I offer you a snapshot of Thanksgiving with my fun and kooky family.
We had enough food to feed about three times as many people as we had: turkey, cranberry, stuffing, brussels sprouts, corn muffins, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with pecans, green beans with almonds. Apple-blackberry crumb pie, chocolate pecan pie, and chocolate truffles. Plus the hors d’oeuvres we started with, pita chips and crudité and hummus and guacamole and olives. Oh, and wine.
We talked about TV shows I hadn’t heard of. It’s scary when I know less about pop culture than my mother does. In the middle of a particularly frivolous conversation, my cousin said, “Remember when our holidays were just talking about the Holocaust?” Which is true, because my grandparents were Holocaust survivors, and my uncle is a scholar about (among other things) the Holocaust, and so genocide is a perfectly normal conversation topic for my family.
Once, at a different family holiday, my younger cousin burst out, “Whenever anyone in this family wants to be funny, they just say something in a Yiddish accent!” True. Guilty as charged.
I played piano while my cousin and our stray guest sang numbers from West Side Story. Later, around the table, we sang a couple of spirituals. My uncle translated a few Christmas carols into Yiddish. My cousin did a hilarious Justin Bieber impression. Not everyone had realized how much Bieber resembles a 22-year-old lesbian and thought it was hilarious when I brought it up, even though it was hardly my idea.
My uncle fell asleep on the couch, and we all chuckled when he snored. One of my aunts disappeared for a while; I think she was taking a quieter nap on a more remote sofa. We put on some stupid TV show in the background while we digested dinner and tried to rally for dessert. Which we did, finally. And then cleared the last round of plates, packed up leftovers, and called it a night.
And then I sat down to finish writing a column that was due Friday. It was a long night.