For the second time in my life, I’ll be spending Thanksgiving away from my mommy. “That’s fine,” she said, in the same tone women always say fine when they mean You’re dead to me. “Anyone can go anywhere they want.” To the gulag, for example. Or hell. “I have no problem with this.” By the time this sentence was finished, she was spitting out chunks of her own teeth. “Have fun in…New Jersey.”
Because yes, we’re visiting the other side of the family. I know. The nerve.
To taunt me, Mother Dearest has recited the guest list four or five times. “Your brother is coming. Your sister, too. Everyone will be here.” Her eyes narrow dangerously.
The children now fear my mother around Thanksgiving. “Will Grammy be okay with this?” they asked when informed that once again, we would be seizing our own destinies and going elsewhere for the sacred holiday.
“She has to. She doesn’t own Thanksgiving,” I said.
Once Mom accepted the fact that we won’t be there, the taunting began. She invited us for supper one night, leaving the table strewn with glossy cooking magazines open to centerfold turkeys. A cheesecake cooled on the counter: almond peach. “Is that for us?” the kids asked, their ickle faces alight with joy. “No, no,” Mom said. “It’s for Thanksgiving.” They whimpered like Dickensian orphans. Mom shot me a triumphant look—See how you’re making your own children suffer?
She’s a cruel woman, but I still love her. So long as she saves me some stuffing.
I’ll be off next week, gang! Happy Thanksgiving! (You too, Mom! xox)