Thanksgiving 2008 We are chez Sly and Doris. Yes, I know I said we would spend no more holidays with them. Did I lie? Or did I forget this event because I wish to forget it? Because I did not want to spend more holidays with them? What is a lie, anyhow? Is it when you forget something, when you do not know something is untrue but say it is so, when you deliberately mislead?
This is not a philosophy blog. I will not address those questions.
Alas, we are there for Thanksgiving. We do not want to be. I do not want to be. But Primo had wanted to use up his frequent flier tickets before the airlines changed the programs. Really, I would rather have seen those miles go to waste rather than spend more time with Sly and Doris, but I also love Primo and part of that love is sacrificing for his sake.
He has to visit. They are his parents, after all. He does not like to go there alone. Alone, it is nothing but doing their chores because you know there are no plumbers where they live. There is nobody who could clean the cat poop off the floor around the cat box, not even their cleaning lady. No, not even she. He gets lonely. I can suck it up so he is not so lonely and bored.
So here we are. It is Thanksgiving dinner. Primo and I have done a lot of the cooking, which we do not mind, as we like to cook and as Doris has arthritis in her hands, so she can't do much and it would be mean make her.
We have cooked with inferior tools. Their knives are old and dull. They do not have a decent potato peeler, only an old, dull paring knife and of course the potatoes must be peeled, even though Primo and I prefer mashed potatoes with the peels left on. The apples for the pie as well, even though we prefer unpeeled apples. But their house, their rules. I am OK with that philosophy, except it seemed that when they visited us, it was our house, their rules. Am I bitter about that?
Stephanie and Jack's divorce is final. They are at the house, along with the kids. They are making a strong effort to get along for the kids' sake. I applaud them for it. Doris compliments Stephanie on her outfit. Later, after Stephanie leaves, Doris asks, "Wasn't that a tacky outfit?"
We sit down to dinner. So far, no fireworks, no yelling. Everyone seems sober. Sly carves the turkey. As we start to eat, he says, "You know, I never have liked the white meat. Too dry. No flavor. I've always preferred the dark meat."
Stephanie and I look at each other across the table and our jaws drop in disbelief.