Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Thanksgiving (gotta love family)

OK ... so here is a quick warning ... if you are a member of my family, stop reading now (or don't hold anything I write against me). Everyone else, since I can't express myself very well in my writing ... good luck following along and prepare for a bazillion tangents.

My family had our Thanksgiving 2 Sundays ago since schedules are pretty out of the ordinary and it's difficult to get everyone together. I guess I need to provide an overview of my family structure to be able to explain everything. Let's make use of a bulleted list.
  • Mom and Dad split amicably 3 years ago
  • 2 older sisters (+2 and +4 years, let's call them Lisa(+2) and Maggie(+4))
  • Aunt on Dad's side with 2 dogs lives nearby (Selma)
  • Mom's siblings (Bro w/ family, Sis w/ family) live up north (Red Sox nation)
  • Grandparents on Dad's side no longer with us
  • Grandparents on Mom's side unable to travel (I need to visit them; far north)
  • Dad's been dating Betty for over a year
  • Mom's been dating Fred for under a year
  • Lisa has been dating Milhouse for over a year
  • Maggie has been dating Nelson for over a year
  • Betty has 3 children, one that is still in school (we'll go with Bamm)
  • I don't (or at least apparently shouldn't) date [more on this in a later post]

With that background information you should now have the key to unlocking the following puzzle. That puzzle being my Thanksgiving dinner.

Family gatherings are really a bittersweet experience for me and have been since college. It's rare that everyone gets together and I really love my family so it is always something I look forward to, but at the same time we all have conflicting personalities that seem to get stronger every year. When I say our personalities conflict I don't mean on an individual level, it's just something about all of us together that brings forth the aspects of those personalities that don't blend well. I get along great with all of them when it is just a couple of us (i.e. me, Lisa and Milhouse or me, dad and Betty) but I just can't take all of them together at the same time for very long.

For example, whenever I am getting together with Maggie, I know to tell her about 30 minutes before when I actually expect to see her. She is notoriously late to everything (except work, like ever). This is fine when it's just us or a small group, but when the whole family is waiting to eat and she was supposed to be there over an hour prior, it can get a little aggravating. I can't really think of anything Lisa does that gets on my nerves except that she is really nice and tries too hard to keep everything civil ... if I want to be mad at Maggie, damn it let me express that. As for Selma, I have never really gotten along with her (except when I was really young and we went to lots of hockey games, she was the "cool Aunt") and I don't know why. She just frustrates me beyond belief, and I won't even go into the grudge I hold against her (and my dad to a certain extent) over my dog from college (maybe I will, just not today). My parents are great, they have little quirks that tend to bother me (and I let them know about these), but for the most part we have never really fought about anything significant. Everyone's significant others are also high up on my list, with one slight exception that doesn't really fit in.

Finally, onto the actual day. I love my Thanksgiving because it shows how awesome my family is. We have the dinner at my mom's house and the table is filled with 11 people (10 and the 11th came mid-way through), none of which are married. There are a total 6 different last names among us. The main thing to consider here is that only 5 of these people are my immediate family, everyone else sports a different last name. Everyone contributes some dish (Lisa's green-bean casserole is the best; I brought beer since my stove/oven was still dirty from house work) and we all have a good time. I think this was the first time most of the family met Betty's son Bamm (I met him last year on a trip to Hershey Park with Dad, Betty, Bamm, his friend, and one of my Ex's) and I felt bad since I was supposed to bring Rock Band but completely forgot. I was only there for about 4 hours (had to leave for a volleyball match) but had a great time and am already looking forward to Christmas. Now what to do tomorrow since everyone else has their own Thanksgiving plans (I was invited to be the third wheel at no less than 3 Thanksgivings but figure I can use the day to work on my house and write some of these reports for work)?

No comments: