For the first time in a long time, we did not cook a turkey at home. We instead traveled to New Jersey and met up at a restaurant with another group of family that was at loose ends. It was a nice place. Among its many offerings was an all-you-can-eat dessert bar, which allowed me to cap off the meal with a piece of pumpkin pie, a scoop of bread pudding, a mini-cream puff, a chocolate chip cookie, and a little bit of fruit. You see (I pointed out to B), I had fruit for dessert!
We made a good go of it. But I must confess that Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday, especially since it's such a consummate family festivity, and my own family has long been apart.
Yes, we caught up with some family members we know and love; we got news of other people; and we laughed and bonded. But on the way home, I couldn't help but think who was around the table. There we were ... one 30-something couple with no kids, and the widowed mother (her other daughter couldn't make the trip and had Thanksgiving with friends instead). The grandfather was there. He's a widower; he lives by himself in assisted living. Then there was the other widow with one of her two sons, and me, the divorced guy with none of his kids in attendance. I began to feel that we were not so much a family as a ragged assemblage of survivors in this marathon called life.
But later that evening, my daughter the veterinarian, who'd had to work all day, sent me something that made me laugh. The silliness of it? The goofiness, or sheer absurdity? My daughter and I share a weird sense of humor that a lot of other people just don't understand. It's something we have in common.
Take a look. It's stupid, I know, but it made me burst out laughing, along about the tenth pa-pa-pow, and through our weird sense of humor my daughter and I, on Thanksgiving, were able to share a laugh across the miles, to make a connection, like a wink across a crowded room . . .