As I have no doubt said before, marriage represents not just a bonding of two individuals, but also an expansion of family. In some cultures, they intentionally arrange such unions for this express purpose, but here we match up for various reasons, and so one is never sure what the enmeshing of family will indeed look like.
If any day is likely to bring out potential family drama, it seems to be Thanksgiving. I’m sure that whole novels have been composed based on the angst that can occur when that turkey and stuffing are placed on crowded table and people smash themselves into small spaces after having driven or flown many miles to a place they may not really want to be. (I had a NaNoWriMo novel based partially on that premise that I should really dig up and revise). Anyhow, that is beside the point of this entry.
Fortunately for us, our two families get along famously, at least the parts that have come into contact with each other. Still, it had not occurred to my wife and me when we began planning to host our first Thanksgiving at the 1800 or so square foot townhome that our assumed 10 people, (her side of the family) would swell to 17 to 20 as some from my side indicated a wish to attend as well. This admittedly caused a minor panic as we pondered how to find the right amount of tables and chairs, and if the space available could even be configured to hold such a gathering. Of course, there was no need for concern.
To solve the tables and chairs issue, she had the ingenious idea to rent them from a nearby place that does such things. Short of that, we were going to just by. bunch of extra furniture that we wouldn’t really need in most cases and would just have to shove into storage downstairs. Lots of unnecessary money and space would have been taken. The tables and chairs did take up her entire car, but the facility had helped in getting them all in and we had one used to offloading trucks and the like to remove them on this end. So that was not a problem. Getting them into the house though required moving the love seat and kitchen table a bit, and when this was done I was actually surprised by how much space we had. I’m definitely not a spatial person, so I leave that kind of stuff to the pros.
My other concern was as a relatively new dad. Ok I’m joking here, but if you want the full reference on that check the previous entry. I feared our “daughter” would have a minor meltdown with so many people chattering and moving around in this place, as she’s not a big fan of noise. She came through with flying colors though, being unusually willing to chill with people she hadn’t met previously and only yapping a couple of times, more when neighbors did something than when it happened here.
And we certainly did plenty of chattering as we always do in this situation. I knew it would be the first significant test since I had the new aids adjusted, as happened in an appointment a couple weeks ago. I needed a little more bass to the sound, and to have some of the distortion removed from it (which I had been told was purposeful as it could help make voices clearer). Now I’m contemplating whether I should have left it. Today’s experience was.. ok? Well as usual I could hear near nothing on my right side. This ear is used almost exclusively for balance purposes though. On my left side, well let’s just say I hung in there. But constant, overflowing conversation will probably just always be a challenge for me. I accept this and hopefully those closest to me are ok with it as well.
When I did talk, it was of course mostly about sports and food. On the former, we watched a bit of the traditional Detroit Lions game (and their traditional loss) until dinner began, at which time they turned on a gospel playlist. And the latter is of course the core of this holiday. I mostly try not to overeat, so I simply enjoyed a piece of chicken, stuffing, green beans with a couple of potatoes, Mac and cheese (gotta have that!) and rice. I also had a delicious cup of koolade, which takes me back to my childhood. This was grape and pineapple flavored, and I could definitely taste the pineapple influence. Good stuff. Dessert will be consumed shortly after I compose this article, and I’m just enjoying dragging out the moment of pleasure until I sink my teeth into something, the likes of which I still haven’t chosen. We have two kinds of sweet potato pie, chocolate cake, strawberry cake, I think some pound cake and maybe some pecan pie. MMM!
So the day was a wonderful success, with my always hard-working wife doing her best to make it so. My folks especially have few gatherings of this nature, so it would be great if this begins a new tradition for us, although I’m not entirely sure if we will host every iteration of it. That first experience was memory-making though. To all Americans, I hope you had an equally pleasant Thanksgiving with friends and family, and I of course keep in mind those who for whatever reason were not as able to do so. Till next year!