Friday, November 26, 2010

Stuffing and Mixed Yammers

Sometimes I picture Plymouth Rock as a sound system in a muscle car or an animated 'Schoolhouse Rock' anthem. To this day, when I'm directed to picture the first Thanksgiving I picture a long, wooden picnic table. The table is overflowing with all kinds of mouth-watering bounty ... turkey, green bean casserole, biscuits, stuffing ... yeah, all that stuff and a couple dozen pumpkin pies that were brought by the squaws.

On one side of the table sit men in finely-tailored black suits, complete with ruffled shirts and buckled boots. Most are clean-shaven but a few are scoundrels and are scruffy ... even bearded. The scruffy ones squint as they peer across the table at the 'guests'... men dressed in their finery as well ... beaded leather attire complete with hand-crafted accessories meant to exclaim, "Welcome. Our place is your place."

"No, no," say the suits ... "We are educated ... welcome to our newly discovered abode. Y'all can stay as long as you know who's land this is ... Oh that? That's a musket ... What does it do? Well, hmmmm ... bring me some whipped cream for this pumpkin pie or I'll show ya. Wha..? No whipped cream? Ok, stand up, musket lessons begin now, inobedient heathen..."

Ok, ok, ok ... so that's not really the story of the first Thanksgiving ... I confess. I plucked this  account from Sarah Palin's newest book.

On to the meat ... the breast meat, so to speak. i'm working with a pickle fork and butter knife to pull the meat from my mind for this blog, so please bear with me. Away we go ...

I was sitting in a Wendy's in Hillsville, Virginia, enjoying Combo 9, large, with a Diet Coke. Across from me sat Pam, who was enjoying a Single with Cheese, no onions, and a side salad. Without warning or premeditation, I got choked up. At first, I considered gristle was the culprit ... grilled chicken can confuse the fast-food workers. No, no ... no gristle. The lump in my throat was emotional. Not the 'Oh. My God. This sandwich is orgasmic' type of emotional. This was different ..

You see, Pam and I were on our way back home after a short jaunt to Charlotte to visit my parents and sister. We'd made this trip before ... the trip was relaxed. Except for a brief, loving exchange of opinions concerning the Palins and FOX News between my dad and myself the trip consisted of good food, company and my own self-depracation.

Yet, as I reached for a fry, I had an overwhelming feeling. I told Pam, "I already miss my parents and sister."

Uh, what? I don't verbalize my feelings. I'm one tough, surviving sombitch. I love my family and I know they love me. I love seeing them and they love seeing me. And, I know all of this .... Oh shit. Is there weakness beneath this shield of pain?

This got me to thinking ... go figure. Midgets .. no, just kidding. Midgets have much to be thankful for but that's an entirely different subject ... no .. I started thinking about hurt, pain and other uplifting things.

I personally shut down a bit when I hear or read 'Happy Thanksgiving!" as it is exclaimed in a cheerful voice or prose. Motivational 'be grateful for' phrases grate me the wrong way because I know that every damn person saying or writing those words, 'Happy Thanksgiving', are doing so not because they are wishing you happiness but because they are hoping that you'll not criticize the dry stuffing too harshly.

What I realized during my Wendy's feast is that what I have is not what I am most thankful for. What I'm most thankful for is what I've lost.

Pride. Materialism. Greed. These are gone. Also gone is the love and adoration of my children. Although I'm not thankful that my children have disowned me, I am grateful that I regained my own purpose and sense of self.  Their disowning me has made me appreciate those who haven't disowned me and those who continue to see promise and potential in a man who struggles to see those qualities in himself.

Hence, the lump in my throat at Wendy's. My dad didn't think less of me because of my anti-tea party rant. My mom commended me on my Taboo rants on Lakota Phillips 'Breaking Taboo' show on http://www.newdissidentradio/ even though her beliefs often contrast my own. My sister? Well, she's more warped than I am, I believe.

Then, I glanced upwards and noticed the laugh lines at the corners of Pam's eyes. The eyes that gaze upon me and my pain... my failures .. the eyes that look at me and say, 'Thank You for loving me.' You see, Pam and her eyes were both borne or my hurt and pain.

This is some deep shit, I understand. But, in a single glance, as I looked into the eyes of a woman who was devouring a Single with Cheese, my pain of loss and self-hatred was diminished a bit. In her eyes I saw my own weakness ... I realized that I need those who need me and that, despite my anger, illness and multitude of faults, I'm not alone after all.

Thanksgiving isn't about celebrating what you have. It's about celebrating what you don't have. It's about celebrating what you lost and then gained. It's a celebration that a loss will result in growth. Be thanksful for what you don't have because the things you've lost are really the treasures that make you wealthy and wise.

Oh yes ... Pam, she is the butterfly that brings fluttering life and joy to my stunted soul. I took a strand of thread and wrapped it around my finger, took her hand and wrapped the other end around her finger and asked her if such a fragile thread would hold us together for a lifetime ....

She said yes.

Happy Thanksgiving.


  1. Don't be going all soft on me, Bro. I rely on your "everybody else be damned" attitude to make me look good! Me warped? Ha! Okay,I am, but I call us even.

  2. ok, Jeff... This one got me choked up. Not fair. I've already been crying for a week. Holidays... Ughhhh. Don't want to start rumors, but does that thread indicate wedding bells in the future? :)

  3. Kelly, Me? Soft? I'm nothing but honest and by putting my feelings out there as they happen then, well, eh. I'm either crazy or genuine. What's the diffenrence?

    Info? Alice? I wasn't intending to invoke emotions that'd choke anyone up ... I write as I feel and I'm a bit humbled that others relate to my evaluations.

    The holidays are a bitch for those who harbor a brain wiith memories. Keep your memories in the future and they are much, much better.

    And to quell any rumors ... yes.