Don’t Fight TomorrowPosted: November 24, 2021
Thanksgiving in my family has a history of being a day that involved at least one fight. It almost always involved my father saying something that he knew before he said it would make at least two different people at the table mad. Now he was not the only one. If my mother started a sentence with, “This is going to make you mad…” I always responded, then just don’t say it. That never worked. She always said it anyway, and she was right. It always made me mad.
Despite the guarantee of a fight, we almost always went to the farm to have thanksgiving. Lots of years we brought friends to help diffuse the conversations that might start fights. We warned them of the subjects that were sure to be argument starters. We pre-apologized for the inappropriate comments that were sure to be made. The guests came anyway. Somehow witnessing other people’s families fighting at Thanksgiving is more like watching a movie, than being “in” the fight.
One year, not so long ago, the fight was bad enough that I got up from the table in the middle of dinner and said I was going home. Napkins were thrown in the air and the conversation changed and I stayed, but it was a real low moment in the great history of thanksgiving fights.
Last year, due to Covid, Carter did not fly home for Thanksgiving and Russ and I did not go to the farm in fear of giving my parent’s Covid. Instead we ordered a take out Thanksgiving and did not have a cross word. It was a sad. Now it is made all the sadder because it was our last chance to fight with my Dad over the Turkey.
If we had known that we would last year was the last chance to be offended over politics while we passed the creamed onions we might have gone. You just don’t know when the last thing is going to be the last chance.
I know my Dad thought he was invincible. He certainly out lived every actuarial table of his life style. But if he knew he only had a few thanksgivings left, I wonder if he would have not started so many fights. Probably not, he really couldn’t help himself.
For me, I am looking forward to a fight free thanksgiving. That doesn’t mean it won’t be sad without my Dad. Thanksgiving was his favorite holiday. Not because he was thankful for all he had, which he should have been, but because he loved to cook for other people. There will be a moment or two of sadness for his not being here, but if my mother can not start a sentence with, “I know this is going to make you mad…” then this will be the most peaceful Thanksgiving I have ever had in my sixty years.
Don’t fight at thanksgiving. You want your relatives to be sad when you are not at the table.