It’s Thanksgiving Eve, so…
… I guess it’s about that time of year to trot out this little guy, huh?
Ah, the holidays, where family dysfunction blooms like the everpresent poinsettias. John’s siblings, being no exception, have all bailed on their mother for Thanksgiving, and John, being the Good Son, is the only one who cared about whether or not she had a place to be. So he called her facility and found out they are having a TG dinner, but residents had to have their place reserved. He did so, and made a reservation for himself as well so he could join her.
He asked me, perfunctorily, if I’d like to go with him, even though he knew the answer. Just to illustrate how much I don’t want to be there, here’s a partial list of things I’d rather do:
1. Chew on tin foil for a couple of hours.
2. Eat my way through a room full of cottage cheese.
3. Smear myself with honey and poke a beehive.
4. Watch a Three Stooges marathon.
5. Get figged.
I think y’all get my point.
I just can’t do it anymore. A couple of weeks ago, I went with John to visit his mom. From the moment we walked in to the moment we left, she complained, and then begged us not to leave. I managed to hold on until we were out of there, and then I had a meltdown of epic proportions, crying so hysterically that I shook from head to foot. I told John I couldn’t deal with this with my own mother, and I can’t deal with it with his.
He finally got the message. Last weekend, he went to visit her without me.
Anyway, Thanksgiving. I do have a lovely invitation from Mr. D. He is having a big gathering at his house, 18 people, all family (mother, siblings and their kids, cousins, his own two teenagers, etc.). He said I was welcome to drop by anytime if I’d like to.
That’s very sweet of him and I appreciate it. But I told him no, thank you. How is he going to explain my presence? “This is my… um… friend.” How do we answer the inevitable barrage of “How do you two know one another?” And let’s not forget how I don’t do too well in throngs of people I don’t know. I suck at small talk. I’d probably do the typical Erica thing, go within and just sit and smile. And eat way too much to keep occupied. All the while, I’d be wishing Mr. D and I could abandon the whole crowd, go off by ourselves and play.
Teenagers are quite worldly these days. His kids will take one look at me and as soon as I leave, it’ll be a chorus of “OK, Dad, so who is she, hmmm?” They’ll probably think I’m some sort of FWB. If only they knew!
It’s nice to have choices, though. So tomorrow, when I spend the day quietly by myself, it’s because I choose to. I have some work to do. I have The Artist on Netflix and To Kill a Mockingbird recorded from TCM. I will avoid the traffic, the pre-Black Friday idiots making their pilgrimages to Walmart. It will be peaceful and quiet here, and I can reflect on things I’m thankful for. And when I wake up Friday, it won’t be with a food hangover.
So, all cynicism aside — to my American friends, have a wonderful Thanksgiving, whatever you do. I hope you will be exactly where you want to be, doing what your heart desires. And if you’re not… hold on tight, breathe deep and think about an intense, soul-melting spanking. You’ll smile, and your grumpy relatives will wonder what that’s all about.