Here’s how messed up my family is: I normally host Thanksgiving, a huge spread that involves a lot of preparation and a lot of hard work, as I’m sure you know. My sister wanted to host this year, so I said, No problem! She and her husband said they would do the cooking. Then we all get an email saying that since they are hosting, they’ll provide the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, and that the rest of us should bring the sides, desserts, and wine. WTF? And to top it all off, my crazy sister-in-law writes back and says she’d be happy to bring the rice. Rice? Really? Why would my sister insist on hosting and then try to pawn all the cooking off on everyone else?
RICE? NO! NOT RICE! NOOOOOOOOOO. Uh, what’s wrong with rice? It’s not exactly a Turkey Day tradition, but it’s not like she offered to bring lo mein and some egg rolls.
I think you’re just looking for something to be mad about. Maybe your sister doesn’t have enough money to pay for all the food. Maybe she’s not a good cook and is afraid of getting overwhelmed and is asking for help before she ruins the whole damn dinner and you all end up ordering a pizza. Maybe she has a bunch of houseguests coming and a small kitchen and she’s not sure she has enough room to do all that preparation in her house. Whatever her reason, it doesn’t seem like she’s being nefarious; it seems like she’s doing what ALL THE OTHER AMERICAN PEOPLE DO on Thanksgiving and asking people to bring a dish. I mean, you would have offered to bring one anyway, right? Drop the attitude, bring a bunch of wine and a pie, and enjoy your family. I’m sure it’s hard to look at it this way when you’re the kind of person who’s perpetually annoyed at nothing, but your family is precious, and these times you have together are rare, beautiful moments that I guarantee won’t be around forever. Appreciate your sister and sister-in-law for who they are. Be nice. Don’t make life miserable for them, or your mother or your brother, who probably have to constantly apologize for your behavior.
Also, if this is your definition of “messed up,” you need to get out more. Watch some reality television, or go to a dive bar in upstate New York at three in the morning, or go to a Florida county fair. That’s messed up. This, not so much.