I have already received invitations for Thanksgiving Dinner. It can be a wonderful and delightful gathering, or sometimes it is a circus. Many times the experience has been memorable and fun. Great food, wonderful desserts, and of course Cowboys football. I am from Texas after all!!
As a kid, there was always a huge crowd at our house, lots of relatives we only saw once a year. It was fun to sneak bites of desserts, all the while our mothers were yelling at us to get out of the kitchen. Grandmother would slip us some treats, because she was the mom of all the moms. She had the power to do that. There was always gallons of fresh tea, coffee and of course water.
The table would be set for the adults, and then there was the kid tables for all us young ones to sit down and eat. We would have our meal and dessert, The men would retire to the TV and the moms would clean up the aftermath! Normal by most standards.
The reason for this story is to let you know how I learned the holiday standards. A while back a friend invited me to have Thanksgiving with his family. I felt honored to be invited to such a sacred event with his family! What a surprise awaited me. When we got to his parents house I expected some sort of decorum similar to what was the standard I was raised up with. Wrong! His mother was sitting on the front porch drinking a Natural Light, there was already 6 empty cans on the table beside her. No problem, I thought, maybe there were some other people drinking the same thing. That changed when she said to my friend" I hope you boys brought your own beer"! So we go in the house, his Dad was feeling no pain at all. He was laying on the couch after imbibing a large whiskey on ice. His brother and family were there as well as his 5 time divorced sister, she had her new boyfriend with her. This was the start to an experience that must be told. The table was too small for everyone to sit around, so we just sat anywhere open, sofa, arm chairs, folding chairs, stools and etc. The traditional prayer for his family was short and to the point. Then everybody dug in to the setting. I grabbed some turkey, dressing, rolls, and something that looked like potatoes. I found a place to set and dug in. The first bite and I was looking to throw the rest in the trash! The turkey was drier than cardboard, and it had a taste worse than anything I have ever had. Well I decided to try the dressing, oh my, what a fiasco! I think it was shake and bake, perhaps it started out that way, but something was lost in the preparation. Next was the rolls, did you ever try to eat bread that mortar mix was used instead of flour? My fear overwhelmed me when it came to the potato-like substance, so they were passed over! I pretended to enjoy the food while playing with the fork. When his brother went towards the trash, I followed close behind and disposed of the "meal". My buddy had mentioned that his family always watched the game, so off to the Mini-Mart we went. His brother said he wanted to go along, so we told him to load up.
His brother was already loaded, and I mean loaded. When we got to the only store open in town, that happened to be owned by some people from India, my friends brother started mouthing the store owner. The store owner was a gentleman, he never even began to get upset, he should have thrown the brother out! The brother bought his beer, poured the cans into the ice chest, and threw the trash onto the parking lot. What a drunk Jack-Ass!!! Back to the house, time for the game. Well, mom was on the porch, still drinking, 10 empties now. Dad was in and out!
The game kicked off, I suppose that was the only normal thing experienced that day. The desserts were offered, but I passed, some made up intolerance that was being suffered. Did I mention that the brother and his teenage son were in the front yard getting ready to shoot the plastic reindeer in the yard down the street!
I survived and I am proud to report that this year is going to be different. I hope.