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!