So the family I've got in this area is my wife's. While they are nice enough, the time I see them is for events like Thanksgiving. The majority of the 'out laws' down a couple of bottles of wine and generally become much less intelligent versions of themselves (the version I only kind of like in the first place). After a somewhat disastrous family gathering about ten years ago I no longer drink around them. Ever. It is a self imposed discipline that ended up with me realizing how dysfunctional is the entire enterprise and how pointless.
I share that observation with my wife's niece who is a reformed alcoholic. She and her wife are both non drinkers and we rather enjoy each other's company at one or so events a year. But the pair will not be at this year's Thanksgiving gathering opting instead for an AA group dinner (to which I'm invited).
Knowing full well that my curmudgeon-ness is only growing over time and my self isolation is maybe not the most intelligent of choices, I never the less elect that isolation over hanging out with drunk family and friends by marriage. My wife completely understands and is supportive. So I'm going to be here by myself for Thanksgiving. And actually pretty happy about it.
Even happier having received the message excerpted here:
Attached is a map and the current menu (blue items are what we provide and are gluten free). Yellow has not been spoken for. . There are 2 vegetarians in the crowd and 2 others with special dietary needs; 1 who has gluten and peanut allergies and another with just gluten allergies. They have all been eating at the T Day table for years and have not gone hungry or died. If you have a favorite Thanksgiving dish please bring it. If it is easily adapted to gluten free great. If not I label all the dishes. Looking forward to seeing you both.
No one is allergic to wine, though. I so want to make my best sunflower seed bread and send it along. Or maybe some pecan rolls.