I had a boringly functional childhood. When I tried to think of content for today’s post I wanted to have really good stories where relatives ended up dancing half naked with the turkey or where my parents and I would use the holiday as a distraction while we went on a bank robbing spree. I had this image of my dad dressed as an Indian, my mom as a Pilgrim holding off the fuzz while I stuff bags of moneys into the thick tights I always seem to be wearing in old family holiday photos. Alas this never happened.
Instead most of my Thanksgiving memories involve family and friends gathered together over enough food to feed a small third world country. My mom is an amazing cook. When she makes pumpkin pie she starts with an actual pumpkin. It would be years before I understood that most people bought their pumpkin goo in a can. You know if a woman knows how to cook a pie starting with a gourd- the rest of the meal is going to be amazing. Most of the male relatives would be gathered in the living room watching football and discussing who was an idiot in world politics. The women would be in the kitchen discussing the men in the other room and the pros and cons of home perms. Over dinner there would be good conversation, laughter and calls to refill the gravy boat.
It’s a wonder I became a writer with this serious lack of trauma and drama in my formative years. Many writers have histories filled with wild stories of dysfunction and mayhem. After I read Running with Scissors I was left wondering why my family never sold me off to a crazed Psychologist and his family so that I could have something to write about too. My family never took up bank robbery or naked turkey dancing. Although I should point out I’ve missed the past few Thanksgivings, so there is no telling what they’ve gotten up to in my absence. It may not have given me much fodder for my writing, but it made for some great memories.
I’ve also got a killer pie recipe if you need one.