In the Middle

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

My husband is a pretty good sport about how often his in-laws come to
visit. Luckily for him (or perhaps by design), his sales job often means
he is travelling when they are around, so I get lots of family of origin
bonding they get lots of quality time with the grandkids, and none of
us have to put up with his obvious discomfort around them. He is
Jewish while they are not, and though I never thought of them as
bigoted, I am uncomfortable with how often they ask “How do your
people do such-and-such” which they do regardless of how often I
have asked them not to. Our firstborn is turning eleven so they have
had plenty of time to learn. This trip he will be in town the whole time,
and I am looking for ways to keep the peace. Ideas?

In the Middle

Dear In the Middle:

Any household with extra guests is surely in need of additional errands
to be run, to the grocery for example, which would get your
beleagured hubby out of the house. If your son is eleven he might
already be in training for his B’nai Mitzvah, and you could consider
inviting the in-laws to services. I suspect they would decline but it
would make the point that this is a Jewish family, not just an outsider
who married their daughter.



I recommend that your husband take the kids with him on some of the
errand runs, and to a movie, miniature golf, or just to the gym or the
mall. Keep it civil and do your best to retrain them. Bigotry is ugly the
closer you get to it.