26 November 2009

A Sappy (and Snarky) Thanksgiving Blog for Charles

I’m sitting at the kitchen table at my folks’ house. It is around 8:00 in the morning. It is quiet.

That quiet will soon and suddenly disappear as my parents and brothers stumble into the kitchen to have coffee, cheerios, and loud, cacophonous disagreements about nothing that really means anything.

Thanksgiving to me is the most pernicious of holidays, full of loud, unavoidable annoyances and academy award worthy performances.

I don’t know when it was exactly that my mother stopped speaking at a normal volume. It must have been an awfully long time ago, because it seems she has always been shouting from a different room to communicate with us. It’s a sad sort of ritual; it reeks of stale, rote behavior easier to maintain than change….It’s annoying as hell.

I don’t know when my dad got so jaded, and began waxing sarcastic about all the stupid people in the world, how dumb they are, and all the idiotic things they do (which he’s an expert on, due to hours of educational programming in the form of such gems as COPS and Smoking Gun Presents: World’s Stupidest). It’s always funny at first, but after a while it grates like cheap government cheese.

I don’t know when my brothers started throwing me under the bus at holidays. Every time my grandmother and mother end up in the same room, these fools up and disappear. If my grandmother happens to take a breath in the middle of a tirade about her cats’ shitting habits, I excuse myself and find mine comrades hiding in another room, grinning like fucking Cheshire cats. It pisses me off.

I don’t know when I started drinking too much on holidays so that the dysfunction and discord become funny instead of frightening. It makes me feel like a cliché…and an asshole, but I continue to do it. After all, traditions are important in my family.

I don’t know why my family (and probably yours) is such a hot mess at the holidays. We all function pretty normally at least 360 days of the year….

But today is supposed to be about giving thanks, right? It shouldn’t be about frantic upsets about the dreadful pumpkin shortage, or whether or not the dining room centerpiece adequately encompasses our holiday spirit, or about gluttonously performing a tried-and-true ritual which more resembles an MLE challenge than a family gathering…

And I AM thankful…

I’m thankful for my mother, who is annoying, loud, beautiful, kind, and giving…

I’m thankful for my father, who is cynical, hardworking, talented, and sensitive…

I’m thankful for my brothers, who are frustrating bastards, but also my best friends…

I’m thankful for my grandmother, who loves us even more than her cats, however difficult it is to decipher that from her conversation…

I’m thankful for my husband, who will arrive later today and patiently participate in our somewhat frenzied tradition because he loves me more than quiet, peaceful holidays…

I’m thankful for my friends, who will listen to me recreate my holiday adventures, good and bad, even though they surely have more interesting things to do….

And I’m thankful for butchered traditions….

I’m thankful for every stupid argument, every moment of stressful cooking, every dirty dish, every glass of cheap wine, and every fleeting glimpse of genuine holiday bliss in someone’s eye…

I hope you are having an amazing holiday. Be safe and remember that, even the most dysfunctional, unmusical, irritating moments you share with your loved ones are, most importantly, moments you share with your loved ones.

We all have a lot to be thankful for….go celebrate!

1 comment:

  1. This was a great post. I am suprised that no one has yet to comment on it. This reminded me of something my husband and I were talking about last night. We had just left after having dinner at a place we don't often eat at(Steak and Shake). We couldn't help but notice the droves of unhealthy people wearing terrible sportswear with unkempt hair and their need to continue their legacy of laziness by pumping out multiple screaming "tater tot" children which were packed in the establishment.

    My husband and I laughed about them and made clever little jokes in the car. He said "I understand why John Waters makes these movies about gross people and the disgusting sex that they have. Sex is disgusting when you actually think about it!" This lead us to another, more important epiphany.

    We need people like this. If they didn't exist, what would we make fun of? Who could we learn from? Life would be pretty dull. I hate these people and everything they stand for, but at the same time I love them because they color the world around me.

    Your family has its quirks and its flaws, but they do make life more interesting for you. Most importantly, they make you who you are, a wonderful, bright, fabulous person! Love it, girl!