Want to hear a long-but-fun story about the time my mother-in-law invited my parents, among others, to dinner at her house?
First off, I've never seen my MIL cook, and in the 9 years I've known her I've never seen her eat anything except meat (just plain meat, mostly red) and the odd piece of pizza or cookie. No veggies, no grains.
Ditto for SIL, except she does eat some grains (totes around white bread, actually) and she doesn't even like most meat so it's mostly chicken for her. I know, weird. It's part of the story.
Now, my husband and I are used to going over there in the evening when we're in town, and it's no big deal to us (that's just how she is). When she invites us over for dinner she'll usually be straight about saying, "there's X in the garage freezer if you want to heat that up," or one of us makes a run to the store for some easy fixings. If we don't do this, she and SIL are content to not eat.
Again, that's just how it is there, and it's usually only the 4 of us visiting with each other anyway (the two of us, MIL and sometimes SIL).
So imagine my surprise when my mom tells me that MIL invited her and dad over for dinner. Why dinner, I wondered? Now, my parents live only an hour away from MIL and have had her over for thanksgiving; they were delighted.
I told them that MIL is pretty scatterbrained and that they might not be eating for awhile, but they clearly thought I was exaggerating. I even began to doubt my doubt, because hey, MIL also invited her own parents and SIL's boyfriend. Total of 9 people for dinner. She must have some preparations in mind.
The evening of the dinner, husband and I showed at MIL's house. I noticed, of course, that nothing was cooking. Husband offered to go to the store.
MIL protested, saying something like, but everybody's not even here yet!
Doorbell. It's my parents, who brought mom's homemade cheesecake. MIL thanks her for bringing dessert. My mom hopes it will go with tonight's meal and MIL replies that she doesn't yet know what we'll be eating!
My parents look at her blankly. Husband and I try not to laugh. It's on.
For the next few hours, we sit around and visit with MIL, the grandparents, and my parents. Grandpa occasionally makes grumbles about being hungry, cuss it all to tarnation, and SIL sits in the corner making out with her boyfriend like they're at the Prom. Yes, really.
Anyway, eventually Grandpa decides he wants something with which to take his medicine, only there is literally no real food in the house except in the garage freezer. He can't have cheesecake for some sugar or salt reason. Again, my husband offers to go the store.
We cut up the cheesecake anyway (a couple of the men had pieces).
A heated conversation (between MIL and her parents) erupts over what to get for dinner at the store. My parents start acting like they have to leave, making goodbye noises, etc.
Somebody suggests we order pizza and there's another rousing debate over what kind of pizza to get. MIL wants meat lovers; SIL wants one with no cheese and no sauce. (Crust? She already had her white bread).
MIL insists that my parents stay and she, SIL and GMIL finally, at length, settle on at least 4-5 different pizzas that they're ordering (all while SIL's boyfriend plays a gameboy-looking thing and I try not to shoot too many 'I told you so' looks at my mother).
Anyway. My parents did end up leaving (politely, protesting that it's fine) before pizza. I don't remember what time it was, but it was getting pretty late. Ha. My mom still brings this up.
Pizza was hardly touched by MIL and SIL, who took over an hour to settle on what to get, and practically had pies of their own.
SIL is now engaged to that boyfriend, btw; sometimes they still make out publicly despite repeated scoldings from grandma. MIL hired a butcher to cater the wedding.