Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Thanksgiving Day: The CliffsNotes Edition

In lieu of ordering a dinner from the local Tom Thumb, like I normally do (for the last 4+ years), I opted for my parents and I to have dinner at Boston Market. It's going to take a long time to write all of this out in detail, so I've opted to go the CliffsNotes version, which seems to have been successful in getting my experience across in previous posts.

Location: My house
Situation: Their arrival

Me: Hey! {hug}
Mother: Hi! {hug}
{during hug} I brought you some potatoes and here's that pillow I was telling you about I wanna show you what I brought he wants to fix your front door I need to use the bathroom
Me: {already overwhelmed} Um okay. Why don't you actually cross the threshold, take a breath and let me say hi to Daddy. Then you can tell me all about it, okay? {muttering 'Jesus Christ' under my breath, while she makes a beeline for the kitchen}
Daddy: Hi son! {hug} I wanna fix this door for you. I don't want the wind to catch the door and break it.
Me: I told you that you don't have to do that. It's been that way for years now. So far it hasn't been a problem. Besides, it's Thanksgiving. I don't want you playing handyman all day long.
Daddy: But I want to. It needs fixing.
Me: {sigh} Okay....but you don't have to.

Half an hour later: 3 "My back is killing me" comments and 8,656 mini one-sided conversations with my mother...

Me: Are we going to go eat dinner or what? He can always work on that later.
Mother: Yeah, let's go. Mike, put the stuff up and you can finish it later. We wanna go eat.
Daddy: Okay, just a minute.

Fifteen minutes later...(+ the 5 minutes it takes my father to climb into the backseat)

Location: The interior of my car.
Situation: On our way to Boston Market.

Mother: Your car looks so nice, did you just clean it? {Yet another one of those perpetual questions}
Me: Thanks. No. It's a sty. {I always have newspapers scattered everywhere}
Mother: Oh no, I think it looks nice. Now where is this place?
Me: The same place I told you when you asked me the last 4x I talked to you on the phone. It's still off the street where my first apartment was when I first moved here.
Mother: Oh. {clueless} What's it called?
Me: {sigh} Boston Market
Mother: Sssss! {checks to make sure her seatbelt is tightly fastened (This is the sound of her sucking in terrified breath through her gritted teeth as I pass a car in the turn lane. She lives in mortal fear that they will change their mind and pull out in front of me, 'cause "people are crazy." This too has been happening for the last 15 years.)} Can you turn down the air conditioner? It's drying my eyes out.
Me: Jesus Christ, it's always something. Close the vents if it's blowing on you. I'm not gonna turn it off because as soon as I do then you'll be "hot."
{she proceeds to close all the vents....sigh}
Mother: Sssss! {As we turn the corner onto another street}

Location: Boston Market
Situation: Ordering dinner

At this point they act like they were just hatched and this big, bright world of ordering food is an alien concept to them. We do a Three Stooges routine, bumbling around, taking turns pushing the other to go first, insisting the other go first...etc. Finally my mother goes first, like we originally intended 8 minutes and 6 dance steps ago.

Daddy, naturally wants something not on the menu: ham. Mother is losing her mind over the Sophie's Choice of pumpkin, apple or pecan pie. Goddamn! Just pick something already!

I go find us a booth and attempt to tell my mother where we are sitting so this too doesn't blow her mind. She's too busy hoarding napkins, Sweet 'n Low and eating utensils to hear me and initially is baffled as to my whereabouts. She locates me and we take the food off the trays and I insist she let me put her gargantuan purse in the booth with me so that Daddy doesn't have to straddle the fuckin' edge of the seat. She reluctantly gives in, informing me that she has "medication in there!!"

After the cashier chases my father down to sign the credit card receipt, we all finally sit down. Daddy insists on grace and proceeds to bless everyone in their zip code as well as those who can't be here, etc. Okay, we get it. Thankful. Yes. Let's wrap it up, padre.

We eat. My turkey/gravy is cold. I don't like the stuffing (it's too crunchy). I say nothing. I don't want to start a domino effect (too late). Naturally everything is "just fine" to them...except...Mother doesn't like the cornbread, it's "too sweet." She also doesn't like the yam casserole for the same reason. And the stuffing, well it has carrots and corn in it. Weird. BUT "it's all good." Then comes the pie in space-age containers that have both my parents stumped. Considering they have opposable thumbs, and have managed to find their way home on more than one occasion, I assume they can handle it. I assumed wrong. Frustrated at their ineptness, I instinctively take them, open them and hand them back to them. "M-m-m-m pie!"

Me: I want to stop by Walgreen's on the way home and see if my Christmas cards are ready yet. I might as well, since it's on the way. It'll save me a trip later.
Mother: (Having pawned off handfuls of various sized/shaped "bargain" Christmas cards on me just a week ago {matching envelopes? What's that?}, she's mystified) You ordered more Christmas cards?
Me: Yes.
Mother: Why? I just gave you some Christmas cards the other day.
Me: Yes, I know. Because I wanted to.
Mother: (proceeds to talk about how she gave me Christmas cards for another 10 minutes before she realizes no one is listening)
Me: I'm not very hungry. I'm going to take my pie with me and eat it later.
Mother: Hand me my purse, I need to take my medication. (to my Dad) Did you bring your medication?
Daddy: No, I forgot.
Mother: I knew you were going to, that's why I told you. He takes medication for....blah blah blah. (to Daddy) Get up for a minute, I need to go to the bathroom. (My mother is the Surgeon General of public bathrooms. She's yet to to have not been to one in any place we have ever gone since the beginning of time.)

After picking up my Christmas cards, my father "covertly" (he thinks) stands behind me, pretending to make small talk to the clerk, all in order to see how much I paid for them, because my Christmas card purchase dictates the economy. During the ride home, Mother wants to know how much they cost. Frustrated, I tell her "What difference does it make? It's over now. They're paid for. Don't worry about it."

Location: My house
Situation: Movie time

When it comes to movies, it's not hard to please my parents. I just have to keep some key elements in mind. And believe it or not, it's not the usual stuff like profanity, sex or violence that're the culprits:

[1] No films with a distinctive visual style: editing, cinematography, narration, dream sequences, flashbacks, etc. All these things that define a movie for me, blow their mind. I'll never forget the time we were watching Romeo is Bleeding (I love that movie, BTW) and towards the end of the film the main character gets shot. Dead. The scene was edited in a way that showed the viewer different vantage points of the character being shot. Mystified, my father asked: "Why'd she shoot him 3 times?" SIGH. I no longer have the patience to explain these things.

[2] No films with Whoopi Goldberg. Even though I personally love Whoopi, if I have to hear my mother's relentless comments about how ugly she (re: Whoopi) is, I'll have to choke her. Yes, we get it. She's ugly. Get over it.

[3] No movies with subtitles or accents, otherwise I'll be bombarded with "What'd he/she say?" and the film will last an eternity. And yes, even with the subtitles option turned on.

[4] Nothing too gory. Not because they can't handle it, but because my father will get disgusted at how "stupid" all the violence is and will continually scoff throughout the film. Anything that unnerves him (overtly silly humor, supernatural elements, urban teen apparel, Jack, the spokesclown for Jack in the Box {he detests him}) is instantly deemed "stupid" by my father.

[5] No Science Fiction. It'll just blow their minds.

I rented Bad Santa and the recent live-action movie version of Peter Pan. They loved Bad Santa...I'm not so sure about Peter Pan. My mother missed half of the latter film because she was too busy:

[1] Ferreting around in her goddamn purse.
[2] Commenting, for the 6th time, about how "big" the mouth of one of the actresses in Peter Pan was. (irony personified)
[3] Talking to my father about something trivial, every time I left the room to refill their drinks, get popcorn, go to the bathroom, etc. She knows I fucking HATE when she talks throughout a goddamn movie, so she holds off until I leave the room. Every single time. Then (it never fails), she doesn't know who characters are, what's going on or why something happened. It's maddening to be an hour into a movie and be asked "Who's that?" and it's the goddamn main character! WTF?!?

The credits finally roll and they leave. I breath a sigh of relief and go lie down. Fa la friggin' lah, la la la lah. I'm already entertaining the idea of a MIA Christmas.


Anonymous Princess Wild Cow said...

What? No silly string?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 6:14:00 AM  
Blogger Shelly said...

Okay, I take back everything I said in my comment to the other post. This sounded like a nightmare. Or the longest day in history.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Quiggs said...

I love reading your blog - sounds like your parents and my parents should get together and go bowling - Quiggs

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 4:52:00 PM  
Blogger BEPS said...

oh, those were hilarious! you poor guy. i'm just curious, do you really call your father daddy?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 5:28:00 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Oh my god, we wouldn't happen to have the same parents would we? Although, Boston Market can be a challenge for the uninitiated *snorts*. And don't get me started with my Mom and movies. If it's in the least bit artsy or unique, she "doesn't get it". I'll never forget the time I took her to see The Hours. She complained for the next six hours about the various scenes of women kissing. Sigh.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 9:14:00 PM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

Princess Wild Cow-
Only if it's made from piano wire.

You got it. Every holiday season is like one prolonged stay in Alaska: It's perpetually dark, there's no one around for miles, so no one can hear you scream and what may originally be interpreted as Native dancing is really just an elaborate escape scene being acted out by yours truly.

I love that you know that quote. LOL! Sigh...why do all the great ones live so far away? Dammit!

Thank you for the nice compliment. It made my day! :D Thanks also for taking the time to comment! :)

Just what are you implying? That I and my father have some kind of unnatural relationship? We-heh hell, lil' may have something there...

But seriously..ahem...Funny you should ask (No seriously, that question cracked up {and mystified} me and my friends). When writing these posts, I actually played with the idea of being consistent with how I refer to my parents. Then, I thought "Fuck it. Who cares?" and just wrote it like I would normally talk. Not every sentence necessarily 'worked' with just one term of endearment: Dad/Daddy/Father/Mom/Mother.

So, yes, I really do refer to my father, er Daddy as "Daddy," sometimes. It really depends on the situation. Maybe it's a Southern thing, but I think it's more of a queer thing, because no straight man I've ever encountered would be secure enough to call his Dad, Old Man or Pa, "Daddy."

And speaking of...don't tell anyone, but your hubby is one sexy slice of mancandy. Whatta face! I just wanna pinch his little nose. FYI. :D

It's entirely possible. My mother was unconscious most of the time.

And I had to laugh outloud about your The Hours comment. Darlin', I can sooooo relate. Honestly. That's why one of my other rules (which I forgot to add) is "No gay movies." Also, interracial movies seem to ignite the flame of eternal comments. OMG. I compounded it by making the mistake of showing them one of my favorite movies, Corrina, Corrina...starring Whoopi Goldberg. Oy vey, it was a nightmare. They are definitely from a completely different time, era, planet...

Thanks for commenting. I don't feel so alone now. :)

Friday, December 02, 2005 9:05:00 AM  
Blogger BEPS said...


Friday, December 02, 2005 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

Oh. I mean, OH! Well, whoever the dark-haired guy with the beard is (Tim?), he purty.

Friday, December 02, 2005 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger BEPS said...

kirk, there are plenty more of those where he came from, that's my baby brother, 1 of 7!!

Friday, December 02, 2005 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Quiggs said...

Check out my blog if you are bored - I am about a dumbass but I think you out of few may actually get my humor - Cole

P.S. If Andrew gets up, we'll all get up, it'll be anarchy, it's out of my hands!!!

Friday, December 02, 2005 7:59:00 PM  

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