When my parents were still alive, Thanksgiving was at least a tolerable holiday. In the days of my youth, we would host the big holiday feast for the rest of our family of freeloaders, but once my folks moved to a retirement community in Toms River, New Jersey, and my sister and brother-in-law moved to Long Island, it was just Dad, Mom and me, either at their place or a restaurant where I’d treat them as the good son.
Now, as I may have told you before, my father was a quiet, unassuming kinda guy, my mother a psychotic bitch, and when he dropped dead just shy of his seventy-fifth birthday, I was bequeathed the distinct honor of dealing with Mommie Dearest undiluted.
One Thanksgiving, in my feeble attempt to keep the family together, I drove all the way to extreme northwest New Jersey where mother, without consulting either my sister or I, had moved to after my father’s death, and brought her to spend the night with me on Staten Island where I both lived and worked. In holiday traffic, NJ and SI might as well have been the North Pole and South Pole. The plan was for us to drive over the following morning – Thanksgiving Day – to my sister’s on Long Island, another marathon on the Long Island Expressway.
Yea, I know, I’m a masochist, and not just with sex.
But when my mother saw some light snow falling that holiday morning, she refused to budge, and my frustration in seeing my carefully orchestrated holiday plans go down the sewer reached the point of no return, and in a sudden fit of rage, I knocked this then seventy something woman to the floor.
She pretended in typical “I’m gonna make you feel real guilty, boy” Mom style to be injured – she wasn’t – and all I thought was how I, a senior health care executive, was going to be charged with elder abuse of his own mother. We later buried the hatchets and spent Thanksgiving as the old lady and her fag son in a local diner.
So now, down here in Fort Lauderdale, if my partner isn’t down yet for the winter from our PA home, or my friends don’t want to go out to some local overpriced gay eatery, I’m quite content to feast alone on my Marie Callender turkey dinner, my three doggies patiently at my feet, waiting to lick out the microwave dish.
Can you blame me?