The backlash after a woman demanded her husband shows up for Thanksgiving dinner

“This may be a violation of your social order, but I was there with my wife”

Sara, a 60-year-old Jewish woman in Cambridge, England, used her Facebook page to post a public plea for husband Mel, who just about everyone knows as Mad Mel, to turn up to Thanksgiving dinner. Having bought a ticket to attend the festival with her daughter and granddaughter, Sara expressed her fury at having been left in the dark as to whether her husband was going to attend the gathering. “Wanted to show you my disappointment at not hearing from you about Thanksgiving dinner,” she wrote. The thread grew with posting, inviting others to post their own messages of gratitude.

The reaction was a mix of vitriol, support and mockery. One commenter joked about the protest, comparing the situation to an Australian postal strike. Others found humor in the situation, suggesting either that the pair would break up, or rather, that a storm brewing in India had driven the pair to divorce. Others said their mother or husband should not have responded to a query on their Facebook page, arguing that not everyone does that.

But Mel has made a Twitter video explaining that he drove five hours with a broken flat tire to get to Cambridge, and that he and Sara just “ran out of time.”

It’s true. I was at Mel’s farm preparing our lamb to be served up for Thanksgiving, when I discovered there was a flat tyre. Because I’m used to being late, and because I had to take some bacon to eat, I thought to my wife I could make it to dinner in the next half hour, because I’m Mel — and I’m a driver. We made it, but at that point our car broke down, and I had to get home to fix it. So I got on the phone to my mate Adrian. We both survived our holiday. — Mad Mel (@archblandolf) April 30, 2017

It seems Mel was misunderstood, and that the two are on good terms now. In an interview with The Telegraph, Sara gave her account of how things unfolded. “I didn’t think that being pissed off about dinner made me a bad mother, and to me it was a big disappointment.” After days of silence, the two met for Thanksgiving dinner, and later opened up about the misunderstanding. She said they went ahead and decided to split up, but only after a weekend together. “He had apologized to me for the embarrassment, I had apologized to him,” Sara said. “We had had a discussion about how we want to run our relationship.” The pair have been married for 20 years.

I’ve been married for 20 years. Last week we had dinner with my family and then went to a non-Jewish event called a Christmas food fair, and I got mad and drove home to fix the car, so I was late to dinner. My wife is 60. So I explained to her that it wasn’t right to ask me to be in a Facebook post, ‘If you weren’t there, you couldn’t have said anything. That was not OK.’ And then I explained that I had come back late because I couldn’t do anything in the first place — and that I went home because it was the only way to finish it off properly and not be late for dinner. So they did not get married, it never happened. It’s like that a lot. Thank God! If we had done it through Facebook, we wouldn’t have a clue what’s going on with each other.’

Not everyone was sympathetic to Sara’s plight. Some people suggested that the two simply speak with each other.

I’m sorry, I thought you said you’d split up, and then you asked me if I wanted to spend Thanksgiving with you. People argue all the time for their own reasons and sometimes people pay the price. — Mad Mel (@archblandolf) April 30, 2017

And another person raised the prospect of a political angle. “If you want to talk politics, fine. But it’s not always necessary to be so snippy.”

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