Since Mrs. RW and married several years ago, we have hosted Thanksgiving dinner. When I say “we” here, I mean that I spend the largest portion of the day cooking all manner of traditional Thanksgiving foods while Mrs. RW drinks beer in the living room and watches football. Occasionally she’ll come into the kitchen to “help,” but really it is just to sneak some food and get another beer. I am actually quite content with this arrangement because I am a firm believer that you can’t trust a skinny cook. So when people find out that I actually cooked the food, everyone is instantly relieved, “Clearly that guy knows about food! This is going to be good!”
My family reference for Thanksgiving is that as much of the extended family as is possible comes together for a feast. This meal will last no less than 2 solid hours of eating, discussing families, eating, drinking, eating, and joking around. Then we have dessert and coffee. (Dessert can be anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and a half). In short, my family considers Thanksgiving dinner to be something of a marathon.
Mrs. RW’s family is wonderful, but it is quite clear that they don’t have the same expectations that my family drilled into me. When I’m just uncorking the second bottle of wine and helping myself to thirds, they have declared themselves stuffed and have retired to the couch. Shortly thereafter (by my reckoning at least) they have divided up the leftovers and gone home.
Wait, we haven’t yet discussed cousin Sue’s new boyfriend! And how is Johnnie’s blood pressure? Did we talk about whether or not Aunt Jane got laid off or were we worried for no reason?
Yesterday found Mrs. RW and I discussing the impending Thanksgiving dinner and in the middle of debating whether or not to even bother with cranberry sauce because hardly anyone actually eats it, I wondered aloud if her family will actually hang around this time. She pointed out that they actually visit for most of the afternoon and I responded with, “sure, but I spend most of that time in the kitchen and don’t get to actually visit with them.”
Mrs. RW just looked at me… no words needed to be spoken. We both knew that a line had been crossed that couldn’t be uncrossed.
In the past (usually when correcting my children) I have sounded almost exactly like my Dad. This used to worry me, but as none of my siblings have grown up to be ax-murderers, I guess I could have had a worse role model. Today was different; for the first time I sounded like Mom. My Mom is an amazing person and I love her dearly, but it was so funny that both Mrs. RW and I burst out laughing.
I don’t know if other sons ever have moments like this, but I suppose that for me there is no denying it any longer. Even though we’re very different people, in this regard at least, I am my mother’s son.
Oh, and Mrs. RW and I are still arguing about the cranberry sauce.