Sunday, November 26, 2006

I'm Thankful for Old People

I have a medium to possibly large family. Both of my parents have 4 siblings, many of whom have children of there own. With that many people, and given the amount of dysfunction and alcoholism associated with a lot of those people, you would think that the holiday season would provide endless hilarity. Me being one of the few sane ones (relatively speaking of course) I should just be able to sit back and enjoy while booze and bitterness lead to all sorts of wacky antics. You know, like a normal family. Unfortunately ( or fortunately depending on who you ask ) my clan seems to have a complete indifference to all things family. It's a near impossible feat to get more than 15 people in a room at once, and even then it's only for an hour or two. As a result Thanksgiving is usually a small affair, which sucks because I know that I'm am missing out on some truly great trainwrecks. I will try not to convey my dissappiontment while I share two notes on this years Thanksgiving that I found mildly amusing.

The holiday get togethers are mostly gotten together at either my parents house or an aunt's house in Williamsburg. This was a Williamsburg year. There is always one staple of a holiday meal at my aunt's house: the food never even comes close to approaching what one would deem an appropriate temperature for a meal. I have never had a hot meal there. I don't get it, is this how the eat every meal? I can't believe I have never contracted salmonella or some other sort of poisoning from under cooked food. Every year I try as discreetly as possible, so as not to offend the host, to microwave everything I have on my plate. This year the kitchen was to crowded and I felt to bad to do it. Nothing says Thanksgiving like a cool slab of turkey and lukewarm mashed potatos all smothered in ice cold gravy, mmm mmm.

My grandma is old. The kind of old where you have to basically have to scream at her to get her to understand anything you say. I imagine in her prime she was an outrageous gossip as well because she loves to talk about people behind their backs. However she has failed to realize that her extreme hearing loss also means she has lost the ability to whisper. Here is what she said this year as she was "whispering" about my sister's boyfriend at about 115 decibels: "Is Jessica's boyfriend Jewish? He looks like a jew." I pretty much lost it when I heard that from the other room, I live for that kind of stuff. Old people say the darnedest things.


David said...

I still can't believe I missed the Jew thing. Grandma's a barrel of laughs, she really is. What's almost as good as the deafness is that she often forgets anyone else is in the room.

Everyone else microwaved their food, so you didn't have to feel bad. in fact, Aunt Elaine was giving lessons on how to work her space-age microwave. I can't understand why they can never keep anything warm. Jennifer and did Thanksgiving at Mom's once if you remember, and we managed to serve everything hot. Maybe if she didn't cook the turkey at 4 in the morning......

The family indifference to anything family has spread to me like a disease. I don't want it, and I try to fight it, but it keeps flaring up. I don't want it to spread to my children. This family misses Mary Beth more than anyone realizes, I think.

Anonymous said...

OMG, I can so relate.

The cold to lukewarm dinner was what was served at my grandmothers house every Christmas. I really couldn't understand why. It was the exact same thing every year. She even had two working stoves in her kitchen.

Then another time my grandmother took me and my cousin out to dinner at a fancy restaurant. She too was going a bit deaf and "whispered" loudly (and in great length) about her recent bowel functions.

Aren't families great! I miss my grandma so much. Enjoy the funny moments while you still can.

Los said...

I guess as long as you keep the old people off the road, I don't have too much of a problem with them.

Cold turkey is good - at least the day after Thanksgiving, that is. I guess if you are at the table eating it on Thanksgiving night, it might not be so good.

Steph said...

God that sounds painful. Welll done surviving it.

Mike said...

Unfortunately, my GP's were well behaved this year. They are usually good for a few only-funny-cuz-they're-old comments that get the rest of the table roaring with laughter, but not this time around. There is always Christmas.