When I was newly married at the embarrassingly young age of 18, I spent the first year's Thanksgiving with my in-laws. My in-law's Thanksgiving was very different than my own family's. First of all, it was very high class, very proper, very high brow. China plates, real silver, crystal glasses, and wine. Everyone dressed up.
In my own house growing up, it was a free-for-all. You may or may not find a side dish in a Cool Whip container. 2-liters of soda were right on the table, silverware was the every day kind and did not match, and more than once as a teen, I showed up to dinner in my nightgown.
Needless to say, I felt extremely uncomfortable at that Thanksgiving in 1989. I found my place card, my designated seat, and was grateful to see my husband was seated next to me. Everyone began this stifled conversation and I couldn't help, but think about my own family. I knew they were being loud and joking, laughing, having a ball, maybe a fistfight, and this was more like a test in boredom. At the time, it seemed to me, every one in my husband's family was extremely stuck up and kind of showing off the fact that they were stuck up, which is weird ... cause it's just kind of wrong and rather creepy and somewhat alarming. Anyhow, I couldn't wait to be done with it.
When I saw the turkey placed on the table and the oldest boy in the family (their tradition since their father's passing) get ready to carve, I once again thought of my mother's electric knife whirring away in her own kitchen, the turkey cut without fanfare by her own hand. And that's when I saw it ... about a half inch under the turkey's skin, the turkey was absolutely raw. And I mean, RAW. Like Eddie Murphy in red leather raw. So raw I expected the turkey to jump up and run out the door to look for its head.
All the snobby conversation stopped. You could hear a pin drop as I watched this family slice the raw turkey and pass it around to each other like in some Twilight Zone denial TV show moment. When it came my turn, I said I wasn't feeling well and I wondered how repressed a family has to be in order to eat raw turkey together and risk death while still smiling those strange fake smirks.
Now every year when I carve into my own turkey, I just think, "Dear God, let this be like my mother's turkey, not my husband's mother's!"
Happy Thanksgiving, Bloggers! I hope you all have a delicious and happy holiday! If you care to share any Thanksgiving moments, I'd be much obliged.
(And I couldn't pass up that pic taken from distantocean.com)
This past weekend I took my daughter to the mall for some shopping. At one busy store, I saw they had one counter with multiple registers, but no real "lines." There were only a handful of people at the front and about four cashiers yet no one was moving. I stood in back waiting, just kind of standing there, with my daughter's frocks in hand. At the end of the counter, a new cashier waved for me to come over to her.
As I went to walk up, a HUGE man, easily 6'5" (this is huge to me as I'm 5'3") pushes in front of me, looks back at me dismissively and shouts, "I've been waiting a LOT longer than you have, MA'AM." Really rude like and you could have just knocked me over with a feather, I'm so shocked.
I was sputtering, "I didn't see you waiting, I was waved over ..." and he's not listening anyway because this great big jackass is now being waited on by a cashier who looks just as stunned as I do, but kind of scared to boot. This is when ANOTHER cashier moves to the side of the first one, looks right at me, then at the jackass, and in a quiet, submissive way says, "Please, come here and I'll check you out."
I hand her my purchases and say to my daughter, "I can't believe that man. He freaked right out!" The Jerk, who must have super hearing, then yells down at me, "I DID NOT FREAK OUT!" The cashiers all stop dead and just look at me with that, "Oh my God, I'm so sorry this guy's a total crazy asshole" look.
I'm still really, really freaked out and shocked. This can be the only reason why I haven't yelled back with a nice, "Go f*ck yourself, Pal!" Maybe women just know when a guy would beat you if you gave him half a reason, so we walk a little lighter and lower our voice or something, but I did manage to quietly tell him, "You're very lucky my husband is not in this part of the mall with me or this would have ended very differently." This time he kept his mouth shut.
Beware, Ladies, the Christmas season has begun and boneheads are shopping early. What this huge man was doing in a woman's clothing store, I have no idea. He hid his purchases, making my daughter wonder if he wasn't in a hurry to get home, and yell over the side of the pit he made to the half-naked woman within, "IT RUBS THE LOTION ON ITS SKIN."
Any current shopping horrors you want to share? Maybe we can start taking pictures of these freaks and put out alerts on them.
My mother gave birth to four children -- me, my sister, and my two brothers. I was the baby in the family AKA spoiled beyond your wildest dreams! No, not really. I wish, but I did get more than the others by the sheer fact that I yelled the loudest.
My sister was kind of butch middle child ... always okay with her lot in life. My brothers were the oldest, both were gay, both outspoken and known for being kind of mean ... yes, even meaner than me (the brat).
What do I think of having two gay brothers who are sometimes mean as heck? Not much. I'm one of those people who believe if you're gay, it's in your genes, so it's kind of like having blue eyes. You just do, accept it. Now if you're an asshole, you can work on that. No excuses.
At first, my mother was surprised to have two gay sons, especially since one dated and screwed around with women for such a long time (even married and had a child with one), but she always said, "They are who they are ... my good boys, my sons."
The part where they act like jerks? She's almost totally blind to it. Over the years though, it just got worse ... something odd and just kind of psycho ... my mother became the kind of gay advocate where although she wouldn't be marching in Gay Pride Parades, she gives a pass to every male homosexual on the planet ... no matter if they are true sweethearts or truer sons-of-bitches.
For instance, if my daughter has a new BFF who also happens to be gay, my mother automatically says, "He must be a very nice boy, very well-mannered." And well, my daughter's latest gay BFF is NOT a nice boy or well-mannered, so I tell her so and my mom says, "Hmm, maybe you just take him the wrong way. I'm sure he's really nice."
Oooookay. If nice means he makes fun of my voice as I speak to my daughter while he's on the phone with her, then he's just super sweet. This kid isn't nice and if he were straight my mom would say, "Why would she even bother with someone who acts that way? Tell her to get rid of him!"
But the X-Files part of my mom, the one when she's doing her "gay boys are sugar, spice, and everything nice" routine is when I mention someone gay who is absolutely not known for being a sugar bear ... like who I brought up last time we talked -- Jeffrey Dahmer and she answers with this, "He wasn't really gay though, was he? If he were gay and if he accepted it, he would have been a very nice boy, very well-behaved, and not you know ... all that other stuff." All that other stuff. Yeah, okay.
I was like, "Ma, he was gay and there's probably thousands of kids who don't come to terms with their sexuality yet never kill people and then make meat loafs out of them." Although, under the current Bush economy, that may be the only way to afford meat, but I digress ...
My mom's response? "It was probably fantastic meatloaf though."
So, this brings me to my question of the week:
What reverse stupidity have you heard your whole life, recently, or a long time ago that made you want to scream? You know, kind of like when you hear some idiot say, "Well, he's black, so you KNOW he's a good dancer." Two words: Bryant Gumbel. Now, it's your turn.
As a small kid growing up in rural upstate NY, I was raised by extremely racist parents. My father outright hated black people and made it known loudly and almost constantly with racial epithets and off color humor. My brothers and sister never seemed to call foul and even grew up to have the same views. My mother, who wasn't as loud as my dad, told me stories about "Jigaboo Joy" (a black "mammy" who would take care of me if I got out of line) and would sing stories about grabbing the n*gger by "its" toe. Blacks weren't even people in my home, they lived and breathed, but weren't human.
I never subscribed to this theory. As early as 5, I had a crush on a black boy at the neighborhood public pool. By 12, I was dating him. Then our dating turned more into a deep friendship, one of the strongest of my life.
In my young life, I never dated thinking of color and as I made my own decisions, my mother hid them from my father to "keep the peace." She was starting to believe the thought that people weren't people because of color was wrong in just about every way and was a bit embarrassed of her earlier behavior to boot, but still wasn't convinced. I have always been the odd man out in my family and last night I have never been so proud of that fact or this country.
However, my own mother, almost 70 years old, now a widow and making up her own mind about the world, voted for the first time yesterday in her entire life and cast that vote for a black man. She came out of the election booth and shouted, "I did it! I did it!" Election volunteers laughed, but I don't think they realize fully just what she meant. My mother was talking about finally casting off all the ignorance and letting her conscience be her guide.
Barack Obama. Our country's first black president. A man I believe fully capable and willing to make real change for the United States. He already changed the landscape and I am giddy with anticipation to see the great changes President Obama will bring to the policies and lives of US citizens. It's a great time in our history and one of those times I feel true joy and hope.
I'm so excited about Election Day, I'm a little sick to my stomach. Really, I am! As a once delusional Bush supporter, I am so completely ready for something new, I might just move to Europe if America doesn't get it. For me, McCain is DEFINITELY just more of the same, but Obama breathes fresh life, ideas, and ideals into a country that desperately needs it.
If you're not an Obama supporter, I won't try to make you switch because let's face it ... rarely do people change their minds this late in the game. Fact is, most people take politics way too personal and a lot of silly fights get started this way. (Scott doesn't even visit me anymore since hearing I was an ashamed registered Republican. haha)
All I can say is if you think you have your facts straight and right now you actually HATE one candidate, you're probably listening to or reading a biased media. They want you to feel those types of feelings. (Those types of feelings got us blindly into the Iraq war ... enough said)
The only unbiased place I've found on the net (that's backed by all news outlets I've seen) is http://www.factcheck.org/. If you really have a question about your candidate or any others, you'll find what you're searching for there. I actually did a LOT of fact checking at this place and was really pleased with this site. This place doesn't back anyone, but can offer you actual quotes, voting records, so forth and so on. It only made my faith in my pick that much stronger, which was a great thing, I'll admit.
Most importantly, if you don't vote, please don't complain regarding the outcome. I mean it, don't. And if you must, don't do it here. =)
My question this week is ... anyone care to share who they're voting for here? If it's personal, I get it, but if you don't mind sharing your decision, I'd love to read it! (And thanks for those Halloween birthday wishes. I appreciate them.)