To Grandmother’s House They Go
Everyone has their own Thanksgiving rituals and customs, and we do too. Here’s one of ours.Does everyone in our growing family love to do this every year?You’re kidding, right?We still have teenagers in our group, so you well know the answer.
As soon as everyone has heaped their plates with traditional Thanksgiving comestibles, I stand and bang on my jelly glass with a knife and say “OK gang, hold it together. No more eating until we’ve all given our personal thanks.You can pass on this if you wish, but I suggest you don’t.Surely we all have things for which we’re thankful, right? RIGHT?” And I then deliver the Death Glare around the table and everyone, especially those of my loins, knows to not mess with me on this issue.
Forks clatter down, eyeballs roll and sighs are deafening, but they know they won’t get fed another morsel until they get it over with.
And so it begins, starting at the far end of the table.Most normal family members say how thankful they are for their families, their husbands (or wives, depending) and their kids, and for being allowed to sit at the table again, considering what happened last year. But like all families, we’re not particularly normal. The younger ones say that on very rare occasions they’re thankful for their siblings, always for their dogs and definitely for their smart phones.The geezers in the group insist they are so happy to be with everyone and are always thankful for their good health, even if it’s a little iffy.
One wag says he’ll be grateful forever if we never, ever have to do this “thankful crap” again.He gets a bonus Death Glare.The nicer people at table, when their turn comes,speak emotionally about how thankful they are that our entire family can squash around the table and still be together and happy.
A couple of ingrates, when it comes to their turn, announce rudely that they’d be thankful if they could only go into the living room to watch the game, and of course, there’s always a game.I gladly give permission because in fact I’m secretly thankful they want to bail because we can barely fit 8 around our dining room table, and on that Thanksgiving day there are 17.And oh, they do eat like wolves.The game lovers who have left the family table to charge off and watch a stupid football game are allowed to come back for dessert, but I make sure they get the pumpkin pie that fell face down on the floor an hour ago.
We all laugh and eat and make an awful lot of noise and it’s just wonderful music to me.Eventually everyone has given thanks; silly, stupidly, sweetly or emotionally.And then it’s my turn.
As proud matriarch of this remarkable and very good family I stand at the head of the table, raise my arms heavenward like Amee Semple McPherson, grin at this wonderful and disparate group, and with all the tears and drama I can muster, I say loudly, “OK,---now---- wait for it---—for what am I thankful?”And they all shout in unison with me; “THIS!!!”
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