Oops, We Did It Again

We really didn’t plan it this way. There might have been an element of “oh, this was so fun last year, we should do it again.”

My mom, Hope and I went shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. We go to La Encantada in Tucson, which is this lovely outdoor mall that isn’t crowded. We don’t go for Christmas shopping, either, but more to screw around and enjoy ourselves. We had Italian for lunch. And really, Hope did the most shopping, which is a major reversal.

All was well until we hit the Black/White store and found these great tops that were neither black nor white. My mom loved the sweater and went to try it on, while Hope and I waited in the dressing area. We’d previously spotted and admired the tops with the roses, but left it there. Then this young gal came out of a dressing room and looked so fab in that selfsame top, we felt compelled to try them on, too.

It was meant to be, don’t you think?

I got Hope’s for her as a birthday present. She promised to put it away again after Mexican food night, and re-open it on her special day. We’ll see if she does.

This was our Thanksgiving. Nothing profound. Nothing earth-shattering. We did silly things and ate great food, drank a lot of wine. We slept in, sat in the sun, took walks, read.

Perhaps a happy life gives one little to report of interest.

Still, I’m thankful.

Counting Trespasses


No Crazy Gym Lady today!

She’s off to Baton Rouge for Thanksgiving. (Sorry Danica.) But I saved this one from last week.

“Normally I love to cook, but I hate cooking for Thanksgiving because my mother’s kitchen is so…Limited! It’s very frustrating for me.”

~

This year my mom and stepsister, Hope, are doing all the cooking. I don’t recall if I mentioned that. Despite my NoNaNo words about Thanksgiving being about lots of prep, things worked out so that we can’t get to Tucson until tomorrow midday. For those keeping score at home, that leaves little time for cooking, even though we do eat later in the day.

They’re both so lovely about it, they’ve said not to worry and I can cook at Christmas.

So I’ll waltz in and be fed. Pretty glam.

We’re lucky to have a place to go for this celebration, with people we enjoy so much. I’ve been having a lot of conversations this week with friends dreading their Thanksgiving obligations. The same themes rise over and over again. Families who don’t listen to each other, who are so busy judging who’s living the more correct life that no one can relax and take pleasure in the day. The gathering of family becomes a gauntlet for some, an annual performance review that almost always comes with a stamp of “Did Not Meet Expectations.”

Never mind that those expectations are rarely anything the person agreed to.

People have been saying a lot this week about thankfulness, gratitude, counting blessings. That’s to be expected for this holiday. It’s important to me, to count the ways I am so fortunate, so rich. Perhaps, though, we might spend time thinking about the demands we lay on the people we love, who we expect them to be, how we expect them to behave.

I think often of this quote, which I’m sure I’ve quoted here before, by Jim Morrison:

The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.

He’s talking about those expectations. I imagine we can all think of ways our families have asked us to be someone we’re not. David and I have been trying to turn that around, being diligent not to be the smiling murderers ourselves.

That’s my small bid for change. Sending along my wishes and hopes that you who are dreading the gatherings find joy in some part of them.

If not, you can all come to my mom’s house!

With that, I’ll leave you to at least enjoy the time off. Have a lovely holiday!

Thanks for All the Fish


I had this vague Idea that I would write a Thanksgiving post.

I mean, I didn’t do the whole Facebook thing of daily posting what I was thankful for, because, hey I have a blog and would write all about that. In my own time.

Which turns out to be days later.

I did post that I was considering just reverting to childhood at my mother’s house, which would consist of lying about reading and generally being a parasite.

The beauty of the adult version of this is, you get to drink beer, too!

So, yes, this is what happened to my Thanksgiving post. I was sitting in the sun on the patio, drinking beer that my wonderful Stepfather Dave stocked in his special Corona cooler, reading and being a parasite. Here is my list of thankfuls for that:

To my mom, for making sure I got to relax;
To Dave, for being a great host and for putting up with HER side of the family;
To David, my love, for being the kind of guy who loves to sit and read on the patio with me;
To the sun, for shining.

I wasn’t a complete loser, but I came quite close. Somewhere around the Monday of Thanksgiving week, between emails and phone calls, it occurred to me that my mother hadn’t even mentioned the dinner menu, much less asked me for input.

This is what’s known in the business as a Bad Sign.

When I asked my mom about the plans for the holiday meal, she replied that Thanksgiving is a slam dunk, she and Hope had it handled. So, while I did make my cranberry/pear chutney on Thanksgiving Day, it was an afterthought. Here’s me, in my desultory cooking, laptop at the ready. And no, my mother’s kitchen is never that cluttered. That’s my fault, too. Thus I am thankful:

To Hope, best stepsister anyone could ask for, for stepping up when I didn’t;
To my mom, who never once bugged me about the dinner menu and who just wanted me to relax.

So, while I managed to make chutney, consult on the stuffing and set the table — yes, I was totally 13 again — I was worthless this Thanksgiving. Even for giving thanks.

In the end? Hands-down winner: I’m thankful for my mom. Who promises that I get to make it all up by hosting Christmas. And she won’t do anything, especially not scrubbing my stove top in the middle of the night.

I love you Mom!

Girl Stuff


So, we were kind of dorks yesterday.

Which Hope says is okay, because the guys already know we’re dorks.

What happened was, my mom, Hope and I indulged in the great American tradition of shopping. We had fun and all was reasonably predictable, until we hit Ann Taylor.

Where we pretty much lost our minds.

So, yes, we all bought the same shirt in a slightly different shade, and all wore them out for Mexican food last night. Mexican food is the Beck family tradition for the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Brett, Hope and Galan’s older son, decided that the girls wearing the same shirts should also be part of the tradition now, which might be kind of difficult to sustain in the long run.

That, and tales of Xerodeupopods.

My mom’s camera was accidentally set to video for the photo of the boys, so you get the full photo-taking experience here, complete with Mariachi music in the background.

I know. Doesn’t get better than this.

Girl Stuff


So, we were kind of dorks yesterday.

Which Hope says is okay, because the guys already know we’re dorks.

What happened was, my mom, Hope and I indulged in the great American tradition of shopping. We had fun and all was reasonably predictable, until we hit Ann Taylor.

Where we pretty much lost our minds.

So, yes, we all bought the same shirt in a slightly different shade, and all wore them out for Mexican food last night. Mexican food is the Beck family tradition for the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Brett, Hope and Galan’s older son, decided that the girls wearing the same shirts should also be part of the tradition now, which might be kind of difficult to sustain in the long run.

That, and tales of Xerodeupopods.

My mom’s camera was accidentally set to video for the photo of the boys, so you get the full photo-taking experience here, complete with Mariachi music in the background.

I know. Doesn’t get better than this.