I have every intention of being optimistic. There's always a good chance Uncle Jordan's eye won't shoot blood this
year like a grim turkey thermometer telling us all it's time to go. Dad won't laugh till he almost pisses himself, especially as Cousin Will gets ever more nauseous tracing the line of shot eye blood to the cranberry sauce from which Aunt Beam is obliviously spooning a fourth helping. Mom sitting demurely catatonic thanks to Fiorinal, Fluphenazine, and a jug of Carlo Rossi won't make anyone uncomfortable. Particularly not when it happens to make her blink one eye at a time. Granted, Cousin Myra will feel the need to make some observation no one wants like, "Should she be holding
the carving knife?" To which Mom will reply with a sunny smile, "Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea." An act does not make a person guilty unless their mind is also guilty -- a good Catholic background gives anyone a smattering of Latin. But this year we'll stop Mom from stabbing Myra. Maybe one stab wound because no one'll expect Mom to fling herself so acrobatically across the table, but it's just Myra.
We'll adjourn from the dining to the living room for a quiet round of after dinner conversation and cocktails while pies cool in the kitchen. Instead of the usual subtle speed drinking, we'll sip the booze down looking only to relax not numb ourselves to family; and we'll have a genuine conversation rather than a mining session.
"So... how are things?"
"Is that the best you got?"
Sip, sip, guzzle, sip.
Nay, nay. It won't be like that. It'll be more along the lines of:
"How have you been?"
"I've been great. My menstrual lining is apparently building up instead of sloughing off, and that build up, apparently, is moving up my system, attaching itself to my intestines which is what's causing the gut pain I've been having -- the menstrual lining is pulling at my intestinal lining, sometimes ripping it off. But the doctor gave me this prescription for Vicodin, so I'm sailing till surgery."
"You've got Vicodin?"
"You betcha. Have some."
"I think I will... thanks. Happy Thanksgiving."
"Same to you."
It'll be a good time. Not at all like last year.