This is the time of year when people tell each other heartwarming stories about their family holidays and traditions, share warm memories from years gone by, and revel in the joy of the season. Well, that’s what I hear anyway. Many of the people I talk to though have somewhere along the line been somewhat traumatized by big family holidays.
I asked my friend what he was doing for Thanksgiving and it seemed simple enough; his mom is coming to town and they will enjoy a nice quiet evening together. Then he mentioned he hasn’t spent Thanksgiving with his mom in about 17 years. What could possibly keep them apart for that long? Well of course, the traumatic events of the last time they spent Thanksgiving together.
My friend is quite openly gay and has been for many years; well before 17 years ago. But apparently his mom was still, well let’s be generous, confused about what that means. So when my friend arrived for the holiday, there was an extra person at the table. A woman. His mother carefully seated him next to her. Now granted, the woman was a waitress at the pancake house in some tiny town in South Carolina, and was attractive to boot, so it’s not like he wasn’t tempted. It’s just that through no fault of her own she had the wrong parts.
I guess though that mom could not stop herself from continuing the farce, and my friend was having no part of it and reasserted his sexual orientation to Ms. Waitress and family. Mom was getting cattier and cattier and suddenly…honestly, this is when I picked up a pen and asked him if it was OK for me to take notes and blog about whatever was coming next…and it was a doozy… In a huff of anger, his mom lifted the entire turkey over her head and threw it as far as she could. It landed with a thud somewhere in the living room. A full on throw mind you, not just a little sissy toss.
I don’t know what happened after that, but I’m guessing no one stayed for dessert. This year, for their first reunion Thanksgiving they’re going out to eat which seems a lot safer. I did caution him that if his mom arrived at the airport with a pancake waitress in tow he might want to just bail.
So had his mom always been crazy? Well, off and on, more or less, uh mostly yes. When he was a little boy he was fighting with his sister at the school bus stop and may have gently knocked her face into the dirt in the kindest of ways. Hey, it happens. His sister ran off screaming. The next thing he knows a big green, paneled station wagon comes screeching up. Inside was his sister, smirking, and a woman who jumped out of the car and started coming after him. Rumor has it that this woman had her hair half-teased out, was clad in a cereal stained housecoat, and had a cigarette dangling out of her mouth. Rumor has it that this was his mom. I interrupted to ask if he thought I might be able to find clip art depicting such a scene. That was a tall order, but in my mind his mom looks like…
I just couldn’t resist asking about his relationship with his dad. Oh boy-not good. Dad was busy with his own distractions, like three marriages after the parents got divorced, with present wife being a (re)tired stripper, stage name Candi Kane. At least that’s what I imagine. Sweet, but with a hard edge. Candi was just a year older than my friend, and has just the tiniest bit of a problem with alcohol. So the last time my friend saw his dad, Candi was upstairs showering and started yelling for help. My friend went running to find Candi stark naked, drunk as a skunk, trying to get the cap off the conditioner. Given that my friend is gay, and Ms. Candi is hardly in stripper shape anymore, he immediately tried to poke his eyes out with a fork, but someone or other stopped him.
So as you gaze around the table this Thanksgiving, be grateful for your and everyone else’s sexual orientation, be delighted to either have or not have a stripper in the family, and a little extra thanks if someone does or does not get drunk and naked. And remember that every time a turkey is thrown, an angel gets its wings.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving, although for blog purposes I would love to hear about any drama. Call me.