We are not very sure on how to celebrate Thanksgiving, since it is not our holiday. But it involves turkey, wine, friends and therefore it is an excuse to break out the kiddie table and fight about politics with the cousins. I have a lot of cousins and a big apartment to fit them all in. And the turkey has already been slaughtered so we might as well roast it and eat it (or at least try). And it is close to the November feasts which we never celebrated anyway but still enjoyed what with the days off and the solemn concerts of yore.
This year’s Thanksgiving started in the morning with my dad who, after trying my mom’s patient for half an hour, suddenly started giving thanks for the big apartment we were in, and the nice weather we were having. He proclaimed he was giving thanks every hour on the hour for something.
The womenfolk including yours truly were hard at work on cooking. I know that Thanksgiving is one of the holidays with a very set menu but my mom took one bite of the yams one year and declared disdain for all foreign food that cannot decide whether to be sweet or salty, spicy or mild and tries to be all. so she cooks what she wants, and I buy the rest. (Yesterday my manager was horrified at the idea that I would buy apple pie, not pumpkin for Thanksgiving. She told me that the only way I could have apple instead of pumpkin was to eat it with an wedge of cheddar cheese. I could see her horrified face as my mom took out the pershesh. Turkey innards are for stuffing purposes only. I learned this when my cousin reduced her New Englander cousin-in-law to tears when she stole the turkey’s heart for her pershesh).
However, I decided to get involved this year and do some shrimps, sauces and other little things here and there that do not require much work ( i hate work) but can still be eaten. In the end, the heaped table did not make sense at all but it smelled wonderful, if i do say so myself (I can because I ate half of it). We had the turkey, the pershesh, the shrimps scampi, the tzaziki sauce, the russian salad (who the russian call french and the french call it good to eat) and the seaweed salad in honor of the new neighborhood. Truly international.
There were kids playing, grownups drinking and singing out loud, other grownups discussing politics, religion, origins, ancients napping in a corner and one baby who watching it all with interest. At one point, my little cousins came to me very excited. “wow they said, “we did not know you drew stuff”. I had forgotten I drew stuff. Once upon a time. Very long ago. I drew stuff. they kept on watching me with newfound respect throughout the evening.
I had a dejavu. I remembered how excited I was when I found my uncle’s notes on how to kiss girls, how to talk to them and make them go home with him. there were several models of love letters and some unsavory descriptions of taking their bras off, but I did not wear a bra then so I did not pay it very much attention. However, I was hooked on the kissing part dreaming night and day about the special one who would say the right words and would position me just so, before he brushed his lips sweetly with mine, slowly blowing on them and mingling our breaths before he would truly attach his lips to mine and whisk me away to eternity. There was something with the tongues too, but the notes emphasized that it could be done only if the girl wanted to, and I did not see the point of it. It wasn’t in the movies.
And tonight, my little vixens found a secret of their old cousin. I felt a bit like a rite of passage was completed. They would remember me later as the cousin who could draw. It beats being remembered as the cousin who could eat and be a scary witch after three glasses of wine. And sing the baritone instead of the soprano.
My dad gave thanks several more times today, once about his beautiful nephew, then the internet connection and then other things. He seemed so proud that he had figured out the meaning of Thanksgiving all by himself and kept asking everyone: “Well, what are you going to give thanks for? What makes you most grateful?”
Well, having him for a father makes me very grateful. And the fact that he is still an innocent wonderful man who is not afraid to figure life out and give thanks for it. And a lot of other mushy-lushy stuff that I do not want to dwell in right now. it does not jive with the figure of the cool older cousin who can draw sexy supermodels.