I just got off the phone with my mother - we were discussing the menu for our Christmas dinner. At one point she casually says “Sister-in-Law and the kids will want turkey gravy for the mashed potatoes (in the context of accommodating vegetarians and non-vegetarians at the same table).” “Sister-In-Law” is my twin brother’s wife. The wife of my twin brother, to whom I have not spoken in seven years. The argument that ended our speaking relationship took place at Christmas dinner, and ended in me throwing a cocktail - the only time I have ever thrown anything in anger. The argument was a combination of differing political views and the fact that I live in Chicago, which (acccording to him) is the stupidest thing anyone could ever do. Living in Chicago is the same thing as living in Baghdad. He had a litany of reasons Chicago is a terrible place to live...despite the fact that he has never in his entire life set foot in city of Chicago. I lost it. I’m not proud of that. Shortly after he stopped speaking to me he cut out my mother and my sister as well - with no apparent reason. Any time SiL asked why he refused to speak to any of us he wouldn’t answer. No explanations.

Seven years later and he has apparently mended his relationship with my mom, but I still haven’t spoken to him, nor has my sister to my knowledge.

So, now we’re going to all sit down for dinner together like nothing happened? My sister has a new husband who has never met the brother, and I have a “new” partner who has never met him. Not only that, my partner’s mother is joining my family for the holiday. This really does not seem like a good idea to me... I mean, we’re good Mid-Western WASPy folk who bury our emotions and never discuss delicate topics, but this feels like a disaster in the making.