Saturday, January 9, 2010

In which Sly comments on the dark meat

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.


  1. Good gawd, are Primo and Beloved related??? They have to be - I think your in-laws are closely related to my in-laws.

    I have a multi-racial family. My first husband is Hispanic, which makes my two older kids half-Hispanic. My sister's husband, whom I adore, is African American. They have 4 absolutely beautiful, wonderful children. My mother's youngest brother, who is only 3 years older than me and the closest I ever came to an older brother, is married to a Hispanic woman. Their daughter is one of my three cousins. My youngest son's father is married to a woman from Trinidad who is of Indian/Pakistani descent; they have a little boy of about 3. I've known my two best friends since middle school - they are my kids' godparents. She is African American, he is not only Hispanic but gay.

    My in-laws KNOW this, and yet my FIL and SIL seem to delight in throwing around the most horrid racial slurs in front of me, then tacking on shit like, "but I'm sure your family isn't like that."

    1. Your family sounds lovely! I bet you have awesome holidays and get togethers.

      I'm sorry your in laws are bigots. Their loss!

  2. Sounds like they enjoy serving their turkey with a big fat bowl of tension.
    God, life's too short!!
    You must really love that man. I hope he appreciated you.

  3. He's just messing with you. It reminds me of someone I know who loves to debate -- he'll defend one side of an argument tooth and nail, and then a few hours later, he'll be talking to someone else about the same topic, but taking the other POV and defending it just as passionately. I will never get that.

    We like peelings in this house, too. That's where most of the nutrients are. Good flavor, too :D

  4. Is there some dementia going on??? White-Chocolate

  5. Jan, how very rude.

    Maureen, Primo has stood with me 100% against his parents every time and does appreciate me, but yeah, it's a mess.

    Mel and WC, I don't think it's dementia, I think it's booze and control. I don't think he remembered the previous year's outburst. We were flabbergasted. I think the Christmas scene was about control. Totally about control.

  6. Gold Digger, I hope you and Primo will understand that I am not trying to be rude, but helpful to two people I am liking very much. There are some things I have learned during the course of a pretty painful journey, and I would like to share them in the hope that maybe they might help:

    "He has to visit. They are his parents, after all."

    This is a false juxtaposition. They are his parents. He does not have to visit. No one has to visit people who are rude to him or the people (wife/brother/sister/children/etc.) that he loves.

    "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."

    False juxtaposition. Just because he visits, doesn't mean he has to fix Thing One, or scoop up poop. He can call the plumber and leave a message for the plumber to come out. He can write a note to the maid reminding her that she needs to clean the floor around the box as well as the box itself. He does NOT have to play Indentured Servant for them.

    He could stay home and have a lovely Thanksgiving with his wife. If he wanted a larger Thanksgiving, he could invite his sister, her kids, and even her ex, if he's so inclined. He could invite anyone he wants, and LEAVE OUT anyone he DIDN'T want. Such as, anyone - anyone at all! - who would be mean.


  7. IvyKllr, I totally agree with you. I have tried to convince Primo, but have been unsuccessful. I, however, have not been to their house for two years. I refuse to be around such toxic, mean people.

  8. Oh, I think he was trying to reverse-psychology the grandkids into taking dark meat instead of white meat, a la 'Don't throw me into the briar patch, Brer Fox'.

  9. Gold Digger, I SO wish I had been as smart as you and started a blog instead of just stewing about my in-laws. Well they are now dead and the husband is now an ex, but this would have so relieved the tension! :) The EX was never supportive of me. His attitude was "well if they have a problem with you there must be a reason". Surprising that we are divorced, I know!

    1. Anon, I don't think I could have endured Sly and Doris if Primo had not been backing me up. When you grow up in a healthy, functional family, you think it's your fault if people are horrible to you because that is the only reason nice people become mean! Your ex did not do it right. I am sorry. He should have taken your side. He should have, as an adult, recognized that his parents were the problem.