Thanksgiving, the time honored American tradition of gorging oneself in the company of family members and giving thanks for all of life’s blessings which include but are not limited to, a toddler’s terrible fashion sense and a family of crazy people.
Thanksgiving morning began with my mother finally catching up on her emails from last week, and reading last week’s blog. My parents’ morning conversation went something like this,
“She is most certainly not getting a Christmas ornament from me this year. “
“But I thought you were already NOT giving anyone an ornament this year?”
“Well that is true, they are too expensive, but I have been known to make exceptions.”
“Yes you are known for that tendency.”
“I am giving one to Giles and Danielle because they got married this year, that’s my exception.”
“So they really need a Christmas ornament.”
“Yes, they really need one.”
My father related the conversation to me when I dropped by midday to borrow paper, treating their house like the depository for everything I might run out of, eggs, paper, home made food, Thanksgiving dinner.
While I was there my mother began what has become a normal barrage of pleading insults.
“You aren’t wearing that tonight are you, please try and wear something better.”
“That doesn’t even match, you are wearing blue and black…. TOGETHER.”
She pretends to faint in shock.
“You never wear any of the clothes I gave you last winter.”
“Its 80 degrees outside, and I haven’t had the time to unpack my winter clothes.”
“You need to wear the yellow pants.”
“Why the yellow pants in particular?”
“It’s a fall colour.”
“So is black and blue.”
“Not- TOGETHER! “
After getting home with Eva at 6pm, I managed to wash up, feed her a snack, bathe her, make her lunch for the next day and make gluten free stuffing, leaving no time before 6:30 to get dressed or find my yellow pants, so like all important decisions I left the door to my wardrobe open and asked Eva to choose what I would wear to our Thanksgiving feast.
“The Green shoes mommy.”
“I can’t just wear green shoes, you need to pick out a dress something fancy for Mommy to wear.”
“This mommy, this mommy!” Eva said clutching the rhinestones that adorned the black dress hanging on the door.
“Hmmmm.” I said contemplating her suggestion.
“Its not Halloween but I could give it a try.” I said while looking the dress up and down. It was the latest “gift” from Reza who I swear is trying to improve my love life by dropping off sexy numbers I could never fit into. This was one such outfit.
When she gave it to me, she flung it out of the window in a crazy rush, like she was returning it after some late night hustle, — think Pretty Woman dress with cut outs, lycra and rhinestones. As I peeled it off of my face, and had a look at it, she must have detected my shock or surprise. She began rocking back and forth in her car seat and saying
“OOOhhhh LAAA LAAAA”
“OOOOHHH Laa Laa”
“You’ll need to lather yourself from head to toe and then slip that on and…..
“OOOHH Laa Laa.”
And then she sped out of the driveway before I could make any protestations about 2 not being my size, pleather not being my most flattering material and rhinestones being well just Dallas sized –gross. Since then it has been hanging on my closet door waiting for a toddler with hooker fashion sense to get me to try it on. So I did, try it on after lathering in coconut oil as per Reza’s advice. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that I looked every bit the Pleather whore, it sucked me in and let me out in all the wrong places, making me look not just sexy but pregnant all at the same time which is very wrong. Although my vanity does not extend to fall colours and earrings, I do draw a line at looking pregnant. To Eva’s supreme disappointment I took it off, which was a chore in and of itself. I decided to hang it in Eva’s closet where all the other gifts from Reza reside. The Next time my inlaws come to visit they might think a call girl has moved into Eva’s room or become very concerned about our dress up games.
I pulled out a few other options, which were vetoed by Eva, until she found my blue and red 1940s dress.
“Okay, a compromise, a 1940s courtesan, instead of a rhinestone harlot.”
I threw on the dress and managed to carry, Eva her bunny and blankets, an eleven year old Dachshund named Piccolo and a tray of stuffing next door all at once, in heels becoming at once part hoarder and part lady of the evening.
We weren’t the only ones tarted up for the evening. My sister had thigh high boots and hoop earrings looking every bit the Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, and weirdly matching our sister in law in a similar black and white ensemble. My 40s floozy outfit had been upstaged by an eighties throw back but at least I wasn’t wearing black and blue, TOGETHER.
Eva created her usual mayhem through out the evening while the adults ate a feast of offerings my mother had slaved over all day. The Festivities really began when my mother rang her Waterford bell and got up to make her speech on being thankful. She rounded it out with a mini speech on how proud she was that her daughter in law had passed her real estate license exam and joined a new company and that her son, Giles had passed his first actuarial exam, the most recent crowning achievements in an otherwise middling family.
“You forgot something.”
“You forgot someone.”
“Chris, my husband, he also has a new career.”
I pointed at him at the other end of the table.
“And Cheers to Chris’s new job.”
My mother always needs prompting to remember the quiet achievements of those who don’t work in reinsurance or property.
“Blaspheme!” I thought to myself.
It made me wonder if making an omission is similar to making an exception, but in an opposite way. My side of the family, the street walking, non yellow pants wearing, hustling, non reinsurance people seem to be favored with more omissions than exceptions. In some ways I am thankful for that. I can dare to wear pleather and rhinestones and tart around with my overweight dachshund and screeching toddler reminding me in their own way of the merits of my rhinestone sparkle of Dereliction – offset with pleather.
Xx Derelict Mom.