Published on December 1st, 2014 | by Richard Black0
An Obligatory and Belated Thanksgiving Post
This year I’m thankful for many things but, until I started drinking, none of them came to mind.
Instead of cooking Thanksgiving dinner at home, a tradition I love because I might be a masochist, Laura and I decided to eat dinner out with our daughter, my mother and sister.
It’s the first time I haven’t made the meal at home since I’ve been married but given all that’s been going on (the sale of our current home, the purchase of another and a gut rehab, global warming, etc.) I thought I’d forgo subjecting my family to dry turkey, mushy green bean casserole and my disposition after having cooked such a glorious repast.
It went pretty well too. The meal out that is. My sister didn’t tell a story about recovering heroin addicts or transsexuals in hormonal limbo. She even kept expletives to a minimum which kept the tone pleasant and didn’t prompt many awkward questions from Darcy on the drive home a la “Daddy when do I decide to have a fucking penis or a vagina?”
The meal was lovely and no one picked up food poisoning as far as I know. My 74 year old mother caught some bug I’ll just call “bulimia at both ends” but she works at a public school and is subjected to children on a regular basis. I can’t say with certainty that her bout of gastrointestinal liveliness was cause by her constant proximity to disease riddled grade schoolers or the food she ate but the rest of us escaped unscathed.
The only hitch throughout the entire meal occurred when Laura jumped me with the question “what are you thankful for Rich?” as I was trying to eat an entire turkey.
I actually began to choke and while I don’t recommend attempting to inhale food there are times when it can’t be avoided. Laura went on to ask my sister and my mother about what they were thankful for. It was hard to hear their voices over my gags and wheezes but I gathered that none of them mentioned me which, I must say, I found somewhat upsetting. I’m fragile and more than a little self centered and I would have thought that my family would have been tuned into that fact but that’s a topic for another time.
Around the time I stopped choking and dug into the rest of my turkey the question about what I was thankful for came back around in a much more devious fashion.
“Daddy what are you thankful for?” my four year old daughter asked and most likely prompted by my wife. Before I could think I quipped off something about how I was thankful that Thanksgiving was almost over. It’s an occupational hazard of being me, speaking before thinking that is, and one I’ve come to accept but continues to take a toll on my wife despite the fact that we’ve known each other for more than a decade.
Seeing the rather disgruntled looks of my wife and mother (no one does disgruntled better than the two of them) I took a breath and said something pathetically generic about how I was thankful for my family. I was even sincere and I hadn’t even been drinking.
I am thankful for my family by the way and not just because they’ve all either gone home or to bed.
I am thankful for my mother who busted her ass as a teacher and provided a good and welcome home for her two children.
I’m thankful for a sister who has always had my back especially during grade school when we were riding the bus and she hammered Stevie Marchbanks on the head with her steel lunchbox as he was choking the living shit out of me.
I’m thankful that my daughter only wet the sheets in our bed last night and not the pillows, comforter, my wife or myself.
I’m thankful for my wife’s poor taste in men.
I am thankful that Christmas is almost a month away and not next week.
I am thankful that I am married to a woman willing to work 80 hour weeks so that we can afford to pay for food and our mortgage and our bills so that I can stay at home and care for our daughter.
I am thankful.