Hi there, guys and dolls! How was your Thanksgiving? Yes, mine was too. Far too much food, at least one drunk uncle and so much unsolicited advice that I’m set to avoid my family for at least another full year! Let me tell you all about it.
It started when I swung by to pick up Biff, you know, my hunky rent a date sure to make the female half (and let’s face it, a few on the male side, too) swoon in his charming charismatic muscular manner. Anyhoo, when I came by he was having way too much fun to come to the door. I rang the doorbell so long that eventually I had a great jazz improv number that Charlie Parker would envy. Caught up in my doorbell solo, I almost didn’t notice when Biff’s friendly all day happy hour buddy, Frank, showed up wearing nothing but a frilly apron and cocktail shaker. With the bossa nova playing in the background with glimpses of Biff dancing back and forth out of sight in the living room behind him, Frank informed me that Biff was far too ill to travel – tropical flu, don’t you know? Yeah, too many drinks with umbrellas will do that…
I left the boys to their own way of giving thanks for being alive, pulled up my socks and headed to the family – ALONE! Brave or stupid, not sure which, but doing it all the same.
Have I mentioned that this year’s happening was at my Cousin Annette’s house? Oh yes, Cousin Annette, so perfect in every way. One year younger than me, and she is the apple of the entire family’s eye. And this year, she has certainly solidified her position in the family hierarchy. Let me tell you a little about Annette. She married her one and only boyfriend, her high school sweetheart, but only after he finished law school and got a job in a good firm. She of course, dutifully got her degree in something benign that she’ll never use, ensconced herself in the perfect domestic wifedom in the suburban house, perfectly popping out three darling children. Did I mention she’s a year younger than yours truly? Really? Okay, did I mention her hair and lipstick are always perfect and each year she always has done some amazing feat of perfection that she just has to share (brag smugly, I’ve always thought) at every Thanksgiving gathering? This year’s was that due to hubby’s (God, why can’t I remember his name, I never can) lucrative promotion, they’re moving into a bigger house. That’s just great.
Of course, before they move, she just has to host Thanksgiving at her house. And of course, it was perfect. Except for one thing. Someone (not her, of course) had the wrong numbers of people and the adult’s dinner table was a squeeze, and would I mind sitting at the children’s table, being that I’m single? I was told of course I wouldn’t, patted on the head and relegated to the prolific generation of Jennys, Johnnys and Jimmys of the clan. Oh Lord!
Now, of course, I’m a good sport! I can always write about it later, even think about how I could bump off a family member or two in my next work of fiction. It could happen. So there I am, stuck in the middle of the little squirts. I stayed with the small chair (otherwise I couldn’t get my chin to the table). Aunt Ethel took away my wine glass (don’t want to be a bad influence, do I, well, yes, I do if it means I can drink, to be honest) and gave me a grape Nehi. I was stuck between little Leroy, who had the most peculiar nose that just would not stop running, no matter how often he wiped it on his (or my) sleeve and tiny Sue, who would not stop asking me questions, like where’s my husband, did I mean for my hair to look like that and what did I want to be when I grew up (like I know the answers to any of those questions). Fortunately I had a flask with me for just such occasions. Then one of the Jimmys kept kicking me under the table, telling me that his mother told him that if we bring something we should share it with everyone (I swear that kid was actually a 55 year old midget in disguise – he kept winking and leering in the oddest way, isn’t there always one of those in every too large gathering).
As always, there’s one memorable event that happens that goes down in the hall of awkwardness every year. Fortunately for me this year, I was just a simple innocent bystander in this year’s blunder. Poor Uncle Vinnie, though. Pretty sure that his idea of drunken nude charades will not be played at the Coast family gatherings again. Wonder if his daughter Cousin Annette will give him her new address?
So glad to be home.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.
Toodles, Barbara Jean