A woman shares a blow-by-blow of a messed-up Thanksgiving.
How was your Thanksgiving?
“We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Margo. Wish you could have been here,” my sister Judy says. “Auntie Mary and Uncle Seth drove in from Omaha.”
My sister jabbers on; she loves hearing herself talk. I look around at the war-torn rooms wondering how I will get everything back together.
“Enough about us, how was yours?”
My sister is very competitive and extremely judgmental. I debate whether I should tell her what happened, or some version of an idyllic Thanksgiving.
What happened you ask, dear reader?
Well, first of all, I had the oven on too high and the green bean casserole and the rolls caught fire. I had to throw out the burned dinner rolls. No biggie, since nobody likes my green bean casserole. And I had a loaf of Wonder Bread. Well, it was no biggie until my sleeve caught fire and Uncle Elmo splashed red wine on me to put it out.
Once Auntie Bea smeared salve on the burns and I changed tops, we got everything we could salvage to the table.
Just as my husband was saying the prayer, the lights went out.
He said, “Power outage. Just our luck.”
Grandma Jean yelled, “Oh my Lord, I'm blind!”
Auntie Bea thought he said, “Praise the Lord. What the f**k!” and told him not to use the Lord’s name in vain at the dinner table, especially on Thanksgiving.
Uncle Ralph decided he was blind and jumped up; in his panic he bumped the side table, knocking everything over onto the Terrazzo floor.
Rover got spooked and ran through the living room.
Cousin Elmo screamed, “Earthquake!” and fled through the front door and into the front yard.
The dog dashed out the door after him and still hasn't come back.
My brother Bob slid under the coffee table for safety and smacked his mouth on one of the corners in the darkness.
My son, Jake, ran to the rescue, flashlight in hand.
“Uncle Bob lost his tooth!”
He joined my brother searching for the lost tooth.
We got Grandma Jean settled down. She kept staring at her hands in the dark and blinking.
“Praise Jehovah!” she repeated over and over and over and over, once she realized she wasn’t blind.
I almost slapped her, but it felt sacrilegious since she was speaking to the Lord.
Cousin Elmo ran back into the house screaming, “We have to evacuate. It was only under this house. There must have been a gas explosion.”
I said, “We don't have gas!” and my husband said, “Speak for yourself, Margo!”
Cousin Elmo started dragging Grandma Jean out the door to safety.
“I don't have gas!” she screamed as she struggled to get free.
Meanwhile, almost everyone else started searching for the tooth, flashlights in hand.
My son, Jake yelled, “I found it.”
My husband said, “Put it in milk.”
My son dropped the tooth into the milk carton on the table.
I asked, “Why?”
My husband said, “I don't know. I heard it somewhere.”
I said, “If someone says jump off a bridge, would you jump?”
All I heard was silence, which was refreshing.
“Who's your dentist?” I asked my cousin, Bob.
“I don't believe in them,” he said. “They pull out teeth that don't need pulling.”
Then I said, “Well, yours needs putting!”
And he said back, “Don’t be sassy, Margo.”
At the same time, my husband piped up, “Could we just eat?” and lit the candles in the holders on the table.
One of the candles fell out of the holder and the tablecloth caught on fire. My husband got the fire extinguisher and put out the fire.
Meanwhile, Grandma Jean had broken free of Elmo and found her way back to the table.
“Margo, there’s whipped cream all over the table. We need it for the pie. Sure smells awful.”
She went to taste it and I yelled, “Don’t!” and pushed her hand away.
This hurt her feelings, and she hobbled to the bathroom down the dark hall, passing gas.
Cousin Bob, minus one tooth (which was resting in the milk carton) came back to the table, stuck his fingers in the foam, and licked them before I could stop him.
“I love whipped cream. Where’s the pie,” he said.
“Did you hang up, Margo? “my sister asks.
I’m still debating what to divulge.
“Well, how was Thanksgiving?”
“It was amazing” I lie. "We're just finishing our pumpkin pie and whipped cream. So, I’ve got to run. Say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.”
I hang up.
The power comes back on.
My husband says without missing a beat, “Aren’t we having dessert?”
I want to wring his neck, but I don’t. Instead, I go to the kitchen for the pie and whipped cream.
“Well, that was our Thanksgiving, dear reader, how was yours?”