Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Oatmeal

WARNING!!  This is a complete downer.

I have these pictures when Fran was about three and it is my dining room on Elmwood and this long dining table and this huge turkey and this beautiful tablecloth and Lou and Fran and me.  My parents were in Florida having their Turkey dinner at the rec hall and enjoying the hell out of it and you didn't have to wash dishes unless your state was on the social committee that month which happened every 52 plus months because a lot of the people lived in Canada. And everyone else in my family and in Louie's family had something better do to.  Actually, they don't like us.

So this year I took the leaf out of the table and the dining room is a little smaller on Hazelwood and it will be Lou and me and my dad, because after my mom died, my dad didn't have anyone to have Thanksgiving dinner with and Fran married into this huge close knit family and we are like the wrinkly old people that scare the little kids.   I bought the smallest Turkey in the case and I was invited somewhere by someone nice, but I got this terrible haircut and kind of didn't know what to do with my dad, and Cassie doesn't know if she will be home in  time to sit with us and I thought Louie had to work, but he doesn't, so at least he will be there, otherwise it would be me and my dad.  How fucking pitiful is  that?

But the one that sticks in my mind as the quintessential Thanksgiving day celebration was the year that I gave birth to a six pound stillborn baby boy on November eighteenth and was told I had to buck up and go to auntie's in Glenview for Thanksgiving dinner.  And in those days no one acknowledged that you might be feeling grief or sadness and God forbid you should show it and it was cold and drizzly and we are driving out there, me bleeding and breasts aching, and we see this horrible seven car pile up on the Interstate and they are shoveling bodies into ambulances and we get to Auntie's and I get a big hug and "How are you?"  Seriously, auntie, what the fuck do you think?  I commented that I wasn't feeling too well yet (faux pas in those days) and we saw this horrible accident on the highway and she says, "Oh, today, you have to remember all that you are thankful for."  No.  I don't want to.  And I really should get over it but that is the clincher, like the only parade you will ever remember is when the huge balloon broke free and killed that little boy.

So, you know Google Plus and how it is a huge pain in the neck?  Well, I think it saved my life today.  They had this riff from The Oatmeal about Thanksgiving and I laughed out loud about four times. Thank you Francesca for cluing me into The Oatmeal.  And , everyone, have a happy Holiday.  I love turkey and I make the best gravy in the whole fucking world.  Your loss.


  1. Yeah, it always does seem like the worst things happen during the holidays... or vacation, or when you just started a job and can't afford to take time off and you have to go into work and pretend that everything is a-okay when it's freaking not. That's just a horrible experience. I'm glad you found something to make you laugh.

    I also wanted to ask you--the comment you left on my blog. You said something along the lines of "I hope you don't only review books." And I have to say, I was confused as hell. Did that comment mean, "I hope you don't only review books 'cos you're majorly awesomely undeniably talented at the written word and it would be a shame to waste it on simply writing reviews" or was it more like "I hope you don't only review books because if that's your day job you are going starve hardcore?"

    Just curious :)

  2. I love The Oatmeal and The Onion - both make me laugh!

  3. Having never tasted your gravy, I have to tell you that my lovely wife HAS to make the gravy everywhere we go, not because she wants to, but everyone makes her do it. Sometimes I think we are invited places because she can do that. That means I get to a lot of places that I probably wouldn't be invited to. So, one of these days, perhaps we'll be in the area and you can invite us for dinner and Kathy won't have to make the gravy. Nice article Virginia, you know how much I love the way you write.

  4. I'm a gravy queen too. I'm so sorry about your baby. I wish they would have let you grieve and have done with it, not that you ever really have done with it. But everything in its time, otherwise it pops out at you like some evil jack-in-the-box when you least expect it. This was a downer, but a lovely, well-written downer.


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