I never thought I'd say this, but I miss Thanksgiving. Growing up, Thanksgiving was almost always spent at the trailer of one of my paternal aunts. It was more like a small ranch-style house on a uh, trailer thing, so quite a few of us could fit in for the festivities. Football would of course be on in the background, and my aunt would save up all of her Star magazines in the weeks prior so I would be entertained. In that respect, a lot of things haven't changed. Give me a horrible, gossipy tabloid or ten and I'm in heaven.
When I was a teenager I started to preach against this idea of Thanksgiving - a holiday celebration centred around the extermination of an entire race of people. I like the idea of Thanksgiving, and I choose to focus on the notion of having a designated time at which to spend time with family and reflect on what we are thankful for. However, there will never be any Pilgrim and Native American stories told by me to P, as the fairy tale of a happy little feast between the poor victims of religious bigotry and the staid, noble savages is not a story I wish to perpetuate. Yes, I am that parent. There is also residual guilt that even my interpretation of Thanksgiving is still horribly disrespectful in that I'm looking to be thankful and spread the warm fuzzies on the back of a holiday with a rather bloody and appalling historical framework.
Despite all of my analysing, I do miss that family time. Being 4000 miles away from your family will make you miss even the most minor of events, so when the holidays come around it is particularly difficult. Oddly enough, I miss certain things even more because I know that I'm missing an assembly of the Brain Trust.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall of my Mom's house today. Not only are they getting the old gang back together - my Mom, Ralph, Phyllis, Aunt Florence and Arthur, but, BUT there is a new honorary member, my Mom's next door neighbours Ferret Stroker and Ferret Stroker's braless wife. Ferret Stroker is thus called, because as one might surmise, he strokes a ferret. Braless Wife is the same, cavorting about the yard in all her non-restrained wonder. Molly expressed a fondness for Ferret Stroker when she visited me in PA, but how can you not instantly warm to a skinny guy with long hair wearing cut off jean shorts stroking a ferret by the side of his house? I know you would have been instantly smitten as well, dear reader.
I'm hoping they avoid the catastrophe of last Thanksgiving when Arthur stomped off in a huff because no one complimented him on the fire he started in the fireplace. Florence pulled my Mom and brother aside separately, instructing them to find Arthur and expand floridly on the magnificence of his fire. Arthur has already informed my Mom that he is hopeful that she has enough wood for him to do his Fire Whisperer tricks yet again this Thanksgiving.
Our Thanksgiving is somewhat more restrained here in the UK. P is home sick today, as am I for the third day straight. She has been calmly reclined on the sofa for over an hour now watching Baby TV, so she is definitely not herself. If she was well I wouldn't have had a block of time to write this post. Despite our current state of unwellness, I am thankful. I'm ever so thankful that I am in a position to be able to post this:
That's my girl!!!
As I can't go a post without mentioning Ye Olde Card Exchange, I had a genius idea - I added links to all the participants in the sidebar, so now you can stalk freely and determine whether you'd like to get cards from these people. Look at the names over there people - we're talking big time stuff!
Like I (think I) said before - you don't need to send cards to everyone, so if time, creativity, finances or holiday cheer are in short supply, don't worry. You'll be put into a smaller group so that you are only obligated to send cards to 5 or 6 others. Obviously you have the option to sending to everyone on the whole list if you're feeling particularly giving.
You don't even need to use your real name. Blog pseudonyms are fine too. At least two people last year used pseudonyms I think, and their cards got where they needed to go. The list is largely comprised of Americans, with a few Australians, the two non-British UK residents, and that's it. Canadians, where are you? British people, where are you? Europeans, where are you?
Check out some of those links, be confident they aren't skin flayers or deranged stalker types, and then email me at barrenalbion at gmail dot com. Remember, you can also just exchange cards with me and not the group. So far I have one taker. One. Seriously, what the frick?