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Well, here we are once again, smack dab in the middle of another holiday season. And I don’t know about you, but I think that for me personally, my ability to see things in a slightly quirky way and find humor everywhere is one of the main ways that I keep myself sane during this time.
So in that vein, I offer you these “What?!” moments from my family’s Thanksgiving experience this year.
1. You know how all those commercials on TV show families getting together for the holidays, and everyone is having all of these deep, meaningful, emotional moments? Well, that really doesn’t happen in my family. When my family gets together it seems to bring out our Giant Collective Family Smart Ass. Here’s an example of what I mean.
On the day before Thanksgiving my mom took me, my husband, and my brother out to lunch. We were going to a restaurant that we hadn’t been to in a while, and my mom wanted us to see if we noticed anything different about the shopping center in which it was located.
My mom: “So, can you tell what has changed?”
All of us: “Hm, no.”
My Mom: “Look! All the trees are gone. They were having a crime wave, so they cut down all the trees!”
My brother and my husband: “Those darn trees! If you’re not watching them every minute they’re out mugging you, or stealing your purse, or something! It’s a good thing they got rid of all of them!”
2. Another good things about getting together with family for the holidays is that it gives you a chance to see that, no matter how regular or normal you think you are, to someone else the things you do will seem like the strangest things that they’ve ever heard of. And here’s an example of that.
On Thanksgiving evening during a break in our family card game I had to use my parents’ downstairs bathroom. As it turned out, this particular bathroom was having some flushing issues, and none of the “tricks” I knew were fixing it.
When I reported this to my parents they said, “Oh, yeah. What you have to do is to fill up the trash can with a little bit of water, throw the water into the toilet, and then flush it.”
They might as well have said, “What you have to do is spin around in a circle three times, and then hop up and down on one foot while patting the top of your head and chanting a special hymn to the god of plumbing.” Because there was as much chance of my coming up with that little routine as there was of my intuiting the whole water-in-the-trash-can solution.
3. But my favorite part of getting together with other people are the times when something so unexpected happens that everything comes to a screeching halt. That is the epitome of a “What?!” moment, and is exactly what happened to my family in the following example.
In all outward appearances, it looked like a storybook holiday moment. It was Thanksgiving evening, and we’d all enjoyed a nice dinner together as a family. We were all gathered around the kitchen table, chatting and sharing stories, while my husband made homemade ice cream.
Then all of a sudden my mom, who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s when women still wore gloves, whose family discussed the finer points of etiquette at the dinner table, who I’ve never once heard swear or curse, who is always pleasant to everyone and is the epitome of “being a good example” said to me:
“You know how you were talking about crap earlier?”
Me and The Whole Entire Universe: “What?!”
And for the record, I still have no idea what she was referring to. I have a hazy memory of someone trying to introduce bat guano as a topic of conversation, but that’s it. (Don’t ask).