bookman's holiday

I cooked a bird, with all the trimmings. Don’t get excited it was a very little bird, as small as you can get without a BB gun. This was not my intention, I had a nice plump and juicy frozen pizza in the on-deck circle – and an entire day planned around taking everything out of my office: the books, the boxes, the packing materials etc etc etc – and then trying to put everything back in neatly – OK maybe two days. BUT my mother decided to get up on her cross a day early. Let me sum up, no there is too much, let me explain: (this is an allusion to the Princess Bride by Wm Goldman – go ask a child)

My mother goes to my cousin’s house on holidays. Period. Many formative and painful years were spent with a ring side seat to a melee that masqueraded as Thanksgiving, so now my personal definition of a day of thanks, is one best spent with Netflix. (I have taken a poll only to find that I am not the first one to come up with this plan.) My mother goes to my cousin’s house with her sisters, other assorted relations and sundry rugrats. You know my cousin, she’s the one with the house, the 2 kids, and the SUV. The one who has never read a book Oprah didn’t like. The name that completes the sentence: “you know that ____ just got a new ____.” I have many cousins, they are inter-changeable. And since they only see my mother on holidays or in hospital, they think they are performing some grand mitzvah by laying a place setting for her on T-day and Xmas the one in the spring with the ham & eggs. And thus everyone’s a winner.

BUT, and you knew there would be one, my mother has a piece of performance art she has to do before any holiday may commence. It involves turning down all invitations and entreaties, repeatedly until enough people have called her and cajoled her and convinced her that their entire occasion if not their year would be ruined if she did not attend. This usually occurs the morning OF the event in question – this year she started nailing herself up two days early. You would think at 83 that the “I vant to be alone” crappola would get old, but people still fall for it. And this year it was me – I could kick myself.

On Wed while confirming that she was indeed going to where she is supposed to go, I got fed a brand new piece of bait, she expected me to take her OUT to dinner somewhere. Needless to say that wasn’t happening at least not while I was . . . well . . . conscious. And besides in our neck of the woods you have to make a reservation a week early at any establishment mercenary enough to be open. After letting her stew for a day, I again told her this wasn’t happening and her best option for a decent meal was to go with her sisters. NOW, I got the bad Garbo and a kicker, she didn’t want ME to be alone which totally ignores the fact that ‘I DID’.

I rationalized that she perhaps wasn’t feeling up to fielding her entire family, I certainly never have been. This is how I got suckered into bringing home t-day dinner for two at the last minute: everything canned or frozen, which needed nothing more than opening and heating, save for a Cornish Hen which alas would have to be eaten cooked. I figured we would get it prepped and heated and it would all go more or less straight into her fridge as leftovers.

And you know what happens next, of course you do. When I arrived with the bags in her kitchen, she was just hanging up with her brother in law who added the last nail of her self mortification, and she would now allow a car to be sent for her.

So, there I was alone with this dead bird . . .

Happy “eat till you regurgitate day”
I’m gonna go clean something.


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