewelry and love of turquoise. In fact this afternoon I am making us making gemstone necklaces with lots of turquoise in each. During our travels I'd stopped by the largest selection/cheapest prices bead place I always hit when I'm in Louisiana, Ponchatoula's The Turquoise Coyote. I got all the beads I needed for the necklaces very inexpensively. Too bad they aren't online.
We also went with her and the Bro-in-Law to see a local theater production of "Cats" and had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day with them. I'm glad we came as I think they have a better sense of who we are and I got to know my new Sister-in-law much better.
The old sister-in-law was always a pain in the ass. Christmas Day? We'd be eating dinner, playing games, unwrapping presents and doing all sorts of things while the old Sis sat in the corner reading a book without interacting with any of us. I know she thought we were all beneath her and her fancy corporate world but really, try to pretend to be family on one day a year to make the Maw-in-Law happy. What does that cost? Nothing, yet it's precious beyond belief.