Posted by: thediygeochemist | November 28, 2011

what not to do on Thanksgiving

My ex gets the kids on Thanksgiving every year. I figured I start a new tradition of some sort, but haven’t seemed to find just the right thing yet.

Last year I served dinner at a homeless shelter. This was kind of fun and, honestly, if I don’t find anything better, I will do it again next year.

But I love to cook, and Thanksgiving is a perfect time to cook. Plus, I have a “new” (read: almost 60 years old) house and a new (as in, less than 2 weeks old) amazing range (a Kenmore Elite…found it discounted 50%). So I really wanted to cook for someone. But I tried and tried, starting back in September, and everyone already had plans.

Luckily Dr. Hand-Waver was kind enough to invite me to her house for dinner. I think she’s a cool person, and her husband is pretty awesome too, so I thought I’d have a pretty good time. And I did, to a degree, but I’m not sure I want to go back again.

I didn’t mind the fact that everyone in the house was speaking Dr. HW’s native tongue; I speak the same language myself, and was fluent as a teen. However, I haven’t used it much since about 1989. I keep telling myself that I need to get myself back up to speed on the language, so this was good practice. (FWIW: I understood almost everything, but have difficulty expressing myself.)

I also didn’t mind the food, which included not only turkey but also dishes from Dr. HW’s native land. Like I said, this was familiar territory for me; I hadn’t eaten some of these dishes for ~25 years, and they actually went pretty well with turkey.

What I did mind was Dr. HW’s choice of dinner guests. She’d invited a good friend of hers along with that friend’s family. The friend was very nice, and so was the friend’s mother. The friend’s husband, on the other hand, should have barred from the premises. He seems to be a rude and outspoken person by nature, and getting thoroughly wasted did not help matters. (I saw him drink about four glasses of wine before dinner–on an empty stomach. Then he had at least that much with dinner. Then he had three or four glasses of port, then a couple of shots of whiskey, and then went back to the wine…)

He ended up insulting all of the dinner guests, starting with me. He said that America was stupid and ignorant and the political system was obsolete. He said that the American educational system, kindergarten through university, was a pointless waste of time. (Hello! Did he forget his hostess’s career choice?) And so on and so on. Dr. and Mr. Hand-Waver tried to get him to stop his rant but he kept going for what seemed like an eternity.

Afterwards, Dr. HW told me: “Sorry about that. The rest of us are all used to H’s rants but I’m sure you’re not…”

To me, what’s sad is not that he insulted all of us; what’s sad is that they seem to endure it all the time, thinking that it’s “normal for a guy like H”. I’m sorry, but at some point you just need to put your foot down and say enough is enough.


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