Last night was our bi-weekly family dinner. That’s at least 2 nights per month when I get to return to my parents home and re-live most, if not all, of my childhood traumas. I still fear my father will enter the dining room, clear his throat loudly, then point and scream at me to “Go upstairs and clean your room, NOW! dammit! ” – then reach for his belt, begin unbuckling it without actually looking down, just for motivation, mind you… Or, we’ll learn for the first time, all over again, that little Fluffy was just hit by a car and won’t be coming home. Ever. Again. Or realizing on Christmas morning that out of the 57 carefully wrapped gifts under the tree, once again, my pile does not include a Shetland Pony.
I still ((( quiver ))) at the thought.
Our family dinners are quaint, charming little affairs. Done up in mid-century stylings a la Mad Men, my mother places out the good china each meal. China she acquired in the mid -1950s. Indeed, the entire table looks just like the photo, above. There is the lovely table setting, the flower arrangement made by my sister, a big bowl of green peas, a giant slab of dead beast on a platter with huge knives sticking out of it, and of course, butter. Plenty O’ Butter.
But just one thing is always missing…
See that big fat white soup tureen prominently featured in the center of the table? huh? DO ya? Well, when I was 12 years old, I made just such a big fat white soup tureen in ceramics class, painstakingly hand-painted to match the china set, with tiny pink roses around the rims, and even real silver trim, which required a third kiln firing. Is THAT soup tureen ever placed out on the family dinner table? Even on Thanks Giving? NO!
Ahh. Let the trauma begin… might as well start with a serving of some very blatant rejection. That sets the tone nicely.
As I cried silently to myself yet again last night that my highly underprized big fat white ceramic soup tureen was yet again left off the table, and tried to distract myself with some overzealous chewing of the honey glazed chicken on my plate… a big fat white chunk of ceramic suddenly fell onto my tongue with a metallic ‘chink” sound as it hit my other metal-filled teeth. I almost swallowed it, shocked as I was, then reached inside my mouth and pulled it out: yep – my crown had fallen off!
Bummer. What a way to ruin an otherwise perfectly heart-clogging meal of meat and butter!
Which got me to thinking: What other things might suddenly fall off of me during dinner? I mean, it’s not like I’m getting magically younger. And God has already pre-ordained this whole “falling apart at the seams” thing that goes with even the gentlest of aging properties.
A few things I would NOT like to fall off of me and into my plate during our next family dinner party:
My Will to Survive
My gorgeous full head of Hair
A Sudden Spate of Free-Range Boogers
A Cascade of Uncontrollable Drool
Some Things I WOULD like to see drop off:
15 lbs of Unwanted Fat
My burning, Scorching Awareness That, Yet Again, No Soup Tureen!!!
And so I ask… what would you like/not like to fall off of you during a quaint dinner party?
NOTE: Please consider voting for my lame caption in The Good Greatsbys Caption Contest!