This year was the first year it was going to be different. One of the baby birds is currently gone from nest, leaving a significant hole at the dinner table.
My parents were going to be out of town. I, admittedly selfish, choose not to make a huge dinner. At least not for our remaining four and my brother's brood totally five.
About a week ago, my brother calls to "wish me a belated happy birthday." After several minutes of him talking of his happenings he says, "So. Thanksgiving's at your house?"
I reply no, that I wasn't planning on cooking the feast, per se. I feel immediately guilty; although, the relationship between my brother and me is shaky. The only reason I talk to him is that I love his kids.
Brother tells me that it's no problem that his work his having a dinner (which I found odd since he works at a little joint that rhymes with Awful Mouse), plus there is a dinner at the church. I think nothing of it.
I declare this the almost best Thanksgiving ever. The four of us ate dinner with husband's work, called it Thanksgiving, and planned a day lounging in pjs, watching movies and playing games.
Two days ago, I get a text from my mom wondering what we are doing for the holiday. Turns out they chose not to go out of town and meal planning commences.
|Circling vulture honing in on his meal|
Her: with no inflection of the voice: Brother wants to know what you guys are doing today.
Me: :long pause, then speaks with a bit of sarcasm: You know exactly what we're doing. Brother just talked to my mom.
Her: Well, he wants to know if you want us to come over.
Me: What happened to all your other plans?...never mind. I don't care. ::slight pause thinking this is incredibly rude:: Sure. Come on over, I want to see the kids.
Her: Okay. I let him know *click*
Scrambling happens. I call my mom back to discuss the conversation. My dad made a trip to the store. Big Daddy ended up making ANOTHER trip to the store. We were worried about not having enough food, ice, etc.
I had to adjust things around for cooking times because Brother didn't get off of work until 2 and lives 25 minutes away.
Two and half hours after the SIL phone call, but two hours before they were expected, Brother and family show up at door.
I was not dressed for company. Big Daddy and the fellas were gone to the store. I was not happy.
Me: Um. I thought you got off work at four.
Him: Uh. Yeah. Uh. I got off early.
Me: Well. I wasn't expecting you until 2:30 at the very earliest. That's why I look like a just rolled out of bed. I use game show model hands to accentuate the hot mess I was.
Him: That's okay.
Me: No. It isn't.
Trying to be a gracious hostess, I let them in and told them to make themselves at home, but I had to get back in the kitchen.
We had a nice dinner. The nephew and nieces gave me their Christmas wishes. Overall, it wasn't a horrible day.
Then they left. No goodbye (directed towards me and Big Daddy). No thank you. Nothing to indicate that they were grateful we were all together minus one*.
And according to the countdown counter, we get to do it all over again in twenty nine days. This time, with gifts and higher expectations.
To be continued.
*For new readers: Daughter is in the military. She left this summer for boot camp and extended training. She was unable to come home for Thanksgiving.