The almost vegetarian and the in-law’s

When I heard this dialogue from My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Remember it? Starring and written by the very funny Nia Vardalos?) I was on the floor:

Soon-to-be-wife about her soon-to-be-husband: Actually, Ian's a vegetarian. He doesn't eat meat.

Greek aunt of soon-to-be-wife: He don't eat no meat? HE DON'T EAT NO MEAT?! Oh, that’s ok. I make lamb.

I roared with laughter. Why was I roaring? Let me tell you about the first time I ate dinner at my Italian soon-to-be-in-law’s.

Telephone conversation between me, my soon-to-be-husband, and his Italian mama
My Italian soon-to-be-mother-in-law on the phone after inviting us to dinner: What does she like to eat?

My soon-to-be-husband: I dunno ma. Lemma ask her. Sweetie, what do you want to eat?

Me, also known as the soon-to-be-wife: No meat. Anything else is fine, but no meat.

My soon-to-be-husband: No meat, ma. Anything else is ok, but no meat.

My Italian soon-to-be-mother-in-law on phone: No meat. Ok. I’ll make veal.

Two weeks later

My kind and generous husband ate a lot of veal that night: His, and when his mother wasn’t looking, mine.

Sweet rewards
It turned out alright, however because it left me a lot of room for desert. A lot of room. After which I couldn't move for something like three days without emitting a gentle burp and a little dazed smile.

Surprise ending
Of course, now, thinking I have this insane capacity for sweets, whenever they come to visit these kind and generous people bring enough home baked goodies for a a family of 18. Which we are not. By a long shot.

But this has made us very popular with the neighbors with whom we share our largesse. This, in turn, has made them very friendly to my in-law’s whenever they see them. Very friendly, indeed.

My in-law's have taken to bringing larger bags.

Et tu?
So how do you deal with invitations from meat-eating relatives? Especially well-meaning relatives that just don't get the concept of vegetarian and never really will?