His First Thanksgiving
This is wonderful little story comes from a good friend and avid Disfunctional Diva reader sharing his first post-divorce Thanksgiving.
by Jim Smith
Some of my favorite memories of childhood, like most children, are of the holidays. It didn’t matter which holiday it was; these times were always stress-free and happy. The opportunity to see grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins was highly anticipated.
However, as I aged and began a family of my own, things slowly started to change; I became a “we”. All of a sudden “we” had to start thinking of someone else’s family and their traditions and the happy carefree times became somewhat burdensome. Well, one year that changed.
Three to four weeks after my divorce was final it was time for Thanksgiving. My parents informed they were traveling to the East coast to spend the holiday with my sister and her family. My first thought was “Wow, the first holiday after the divorce and I would be alone.” In addition to this “parental neglect”, I was asked to house sit for them. Being the good son that I am, I packed up my clothes, my dog and a weeks’ worth of wine and headed over to my parent’s house, a sort of mini vacation.
The week went on as normal and Thanksgiving was here. My son (being the good son that he is) decided he would stay with me the night before Thanksgiving and we had an enjoyable evening. The next morning after a nice breakfast of cinnamon rolls and orange juice, he went off to his mother’s for the day . . . the house was mine again.
It had always been our tradition to decorate for Christmas the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I thought, being the good son that I am, I would surprise my parents and decorate their house while they were gone. I opened a bottle of wine and ventured off to the attic to retrieve enough decorations to outfit a four bedroom, two story home. I began to deck the halls with greeneries, Nativity scenes, winter village pieces, Christmas dishes and enough other knick knacks to make my mother proud. Then it was time for the coup de gras; the Christmas trees.
Now, we had always been a two tree kind of family, just to let you know what a truly wonderful gesture I was undertaking to surprise my aging parents. The tree in the living room had always been decorated in a classic manner with gold balls and tinsel. Each ornament was hand painted with the name of family member with the one at the top being my deceased brother’s ornament; he had passed away at this time of the year several years prior. The second tree, the one in the family room was a more modern tree with children’s ornaments collected over the last forty five years. Last ornament count clocked in at over two hundred. These along with over 1500 multi colored lights, and viola, the tree was beautiful. My work was finally finished.
The evening was now mine, time for me to relax and enjoy the ambiance of my labor. After a long hot shower and Chinese takeout, I opened another bottle of wine, turned out all the lights in the house and tuned the stereo to the Christmas station. I lay down on the couch in my most comfortable sweats, my glass of wine with my Golden Retriever by my side. I was in a state of Yuletide bliss. The holiday had been stress free . . . however at this very moment of my well-earned bliss, my 17 year old son walked through the front door, stopped, looked at me and said . . . “Dad, are you that fucking gay?” – Happy Thanksgiving.