Thanksgiving Sans Turkey
Thanksgiving. The turkey holiday. When someone says “Thanksgiving”, your first thought is probably the cartoonish turkey clip art that appears on every supermarket circular or a big, shiny, succulent roasted turkey resting on a large platter. But shouldn’t we first think about giving thanks when “thanksgiving” is mentioned? And don’t even get me started on how early the Christmas music is being played, the Christmas decor is going up, and the Christmas commercials are jingling across our televisions. My pal Jonathan mentioned that “Christmas exploded all over downtown” yesterday, and I could only shake my head. It was November 16th. Eight whole days before Thanksgiving! There’s that cartoon turkey again. So, how about we just set aside the thoughts of turkey and tryptophan naps and Black Friday sales and just be thankful.
Above most things, I am thankful for my family. They are coming over for an early Thanksgiving dinner at our house tomorrow night, and I am a bit excited! But not just because of the food we have planned, moreso because it’s not often that we are all able to get together at once.
I am the oldest child in our family. The nagging, know-it-all, piano-playing older sister to four brothers. But, they love me and I love them. Now that we’re all grown up, anyway. It’s true that we didn’t always like one another when we were growing up, but my mom always, always reminded us that we were “best friends” and made us talk things out and apologize when things went wrong. And though I doubted the fact that we actually were best friends like she said, I think she was right and we just didn’t want to admit it.
There was a time when a certain Brother #1 called me a name (“Fat!”), and so I chased him through the yard with a broom. A yellow-handled Cedar broom, to be exact. When he finally had to slow down because he was laughing and couldn’t catch his breath, I took aim and side-armed that broom with all my might. It went spinning through the yard and I got him, right across the back of his thick skull. Now don’t be alarmed, he was FINE. A little stunned and surprised that I had such good aim, but fine. I think he then called me another name that I will not repeat, but to this day it is one of our favorite stories. To hear him tell it is always a treat, since he embellishes the story to include the broomstick bending around his head and both ends of it touching in front of him. I’m always a little proud of myself at that point in the story.
I don’t know if I have any stories about Brother #2, but I know he must have plenty of stories about me. Apparently, (I found this out years and years later) I ruined my brothers’ lives because I played the piano. Yes, the piano was in the living room, but I didn’t have space for it in my bedroom, which is where my brothers absolutely thought it belonged. And yes, I did practice daily, but I don’t remember practicing for hours and hours. Maybe one hour on a good day. But they were always whining about what they were trying to watch on TV, which I never understood because we didn’t even have cable. I mean, let’s get real here. How many episodes of “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” does one actually need to watch? There are only so many places she can be. Anyway, back to me ruining their lives.
A couple of years ago while reminiscing about our childhoods, Brother #2 laughingly recalled how much he hated the piano. I believe his exact words were, “I like hearing you play the piano now, but only because I don’t have to hear you play every day. When we were younger it was like, ‘Dun-dun-dun-dun, I want to freaking kill myself!'”, as he pantomimed playing the piano and sang that phrase to the tune of “The CanCan”. I thought I might die laughing! (The exact melody can be heard in the video below at 0:18. The high kicking beauties are just a bonus. You’re welcome.)
I’m sure there are other stories of little wild indian fights, especially between my brothers. But now, thankfully, we just think back to those times and laugh and laugh, like we’ll do tomorrow at our Thanksgiving dinner. Oh, and we’re not even having turkey.