Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving story

I'm blessed in that I don't have the hugely dysfunctional family that some describe. Oh, we have our dysfunctions, but they don't rise to the level of shouting over holiday dinners. Usually.

I was 16 or so. My brother wasn't around that year, but my sister and her then fiancee (who I wasn't too sure about) were there, plus my parents. My Mom always makes a kickass turkey dinner, and this was no exception. She once spent 3 hours perfecting the gravy. But I digress.

When it was time to eat, I greedily heaped a sinful amount of turkey on my plate, and slathered the fucker in a gravy tsunami. No stuffing, no nasty-ass cranberry sauce, no weird casserole with crunchy things on top, and most definitely no totally lame green beans. Just turkey, gravy, and ok, maybe a little bit of stuffing.

The big guy, the one who showed up for family events and performed duties like slicing the turkey and dispensing unsolicited advice, took exception to the lack of green beans on my plate. Usually we got along fine, but I hadn't seen the guy for what seemed like years anyway, so I wasn't inclined to bend in this case. And christ, it was Thanksgiving! Who the hell cares about nutrition on Thanksgiving?

So I just walked off with my cholester-plate and figured that was the end of it. Nope. With surprising quickness, he dropped the carving knife and intercepted me at the doorway into the dining room.

"Green. Beans." he said sternly, pointing a finger in my face. "Who the fuck is this guy?" I was thinking. You're at work 12 hours a day, I never see you, and now, on this seemingly trivial issue, you're going to start arbitrarily enforcing rules?

I tried to work my way around him, but he actually snatched the plate out of my hands. He was quicker and stronger than I expected him to be. Being a teenaged boy, my fight or flight response was dialed way over to "fight". I came really close to blowing up right there, but my Mom coaxed me down, while telling my Dad he was a jerk.

I left the dinner entirely and went to my "cave", the downstairs area which had my room and all my video games and whatnot. I was just getting my keys though. I could have Thanksgiving dinner with at least 4 other families. I didn't have to take this shit. No one understands the true injustice of the world better than a teenage white boy from the suburbs.

My realization that I left them upstairs preceded the unmistakable jingling sound of keys going into a pocket by about 2 nanoseconds. Ah, damn! Now I was stuck.

My sister was sent to negotiate the terms, me still brooding in my lair. The terms were, I could not eat at all and stay home all night. Or I could eat dinner with them, with a reasonable side of green beans of course, and get the keys back.

Obviously I ate dinner with them, but no way was I going to let it slide that easily. I heaped a ridiculous pile of green beans on a new plate, and put nothing else, save a little salt. Then I went in there, wolfed it down in about 4 seconds, and was generally a prick the whole time. Then I got the keys from my Dad, and left.

I'm not sure who won the encounter, but I think I did, because I was more than surly at the dinner and he didn't retaliate. I found out later he was secretly proud of me.

It's hilarious now, but I was really pissed at the time. Imagine the nerve, to treat me like a kid! My sister's fiancee was surely mortified.

To this day, every Thanksgiving my Dad calls and asks if I've had my green beans, and we get a laugh. I always lie and tell him I have.

Why the hell am I going to eat stupid old green beans on Thanksgiving? It's Thanksgiving!


At 22/11/06 18:44, Blogger Frannie Farmer said...

Ha. I love it. You will note that my post today is: It just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without Green Bean Casserole. So obviously I love them, but NOT, NOT, NOT with those nasty French Fried Onions!
Hope your day is good, with or with out green beans!

At 24/11/06 09:35, Blogger TSS said...

I had a brussel sprout, my first ever (that was my compromise for not eating green beans). I don't see the big deal on those either way. It was just a veggie.


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