Last week I wrote you about my refusal to be part of my future husband's family's holiday photo/greeting card. I sure took a lot of flak from you and your readers!
In my haste to get your advice, I may have left out some important information, which I'd like to add to support my "case".
First of all, their name is not really "Smith". It's "Peesucker". I am keeping my name, and my husband is taking mine in order to be free from a lifetime of insults and derision. I really don't want to have my identity associated with the name "Peesucker", especially since my first name is Polly.
Something you all need to know is that all the women in the photo are expected to dress in flesh-tone lingerie. My father-in-law (actually my husband's stepfather) explains that ever since they moved down to Florida, they love to stick it to their old friends and neighbors back in Minnesota and show off the balmy temperature down here. I've always felt that as a rather plain girl, I shouldn't try to flirt or show off, and I just can't see myself nearly naked on a photo sent to a bunch of complete strangers, and before I'm even officially part of the family.
Another reason for my concern is "Uncle Pete", my fiancé's mother's brother. Pete has just been released from prison after serving a two-year prison term for involuntary manslaughter, a charge to which he plea bargained after a mysterious "hunting accident". With the support of the NRA, he's fighting the ban on firearms permits to felons, and has received a temporary order from a judge to grant him the right to carry a variety of handguns and rifles, which he takes full advantage of. Since part of the family tradition is to get everyone "in the holiday spirit" by serving ample quantities of eggnog (and not the child-friendly stuff), I worry about being the victim of a tinsel-bedecked tragedy.
Perhaps the biggest reason for not wanting to be part of this family photo is the presence of Gretchen, my husband's first cousin. Gretchen works as a medical secretary for a well-known oncologist, and sees the endless stream of dying men who come to the practice as her personal dating pool. Because she favors guys with less than three months to live, we never see the some one twice. I have enough problems remembering names without having to meet a new chemoboy every time I see her.
If all this doesn’t help you see my request in a new light, here's the killer: that flesh-toned lingerie? It's hand knit by my fiancé's grandmother. And it's in mohair!
Won't Say "Cheese"