Thanksgiving on the Island

Here it is, my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. I love the sentiment of it, pausing to think and give thanks for all that we really do have. Enjoying all the delicious foods associated with the feast and asking ourselves, “How come we don’t have turkey more often?”

I think Thanksgiving is always a combination of trial, trauma and triumph.

There always seem to be situations that try our patience to its absolute limit.

“I told her not to bring him, but she did, so what can we do, Roger?…No, if we reject him she’ll marry him for sure out of spite….Okay, you can drink Scotch, but only if you lock the gun in the outside shed.” [expand]

“Bob, we’ve been married 36 years, you know my mother always brings turnips. I’ve told her you hate them, but she just can’t remember it. My Dad loved her turnips and that’s why she makes them for you. I’ll hand you a little dish under the table so you can sneak them away….I know you’re a grown man and shouldn’t have to pretend in your own house, but I have to look at all the photo albums of your mother’s modeling career in the 50’s every time we go there –and it takes a lot more time to look at those albums than it does to slip turnips under the table.

There always seem to be situations that are traumatic.

“Now Joe, remember, Ronnie is my little brother and you can’t kill him about that car….I know the engine blew up before the check even cleared…. It’s just one of those things, that’s why they say never sell a car to a relative…..Yes, I know all about the $500 you loaned him in July, and you’re right, he’s not going to pay it back by Christmas….I don’t know what to do….If I don’t invite him, Mom gets really upset and if I do invite him, you get upset. Can’t we just suspend hostilities for eight hours?”

“I don’t care, Mark, Mary ran over my cat, your sister did it on purpose, I don’t want her in this house!…Drunk is not an excuse, she squashed Miss Marmalade, and don’t say, ‘It’s just a cat,’ a pet is more than an animal. She was my friend, until Bloody Mary tore out of the driveway last Thanksgiving in a big huff. Go ahead, let her in….No, I won’t make a scene. Like Dante’s Inferno, I have many levels of passive aggressive pain to inflict.

Fortunately, there are times of triumph at Thanksgiving too.

“Regardless of any petty things that happen, I want you all to know that I am so happy that we are all here and sharing this time together. I brought out Grandma’s dishes just for this occasion. We don’t have the whole service of course, but we won’t bring up what Karen did anymore. The important thing is that we all have at least a plate or cup that we can remember from Grandma’s table as part of our own place setting today. There was of course, a large turkey platter and gravy boat, I guess someone else has that at their house, but let’s not focus on petty details, guilt is it’s own punishment. Therefore, let’s lift a glass and Thank God, yes, God, for all the blessings we can see and especially for those we can’t. Amen

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