Tonight we leave town for the weekend, off to the far eastern exurbs of Los Angeles to hang out with John’s family, and to celebrate his grandmother’s eightieth birthday.

I know there is a lot of stuff on the internet about how stressful and difficult people find their inlaws, and I want to say for the record: I am really fortunate. John’s parents and siblings are warm, welcoming, loving people, and they have made every effort to integrate me into their family. I love them.

But is it possible to love them and still have a jangled nervous feeling about the prospect of a visit? The purpose of the visit- grandma’s birthday – means there will be a large gathering of extended family. John’s family is large, (very large), and much of it is conservative, (very conservative), all of them are vocal, (very vocal), and several of them find my chosen career path and noticeable lack of offspring perplexing (very perplexing). I am feeling A LITTLE ANXIOUS about spending the weekend before election day amongst a very large very conservative very vocal crowd which is very perplexed by my life choices.

I plan to address this anxiety by self medicating the best way I know how: with my mother in law’s super creamy spinach artichoke dip. Also cookies. And leftover Halloween candy. I can only hope my mother in law stocked the bowl with Baby Ruths this year.