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Will the damn Thanksgiving discussion never end?!
2005-11-04 - 2:25 p.m.

Now I know what Theo is going to do next. The mystery is solved. There's been no official announcement yet, of course, but I can't imagine how he could turn down such an enticing offer!

Kirk and I had a big Thanksgiving Talk this morning. (**Let me say here that when I started writing on this site, it was with the express intention of never printing anything that could come back and bit me in the ass. The following paragraphs have that potential, but I'm writing them anyway. Besides, I'm not printing anything here that I wouldn't say to the concerned parties' faces given the opportunity.**)

He followed me into the bathroom while I was putting on my eyeliner. "Honey, we should check and see if there are any fun alternative Thanksgiving things going on in the area."

"What do you mean, 'fun alternative things'?"

"I mean fun things we could do."

"Alternative to what?"

"Alternative to what we're doing."

"Like what?"

"I dunno--things. To do."

This is usually where I lose my patience. It's obvious when he starts a conversation like this that he has an end goal in mind, but he usually thinks I'm not going to like it or go along with it, so he drags it out until I stop listening."

"Kirk: WHAT. KIND. OF. THINGS. ARE. YOU. TALKING. ABOUT?!?!?!"

"Like when we went to the Museum of Science for Brunch."

"On THANKSGIVING?!"

"Well, sometimes they do things like that..." He developed a slightly injured look.

I sighed and put the eyeliner down. "You know how I feel about restaurant Thanksgiving."

"I know," he answered me, downtrodden. "I just wanted to find something to do to make the weekend feel more special."

The fact is, he's feeling very abandoned by his family, and I don't blame him at all. This wasn't "we live too far away to make the trip so celebrate without us this year." This was one member of his immediate family making plans for themselves and the other members of his immediate family that were blatantly exclusive of him without his knowledge, consent, or input.

There are 51 other weekends in a freaking year, folks. 51 other opportunities to say thank you. Why Thanksgiving?

And the thing is, if she'd called us and said "listen--we want to do this to thank Mom and Dad and Sandy and Joe for the wedding, and Thanskgiving is really the only weekend we can do it in the forseeable future, and I know it means we won't be together, and I know it's asking a lot of you, but will you be okay with our making this plan?"

And that still would have been sucky, but at least it would have been direct.

Instead, they just made the plan. They didn't even tell us about it. Kirk heard through his mother instead of his sister. Her only acknowledgement at all so far has been a box that arrived on our doorstep Wednesday morning from the Popcorn Factory full of popcorn balls. The label had a note on it: "Happy Halloween! Sorry we can't be together this Thanksgiving. Love, Amy and Lon."

(Side note: babies and toddlers can't eat popcorn. It's a choking hazard. I'm on a diet. WHich leaves Kirk to eat 24 popcorn balls by himself. DO I sound ungrateful?)

Kirk pointed out the note in our conversation this morning, saying that it showed she must be feeling at least a little guilty about it since she sent the box. I told him my feeling is that it was too little too late, and that she could keep her damn guilt popcorn.

Unfortunately, our conversation doesn't really have a happy ending. He went off to work feeling no better about it. I can't make him feel better about the fact that his family is running off to NYC for the holiday. I can't change the fact that he comes from a family of wolves. All I can do is love him and try to make this Thanksgiving weekend a beginning of new traditions for our family.

Tonight, the blackboard is going to come out and the Thanksgiving Plan is going up. It will include dinner here, at home, with just the four of us, and it will not be store-bought or catered. It will include at least one walk through the Audobon Society center down the street. It will probably include a trip to QUincy to watch Santa arrive by parachute, and maybe even the Santa parade the next day.

It won't include my mother-in-law, father-in-law, or sister-in-law, but that's not my fault. I can only do so much.

**And, by the way, if you're wondering why I don't just say any of this to them directly, you don't know my in-laws. Kirk was raised in a family where people avoid direct confrontation at all costs and then sweep things under the rug and pretend they never happened. It's like beating your head against a wall made of jello--pointless and not really very stress-relieving.

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