My SIL is very limited, intellectually and emotionally. She weighs about 400 pounds. No formal diagnosis, just low functioning. BIL is above average intelligence, and no one can figure out how he could marry someone he can't even have a conversation with. She behaves like a small, ill-adjusted child, demanding attention, interjecting bizarre and self-focused comments, wants to talk about her cats or people no one knows but her. No one can stand her and she constantly tries to do things that have no common sense given her size (i.e, going to sit on a folding chair). BIl just tunes out and no one in husb's family will address him about it. She is extremely focused on food, starts eating handfuls of chips as soon as she gets in the door, and even has complained loudly about the food I was serving, or the timing of it: ex. saying "It's OK, I'll starve" when I was serving beef - noting that I 'should know' she doesn't eat beef or pork "because it's not healthy for you". We entertain for every holiday, and they never do, probably b/c their house is very cluttered and dirty. In the beginning, they never offered to bring anything, so I started suggesting. Several times I've suggested drinks, so they bring one can of soda per person. They never offer to help clean up and can't even bring their plates to the kitchen (even when I said to my kids, 'clear your plate, because everyone clears their own plate here'.) I have learned to plan visits carefully, b/c otherwise they stay all day and she just sits and I have to entertain her and try to come up with polite responses to comments and questions that make no sense.
I am dreading Thanksgiving - I like doing the holidays at my home but am sorely disappointed with the company and have gotten to the point that I just can't stand another stupid comment or clueless behavior. I ignore her or retort back sometimes, but then feel bad that I haven't been nice, esp b/c she so obviously has limits and I am far more capable of handling things with some wisdom or grace. I make a simple meal, but no matter how I psych myself up, I end up irritated, exhausted and just wishing everyone would leave. Last year I sat and read a magazine, which was rude. Please help me with some concrete suggestions on how I could get through the day and be gracious.