Do you have a place at your table?
When you sit down as a family to eat, does everyone just go to their place?
We do here. I mean, no one assigned seats or anything, but we just all sit in the same place every time. It's the same thing at my mom's house or at the lake. You just know where your place is.
When my mother-in-law arrived last week and we prepared to break bread together for the first time, she went to my chair. No big deal, really, as she doesn't know where we sit and, honestly, I'm not that much of a shrew, it's just a chair, but the husband stopped her dead in her tracks and pointed her to another seat and let her know that it was my spot and she'd need to move, and she did. Then.
Since then, though, she has transformed my place into her own personal communication center. The next day she spread out her bible, her notebooks, her writing pads and pens, her address book, and our phone and neatly organized it into her place. She's there pretty much all day long talking on the phone, writing letters to her friends, and reading. In my place. At first she'd move everything at meal time, but now, it stays and she stays and I end up eating in the corner with an aloe vera plant poking at my head. It really does feel like this is her passive/aggressive way of pushing me aside and making herself front and center and I don't like that. The chair she can have. I just don't like her taking over my whole place.
Lemon Curd Coffee Cake
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