Sunday dinners are hard enough to rustle up when you're only feeding himself and your brood, but it's a whole different ball game when cousins and in-laws are involved.
You plan, you organise and you prep, and yet more often than not it still falls flat.
Your expectations just never live up to reality, do they?
Expectation: Your mother-in-law will not criticise.
Reality: Oh yes, she will. A lot. And your husband won't notice.
Expectation: Your teenagers will not ask for wine.
Reality: Not only will they ask, they'll sulk when refused.
Expectation: Your husband's 'help' will assist, not hinder.
Reality: Yeah, right.
Expectation: The television will be turned off.
Reality: The residents of Albert Square will join you and your family for your Sunday roast, and you realise you'd rather be in the Queen Vic than at your own dinner table.
Expectation: Conversation will be polite, kind and most of all dignified.
Reality: Your son and his cousin will discuss the farting competition they're planning after dessert.
Expectation: Kicking under the table will not take place because you did not raise a bunch of hoodlums.
Reality: Someone gave Nana a right old clout in the shin by accident.
Expectation: Food will not only be edible, but a work of art.
Reality: The roast slid off the serving dish before you made it in to the dining room, didn't it?
Expectation: You will not have a stress rash.
Reality: A stress rash is the least of your worries when you've beads of sweat trickling between your boobs.
Expectation: Your sister-in-law will suddenly morph into someone you like.
Reality: Why would that happen?
Expectation: Children will not reveal family secrets at the dinner table.
Reality: The 'totally gross' pimple on Dad's bum that mum had to look at is now appropriate dinner time conversation apparently.