Tag Archives: thanksgiving

Three little words

14 Nov

Having witnessed, firsthand, the power that three words can harness, I am vowing right here and now to use these words as much as I can until the world is a better place.

Of course the world would also be a better place if people didn’t go around chopping their legs “with an ax” but until then, I will pepper everything I say with “with an ax” and then hold for the shock and awe response to which I feel entitled.

Case in point: when I called my mom and told her that The Boy spent the day in the ER having cut his leg and getting stitches she replied: “Oh my.  I’m glad to hear he’s doing fine now.”  When I amended things and told her that The Boy cut his leg “with an ax!” her response was this: “Oh my!  I’m glad to hear he’s doing fine now!”

Already you can see how the words “with an ax” take ordinary sentences and turn them into proclamations!  Just like that.  (Also three words but we’re talking about me now.)

Imagine the power.  When the Food King cashier asks if this is “credit or debit?” and you reply that you’ll be using credit “with an ax!” you may even get your groceries for free.  Or they may call the police.  Love is a battlefield.

With Thanksgiving coming up, now is the perfect time for those three words; “Oh Grandpa, let me cut you a slice of pumpkin pie.”  “With an ax!”  Score.

Of course, telling a musician that you really dig his leads “with an ax” will get you nowhere.  So there’s that.

Words have power.  Words will always have power.

The pen will forever be “mightier than the sword” (Edward Bulwer-Lytton) however,

the sword “with an ax” plus a pen (and a fox in a box, optional) are all a person needs to rule the world.

Three little words: fresh air & sarcasm.  We don’t count ampersands here.

My Long Beach Island Vacation

30 Aug

Staying with family is a great way to save money on a hotel room and a quick route to Regressionland- make a left at the corner of “I’m not getting back in the car to drive over and see your new kitchen; you haven’t been to my house in twelve years” then a right at “it’s probably not a good idea to put sugar on the baby’s broccoli” and there you are: the teenage middle kid trying to keep quiet and go unnoticed.  P.S: nothing I say matters anyway, so why even bother?

And while on the subject of adolescence, nothing is more scary than watching The Boy’s moods shift with the tides.  It’s “Goodfellas” and “Sponge Bob Square Pants” rolled into one gritty peanut butter sandwich (“this has sand in it”) washed down with paper cupfuls of lukewarm Vitaminwater.

So when remaining silent was no longer an option and I asked The Boy why he hated having to hang out with me and he responded that he, in fact, “does not hate me right now,” I felt that the six hours of driving and the never-ending schlepping of beach toys and coolers was well worth it.  The constant flow of money (in one direction) is simply the price you pay for truth.

Speaking of truth, here’s a tip: when your wife asks you to tug on that part of her swimsuit that she can’t quite reach, don’t yell “Hoist!”.  It makes her feel self-conscious which results in her sitting on the beach desperately flipping through damp, hand-me-down Oprah magazines in an attempt to overcome self-consciousness (and become a better friend) while completely forgoing all thoughts of swimming which, to me, is the primary reason for vacationing at the ocean.

Otherwise why not just put a sandbox in the backyard, download a “crashing wave” app and sleep on our own scratchy, low thread-count sheets?

Question: why is it always too late to realize that the people who I went away with are the people I need to get away from?

And why didn’t anyone tell me that Priceline has rooms at LBI starting at $119?  My relationship with my family could have remained dysfunctional, but well-intentioned, and I wouldn’t be sitting here now wondering if we are still invited for Thanksgiving.

Assuming that The Boy doesn’t hate Pilgrims by then either.

Happy Thanksgiving?

23 Nov

Last time I traveled and did the whole extended family Thanksgiving thing, I was accused of delaying dessert to get attention.

If you know my brother, you know that this harebrained idea is not a stretch for him.

It’s because I chew slowly- I always have.  Perfect strangers have leaned across restaurant tables to commend me on my rumination techniques (Key West, April, 2010.  These same strangers also said that my son was amazing because he had a conversation with his parents over dinner instead of just sitting there and rolling his eyes.  P.S. The strangers were aware of our conversation only because we had just flown in and the boy’s ears were clogged so he spent the entire meal YELLING… no one was spared, not even the strangers.  Which is why I consider them to be perfect.

Possessing only one stomach means that, unlike cows, I am unable to digest grass.  I do believe, however, that if cows were limited to one stomach, they would be chagrined at their ability to convert burritos to energy compared to me.

My brother, however, views my chewing as yet another attempt by his former over the top, drama- loving teenage sister at controlling the destiny of our entire family.  Note: yes, I once threw myself on my teenage bed and sobbed at the unfairness of life, the beauty of the sun, the pain of a breakup and my curfew.  Okay, more than once.  But, really, the issue was my destiny and no one else’s.  Besides, who’s the one who spent months traveling around with the Grateful Dead causing our parents to harass the remaining kids to “get good grades and please, for crying out loud, STAY in school where we can find you.  We have enough to worry about with your brother eating grilled cheese sandwiches from parking lots.”  If anyone was guilty of attention-seeking, it was him.

In case he hasn’t noticed, we’re grown ups now.  And I don’t care if my brother has dessert, sets fire to dessert or skips dessert completely- truthfully, it wouldn’t kill him to miss a dessert (or seven).

And so I will not travel on Thursday.  I will not disrupt my brother’s eating schedule/football viewing.  I will, instead, finish my meal as I have always done, just as the guys begin to eat what are now considered “leftovers” while dirtying another set of clean dishes to eat more of the foods that they just finished eating.

I’ll be upstairs crying over the dryness of dishpan hands, the unfair distribution of metabolic qualities and the beauty of it all.

Thanksgiving and Henry

15 Aug

My friend Henry is a loser.  The worst kind of loser: a coat loser.

Monday, October, 3:15PM, second grade: Henry gets off the bus and is greeted by his loving mother.  Anticipating fresh-baked cookies and a cold glass of milk, Henry skips toward his house when his mother breezily calls, “Henry, where is your coat?”  Henry, who managed to bring home his bookbag, lunchbox and homework, had not even realized he was coatless and replies, “I left it at school.”

“Get in the car,” says Mom.

Same day, October, 3:35PM, second grade cloakroom: empty.

Tuesday-Thursday, October:  Henry and his parents wait for the coat to be returned.  Henry wears a flannel shirt in the meantime.

Friday, October, end of day: the coat is officially dubbed “lost” and is replaced over the weekend.

October, 20 years later: Henry, a grown man who has graduated college,  forged a career in Manhattan, and experienced love and loss is on the phone with his parents.  He speaks with them simultaneously as they have many phones in their condo in Boca.  Having run out of small talk, Henry mentions that he bought a new winter coat.

“I hope you didn’t get a good one,” says Mom.  “You lose coats,” adds Dad.  “That coat from second grade was stolen,” counters Henry.

“Because it was a good one-” Mom.  “I hope you didn’t get a good one-” Dad.  “You lose coats-” Mom and Dad together.

And this is why Henry has come to dread Thanksgiving.

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