Thanksgiving is soon upon us, and I'm dreading our family "celebration". This year my sister-in-law is once again hosting all and sundry, at her insistence, and will give us one of her patented traditional Norman Rockwell-vs-Currier and Ives tableaux of bounty and familial warmth. If we don't come dressed in hand-knit sweaters, she makes us wear one from her stash of thousands of woollen monstrosities. She rents a sleigh or haywagon (depending on the weather) that we all have take a ride on through the subdivision. And God forbid she should use anything store bought or disposable while trying to feed the hordes of family and friends she manages to invite each time.
The result of her desire for a perfect holiday celebration is a very predictable breakdown. Last time, it was provoked by a neighbour choking on a giblet. She leapt across the table, Heimliched the guy, and after assuring herself that he was well, crumpled onto the floor a heaving wreck of gravy-laden humanity, before calling her husband out on the carpet for preferring to watch the football rather than listening to her recount for the tenth time the story of how Fred almost died, and how she saved him, and how traumatic it all was, and how we truly could be thankful this year. All I could think about was how I was going to get stuck handwashing her crystal during her breakdown since she can't imagine using dishwasher-safe glasses. Bitch.I also fear that I will be confronted with my third cousin, a rather plain girl who had the bad idea last time of following her friends' advice to doll up to try to snag herself a man. It's true that with the number of divorced men from the neighbourhood my SIL takes in each year (poor things, alone on Thanksgiving, far from their kids), the pickings are good. But seeing a first-season-4-month-pregnant Peggy Olson trying to pull off a January Jones GQ number does nothing for my holiday appetite, and I ended up blurting out something about sow's ears and silk purses… Things will be even worse this year, since "Peggy" is out of a job, having failed in an attempt to get her boss the dentist to dump his wife by denouncing the insurance fraud his office manager/spouse was engaging in. Guess what: the boss knew, and Peg was out on her keester, with some compromising January Jones-style nude photos she had sent to the doc ensuring that she would keep her mouth shut.I could go on about the horrors I face, but all I really need to know is: when I get my Chinese takeout this year, should I get the salty or sweet soy sauce?
"Giving thanks to Mr. Won down the street this year"