Transplanted Life
Saturday, November 26, 2005
I may soon have to start my own holiday tradition just to have one
If my life were a sitcom - and I sometimes dearly wish it was, if only for the laugh track announcing whether something was funny or a metaphorical kick in the nuts - I would have a bunch of friends who, for one reason or another, wouldn't be able to make it home for Thanksgiving, so we'd all get together and improvise a big meal, which would go ridiculously awry because (cue laugh track) I'm not "really" a girl and thus don't know anything about cooking a turkey!

This, however, is not the case. Most of my friends have families live within a couple hundred miles (as far as we New Englanders are willing to drive; I know, that seems pretty wussy to people from larger states) or the disposable income necessary to fly home. Or, if they don't, they're attached to someone who does - Kurt, therefore, goes to Denise's family's place in Springfield; Carter goes with Kate. I wound up at Wei's and Jim's sort of by default.

First, there was the holiday call to Mom in Florida. That's the only time we really talk these days: Society mandates that you touch base with family on these days, but it's kind of uncomfortable and awkward. She gets pictures of her grandson direct from Nat, and at this stage of her life, being a grandmother is really where her head's at. The other people in her community are proud grandparents, or bragging about their children's accomplishments, and she's not comfortable with the news from her only son being about how I don't get guys sometimes, or how awkward some girly thing is. She doesn't want to have a teenage daughter, especially one that's physically ten years older than that, and I can't say I blame her.

And, she always wants to know how Carter and I are getting along. I think she's got some idea in her head about us getting together and maybe even getting married, so that the figurative pieces of her child can be said to be in one place. I can't blame her for that, but I have to explain to her that the idea of it really grosses me out. Besides, I say, she'd love Kate; if things had gone differently, I'd have totally been into her, and if things stay serious with her and Carter, they will produce the best grandchildren she could dream of having.

But, we are getting along. I mention that I've got a job interview at the company where he works that he recommended me for, and she says that's good, that we're like siblings and we should help each other out like that. I refrain from pointing out that just five minutes earlier she'd been trying to get me into his bed. I'm afraid her mind is starting to go, actually - she's in her seventies and tires easily. I have no idea how she'll start to think of us is Alzheimer's or dementia starts to set in.

So, that was something to think about on my way to dinner. I brought a pumpkin pie, which was basically a ready-made crust with pie filling from a can poured in - what do you expect, I'm not Mo! - which somehow made it through two subway lines intact.

We hung out, and it was pretty nice. In truth, they probably would have preferred to go to one of their family's places, but Jim had overnight shifts both Wednesday and Thursday. In truth, the dinner Wei made was basically breakfast for him, but it worked for them. Wei seemed a little frazzled, though she held up pretty well while he was there. She warned me that under the best of circumstances, trying to have a baby sucked a lot of fun out of sex, but when their hours at the hospital were out of sync and weird, trying to get it on when their schedules intersected... Well, that's where I shouted out Too Much Information.

Anyway, I helped her clean up, we finished off her apple pie, and I went home. Enjoyed sleeping in, and have seen five movies so far this weekend. I was going to go out and buy a new outfit for my interview next week, but Black (or, as a friend who used to work in the toy retailing business used to refer to it, Green) Friday scares me. I'm not yet girl enough to be all over that.


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