Thursday, November 22, 2012

11-22-12 another Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is an odd holiday. 

It's not that pausing and considering how much we have to be thankful for isn't a good idea. (And it's better do it more than once a year, don't you think?)

It's the way we choose to do it that has always puzzled me. 

You spend a lot of time planning, shopping, cooking, so everyone can sit down for less than half an hour, overeating to the point where they spend the rest of the afternoon staring at a football game through slit eyes in a food coma, dozing off, and watching Christmas commercials.

If you're lucky enough to come from a less dysfunctional and smaller family where everyone can actually spend the day at the same house, without the difficulty of divorces, or restraining orders, or grudges that get brought up every single year, or families with so many branches you can't keep up and can't possibly spend the day together, when your only problem is never having a table big enough that everyone can sit together or enough ovens to get everything ready at the same time, you can be thankful.  Most folks aren't that lucky. Their forced togetherness, or aloneness, doesn't do a lot to foster a feeling of gratitude. 

Thinking back to my childhood, as a kid, there was not a whole lot to get excited about, either. This day, above all others, burns as a day of interminable boredom.

We'd leave on Wednesday night after work and join the hordes leaving Houston, packed in traffic, making the trip to Mexia twice as long as usual, in the early dark, bored to death in the car, unable to read, long before the days of lighted screens and portable entertainment. The next day, it seemed to take forever before it was time to eat. All the females would be busy in the kitchen, shooing me out of the way, and I had to dress nicely, so there was no running around or having fun. I would spend hours picking around on Me-Maw's organ and reading when I could find a good spot. Mostly, if the adults weren't in the kitchen, they were all in the living room where the television played football and nothing else. We would finally eat, and then everyone would do exactly as described above, except that I was allowed to change into comfortable clothes and escape the football food coma naps by playing in the backyard, alone, because there weren't any kids around, and I was an only child with no cousins who weren't already grown.  

I went through all of our pictures and I cannot find a single picture of us at the feast. 

These couple that have survived, I remember taking myself  (being bored and with a camera...) during the long hours of the morning.

Me-Maw over the cast iron skillet one Thanksgiving morning

 and Aunt Laverne in her Thanksgiving finest with Me-Maw (on that brown nubbly couch I remember so well). 


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