This year, for the first time in years, I cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving. We had decided to have a bird, and EG gave the go ahead to take out a second mortgage on the house and purchase an all natural, free-range bird.
The turkey, when done, was gorgeous, perfectly golden brown, a triumph of poultry preparation. Martha Stewart would have been impressed--Kiki even took a picture. It looked just like turkey in the the Normal, um, Norman Rockwell painting.
My nephew and his delightful girlfriend joined us, and my two cousins called after the meal, asking to stop by, and of course we welcomed them, as we don't see them often enough. We played catch up about all the relatives, including the cousin who had moved in with his girlfriend--and her husband. And then there was the other cousin whose girlfriend violated parole and spent the holiday incarcerated, but she wasn't alone, as her sister-in-law and her friend were also there. When another family member took the girlfriend's children to their biological father's house for their family's meal, the father was waiting for them in the driveway so he could take them on a run to the drive-thru with his brothers. The unthinkable had happened: they had run out of beer.
Nephew's girlfriend impressed me. She did not leap out of her chair and run screaming out of the house, nor did she become any less gracious as the visit progressed. I guess later, though, my nephew clarified the whole thing for her. "That branch of the family," he told her, "has their own two hour special episode of Cops."
Well, let's just say they aren't very Norman Rockwell.