Y’all, this was really the nicest Thanksgiving I’ve had since the recalcitrant brother got drunk and passed out in the bathtub. Nobody fought. No one cried. No one quietly prayed for death.
We sat around and watched a lot of football and ate and just hung out. It was really nice.
Maybe this is how normal families do it: they get together and enjoy each other’s company and they use things like holidays as a way to come together and check in with each other and make sure everyone’s okay. And then they just hang out and watch some football.
So, of course, now that we’ve seen what a nice time together might be like, this is the year they aren’t coming down for Christmas. Dad says it’s because he has to do two services Christmas Eve and two Christmas day and then I’m gone, as usual, the 26th through the 31st, and the Butcher is working and the recalcitrant brother is working and so they’re just going to stay home and send packages.
While I was at Kroger with Mom last night, she told me that the truth is that they’ve put so much money into my brothers recently they can’t afford to both come down here and buy everyone Christmas presents, but my dad is too proud to admit that.
At some point we may find ways to be open and honest with each other, instead of using our time in the soft drink aisle at Kroger as family therapy time, but until then, I’m going to just go ahead and pretend that it’s about church and not money. That can be my little gift to him.