Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Family Memories

Thanksgiving is a time for families to join together to celebrate and give thanks for all the good fortune experienced throughout the year. It’s also a time to drink heavily, drop all inhibitions, and say things better left unsaid...

Like all actresses my sister loves the stage, and there is no better family stage than the Thanksgiving meal. “Everyone, I have an announcement” said sis as she asked for everyone’s undivided attention. “I’m pregnant!!” she joyfully exclaimed. Pregnancy is a great thing if you are married, or not married and in a committed relationship and want to have a kid. If you are a twenty-one year old college senior with no relationship, that we know of, not so much a great thing. “I thought she was a DYKE.” Grandpa said to Grandma, still not using the hearing aid that Mom bought him last Christmas. Half the table (mostly women) scolded Grandpa. “You all heard that?” a confused Grandpa asked.

I couldn’t get on Grandpa too bad, because I had some serious doubts myself regarding sis. The mad skills at softball, the oversized Gap sweatshirts, and the Melissa Etheridge poster didn't do much to bolster her defense.

The next logical question that no one dared to ask is “Who’s the father??” Luckily, she offered an answer without us having to do the dirty work of asking.

“The father is my English professor, Dr. Walter Harris” she said. “He is not only a professor, but he is chair of the English department” she added. These facts did nothing to remove the look of absolute horror from the faces of Mom and Dad.

“He’s married with two children, but he is soon to be separated” she continued.

It was at this point that my brother interjected that Thanksgiving was the one-year anniversary of his sobriety. Technically, it was one-year and fifteen hours since his last drink. I remember this well because he crashed into the tree around 2:00 AM last Thanksgiving morning. He started at happy hour on Wednesday, and enjoyed his last drink right before that damned tree knocked it out of his hand and knocked him unconscious. The car looked much like the beer can he was holding. He suffered a concussion, a fractured pelvis, and a compound fracture of his right leg. He spent the next three months in the hospital and the six months after in jail.

“I would like everyone to stand and join me in celebrating this personal milestone” he said. “Raise your glasses and let’s toast my sobriety” he said. He proceeded to pull a fifth of Jack Daniels from under the table and knocked back two quick shots.

Mom, still stunned about my sister and now disappointed in my brother was downing her wine at a rapid fire pace, which for her means it was her second glass. To say Mom is a lightweight is a huge understatement. She is the only person I know who has ever gotten a contact buzz from being around drinkers.

“I have my own annnunce-mmment " she slurred. “My husssband and your faather is banging his ssecreteryy!” We all looked over at Dad. His head was in his hands too ashamed to look up at the rest of us. When he did look up all he could say “Your mother has had too much to drink”. Thanks Sherlock Holmes. He then went on to tell us “I got laid-off from work yesterday, so it’s going to be a lean Christmas” as he swigged right from my brother’s Jack Daniels bottle.

“Did your filthy w-w-whore get the axe too?” Mom asked.

Things calmed down for a little while as started to eat our Thanksgiving dinner. I thought about everything that was said so far. I though about how alcohol makes one talk, but food has the opposite effect and shuts everyone up. Food is a great thing. I noticed my cousin Sarah frowning at me, as I devoured my Turkey leg. “Meat is murder, meat is murder” she said. “Excuse me?” I asked. “You know I am a Vegeterian don’t you?” she said. “We were just at the Burger King drive-through together about what two weeks ago? “You had the Big Angus Burger with cheese if memory serves me!” I said. “Yeah, that seems so long ago, as of last Saturday I am Vegetarian, not just a Vegetarian I’m a Vegan. “That means no dairy products at all”. Sarah has to be about 185lbs and she made up for all the Turkey she didn’t eat by downing a whole Lemon-Meringue pie in about two minutes. I guess she is a Vegan on everyday but Thanksgiving since a shit load of eggs went into that pie, not to mention the pint of milk she used to wash it all down.

During coffee and dessert it was back to more stimulating conversation. Over in the way too much information section of the table, Grandma and Grandpa in vivid detail recalled their senior’s cruise and how liberating they found their nude beach experience.

Cousin Kenny is the normally quiet and sober member of the extended family. He doesn’t drink and he usually chooses his words carefully. He’s a good looking guy, who has always been surrounded by hot women. He tells all his date will be joining us soon for dessert. He said he wanted a chance to talk to all of us first. He told us that he is gay and he’s been waiting for a good time to come-out of the closet. He decided it would be tonight.

“He’s a QUEER too??” Grandpa whispered to Grandma for all to hear.

Always looking to one-up… Uncle George and Aunt Sheryl proudly pronounced they are now full-fledged swingers and loving every kinky minute of it.

At this point I had to get some air I said “Excuse me everyone, I am going out to the family room I want to check the score of the Redskins-Cowboys game”.

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