How to Be Your Own Crazy Uncle at Thanksgiving

From Politico written by Matt Lattimer:

Target: Your brother-in-law, the loyal Jeb! donor

Arrival: Emerge from a black stretch limousine with gold trim, undercarriage lights, license plate reading: NUMBER 1.

Cocktail hour: Bring your own wine, from your private vineyard—the greatest vineyard in the world. It puts Napa to shame, OK? Offer some to your Bush-loving brother-in-law, who is a teetotaler, and also the host. When he says no, pour the wine into his glass anyway. Say: “Maybe this’ll give you some energy.” Refer to him constantly by an emasculating nickname (Mr. Snooze, Four Percent, Hot Pants). Get the kids onboard with this early.

Dinner: Your over-the-top opinion is required on everything. The cranberry sauce is not good; it’s “fantastic.” The stuffing isn’t just bad; it’s “a total disaster.” Spice up your anecdotes with absurd claims. The White House was named after Betty White. You were the inspiration for the Terminator. If nobody takes the bait, quickly ratchet them up: Many leading rabbis have privately told you that Moses was a “really big Christian.” When anyone objects, deny you just said that, then repeat it as fact as soon as your brother-in-law tries to speak again.

After dinner: Turn the largest available TV to the football game and spend all your time alternately praising Tom Brady (who is not playing) and blasting every other player as a “no-talent loser.” Elbow the kids away from the Monopoly table to show them “how the game is really played.” Start with the Teamsters (you) skimming 10 percent of all rent on the hotels or else “there’s going to be some really ugly accidents.” Hand the 13-year-old banker a $50 under the table. When he notices it’s real, tell him, “There’s more where that came from, OK?” Regardless of actual results, declare victory.



Trading in the Cadillac for a Ferrari

Notes from the Eldercare Underground:  Thanksgiving Edition

I joined my mother at the nursing home today for their Thanksgiving dinner. 

I tell ya, they really put out quite a spread.  All the food was very good (including the coffee) and I was a member of the Clean Plate Club by the time the meal was over.

Today my mother had a little something extra to be thankful for:  she has graduated from the wheelchair to a candy-apple red walker, complete with padded seat and handbrakes. 

Yesterday I watched as her physical therapist, Joe, took her outside for a spin with her new wheels.  He was really proud that she had made so much progress, and I was amazed at how fast she could move in that thing.  I told Joe that this was the fastest I’d seen her walk in years.

Joe has a great sense of humor and had told her yesterday that he was recommending to the powers that be at the nursing home that she be allowed to jettison the wheelchair in favor of the jazzier mode of transportation.

He said he wanted her to “trade in the Cadillac for the shiny red Ferrari.”  And that’s what she did.

On another, “I can’t believe my mother said that,” note—Tammy, the director of nurses, flagged me down on my way out.  She had a couple of anecdotes about my mother she wanted to tell me.

The first one involved her getting ready for her doctor’s appointment last week.  The LVN who was helping my mother told Tammy that when she commented on how nice my mother looked, with her pretty sweater and lipstick, my mother said:  

“You never know when the doctor might be a stud.” 

OMG.  My mother said that?

And the second anecdote was when the occupational therapist was observing my mother using the bathroom to be sure she could do it safely on her own.  She didn’t quite get her pants pulled up all the way over her behind and the therapist had to point that out to her.  My mother said:

“Now you know what kind of girl I am.”

Oh boy.  I think that Ferrari has started something.


Happy Hallowthanksmastine!

Help me out here.  Christmas was only just last Friday, right?  Baby Jesus, Santa Claus, presents, ho, ho, ho and all that jazz?  New Year’s Eve wasn’t even on the radar yet.

Barely two days later, I walk into our local mega-mart to find the shelves are being stripped of anything remotely Christmasy and Valentine’s Day crap is hurriedly being stocked in its place. 

Out with the snowmen and angels, in with the big heart-shaped boxes of candy and the stuffed teddy bears that have “I Wuv You” embroidered on their furry chests.

All of the holidays are being compressed into one continuous frenzy.  Last August, Halloween and Thanksgiving reared their collective heads when we were all sweating bullets from the unusually hot summer here in central Texas.  The last thing I wanted to do was contemplate slaving over a hot oven whomping up another turkey dinner.  And the grandkids were giddy to try on Halloween costumes even though I knew that in the heat the polyester material would stick to them like napalm.

Halloween was swept out almost before Oct. 31st, but Thanksgiving and Fall decorations remained, joined by the Christmas onslaught—in spades.  Mass produced straw scarecrows vainly jockeyed for position alongside the more glitzy snowmen and angels. 

It was kind of like watching a beauty pageant, but without the breast implants.

I hate to be one of those old farts who preface their complaints about the modern age with “Back in my day…”, but….I will. 

Back in my day, the holidays were more distinct ( or at least they seemed that way to my little brain.)  There was a separation between Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Christmas decorations and all the attendant hoopla didn’t begin to show up in stores until it was officially December. 

 One holiday was allowed the opportunity to gracefully fade away before the next rose up to take its place.  Now, it’s all one big sales extravaganza. 

I know the economy sucks, but would it be too much to ask for a brief breather between holiday festivities before we’re being urged to hurry up and have fun (and buy, buy, buy) again?