Dinner with a funny speaker? Sometimes not so funny.
Thanksgiving is a terrific time. Families gather. Feasts occur. And we count our many, many blessings. But let’s face it. It ain’t all peachy. We love our families, but there are always a few that we sorta wish would stay home. Don’t sit there and shake your head “no”. You know it’s true. You’re thinking of that weird uncle right now. The one who shares his latest medical malady in graphic detail before you sit to eat, then blows his nose during the meal, then clips his nails after the dessert…toenails, that is. You wonder why he has to bring his fourth wife who luckily got the weekend off from the chicken gizzard processing plant. She’s got a new tattoo of which she’s really proud. And who wouldn’t be? A dragon biting the head off a gopher as they disappear down the back waistband of her stretch pants…which, by the way, have no choice. She’s a real prize, in a gag gift kinda way. And she fits in sitting next to the cousin that decided to overhaul the Harley right before the meal. Lovely. The other uncle is there. He works for the paper. He throws it. And the nephew with the purple and orange hair got paroled in time to show up. Across from you is the niece who is complaining about how long her work day is now, since she started showing up on time. It’s an entire family affair, there’s screaming and crying and whining. And the kids aren’t acting any better either. Grandpa is telling his favorite joke you’ve heard a million times: “your Grandma and I were very happy for many years…and then we met”! There’s a couple of drama queens in the group, which is convenient because they can try to one-up each other even if it means saying, “well oh yeah, I just had an appendix transplant”. Your sister, who has a voice that can crack a glass, knows nothing about football but wants to narrate the game you’re trying to watch, “why are they fighting over that little ball, is it on sale”? It’s a never ending day of irritations, and you’re committed that next year you’re just going to tell everyone you have to be home by yourself because you have a bad case of ebola.
Feeling better about your slightly dysfunctional family now? Me too. We may try to make things sound as bad as I just wrote, but it never is. In fact, it’s almost always a GREAT thing.
So when that relative grabs that last piece of pumpkin pie that you had your eye on, just remind yourself that you can’t pick your family. And also remind yourself, they’re gonna leave in a few hours.
MARK MAYFIELD…A Funny Speaker with a Serious Message