Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Two for Thanksgiving.


The only other time I ever wrote about Thanksgiving on this blog took the form of a history lesson/rant about the absolute bullshittery involved in such a dubious holiday. I was called crazy for writing it so I knew I’d done the right thing. I never revisited the topic because, honestly, what’s left to say that hasn’t been expounded on by others far more knowledgeable than I?
So, this post is not a history lesson but it is most certainly a rant.  A personal one.
In the wake of my mother-in-law’s passing, several things came to light and to pass. But she didn’t need to physically pass away to make that happen. Even before she was gone, months before, when she was no longer aware that it was a holiday,  my wife's siblings realized they no longer needed to avoid her scrutiny if they didn’t include my wife and, by extension, me in holiday gatherings.
Obviously if they could no longer get in trouble, they also no longer had to conform to the old ways of doing things. And while the irony of peoplre who refer to themselves as "The Family" and claim to embrace all forms of traditionalism comprising their supposed core values in the name of convenience and comfort isn’t lost on me, this post isn’t about pointing out hypocrisy. I could spend volumes on that. No, this post is about the simplest of concepts: Right and Wrong.
Who am I to discuss these things as if I’m an expert, they would probably say? My response is as simple as the concept: I’m a human being who knows better than to try and fool myself and others into thinking blatant disregard can be disguised as righteouness.
My wife devoted countless days and nights to her mother’s well-being only to be shut out towards the end for reasons I’ll not expound on here. Suffice it to say, the very least that could be done in honor of their mother and what went before is to extend an invitation to a holiday get-together. Who cares if she says no? If you don’t care enough to even present the appearance of propriety and compassion, you sure as hell shouldn’t care if someone declines an invitation. If anything, you’d get to spin it into a smug assurance of your own moral superiority.
So, perhaps the fear is that the invitation would be accepted and they would have to face their own shortcomings and wrongdoing. It is, after all, easier to remain in one’s bubble than to pop it and risk inhaling less familiar air.
That must be why they couldn’t even wait until their mother was completely gone before beginning the now annual act of choosing not to include my wife in the holidays.
You may notice that I haven’t really included myself in the non-inviting discussion. That’s because I have no stake in this. For my money, I could literally go the rest of my life and never partake in another holiday gathering with them and be perfectly fine. But she is their sister and aunt and they should at least have the good taste to go through the motions. One would think the nieces and nephews she helped raise who are now adults and had nothing to do with the falling out would acknowledge her on holidays, especially since she had made sure to send them birthday wishes. They did not return the favor on her birthday.
This year’s Thanksgiving will be almost like last year’s, with just the two of us feasting on an incredible meal (she prepared her mom's traditional meal to honor her)  my wife has prepared all by herself. Except last year we took food to her mom and spent the evening with her. No one else did that.

 I imagine at some point my wife might be hard-pressed to even do that as the years go on, and who could blame her? Pettiness has a way of gnawing at our souls until there’s precious little left. Still, sometimes I wonder if there really are only two of us. There have been signs and moments that indicate my wife is not alone.
I look forward to what she prepares and am thankful she is in my life and still willing to go through so much to make the day memorable and worthwhile, mostly in honor or her mother’s memory.
Ultimately, it is as my own mother used to say: We can’t control how others act, but we have almost total control over how we react.
Happy Thanksgiving~

1 comment:

Who Am I? said...

Well written. It's maddening to be related to jerks.