We all know that Thanksgiving Day is one big unadulterated stress interrupted by a big turkey dinner.
Either you have made haste to get to your relatives’ house (or worse, your spouse’s relatives) where you are then requested and required to be on your best behavior because we don’t want a repeat of that ugly scene like last year.
We all have that one relative who makes it difficult for everyone else to truly relax and enjoy the gathering of the clan. Of course if you are one of those rare individuals who is not bothered by any boorish behavior at said gatherings it probably means that you are that person everyone else is walking on tiptoe around.
If that is the case, no worries, because you are oblivious to that fact. The only thing that bothers you is why everyone else does not realize that you have 20-20 insight on:
If you have traveled to get to there, you cannot be entirely at ease in someone else’s home and the stress is only compounded by having to share the bathroom that is (1.) not your own or (2.) it is your own which is even worse to share.
Also you must feign interest in all of the wonderful deeds that their children have accomplished. Likewise you must ignore how adroitly they change the subject once you begin to comment on the truly exceptional talents of one’s own children.
Instead, you must now listen as conversation turns to the heading of “Most Recent Ailment” (or as it is more accurately known: “I Can Top That.”)
Of course if it has fallen to your turn to host the feast, it means not only have you had to tread lightly around your spouse (in my case My Lady Wife) who has started cooking about three days prior to T-Day.
This is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it will be delicious meal and well worth the running out to the store for that “one missing ingredient.” And if it were only once that would be fine. But it usually turns into several trips over the last three days, usually when you have just settled into something relaxing.
The generalissima brooks no relaxation while on full T-Day alert.
Then there is cleaning the house for a white-glove inspection that would make my old first sergeant’s heart burst with pride.
As T-Day dawns I get up early and start primping in the yard. This gives the semblance of “going the extra mile” while actually getting out from the Honey-Do list that would inevitably have been handed to me.
And of course there is the final “run to the store” run which kills off pretty much all of the time before the family begins to arrive.
So you do what is expected of you. You say the blessing, you do hostly things like keep bringing out the cheesy bits to munch on and playing bartender with that hail-fellow-well-met bravado that shows you really are in the holiday spirit.
The reward comes later in the day when everyone has succumbed to that postprandial malaise when everyone is full and you are allowed to turn on the football game.
I sink into my chair delighting in that twilight of consciousness with eyes mere slits in my face as my chin rests lightly on my chest.
And I take joy in that last lingering thought before lapsing into hibernational repose.
“Christmas, it is my brother-in-law’s turn.”