Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Blue is True. Or... is it Red is Right? Well, the first of the 3 Major Holidays went by without a surfeit of wine, victuals, or woes (of the family sort). Two more holidays to get through while maintaining a sense of decorum and extended family unity! With age (hopefully) comes a seepage of diplomatic tact. Or is it that one's emotional nodes are now just nubs, worn down by the torrent of artery clogging gravy of familial ill will. Another spiteful remark simply falls by the wayside, with minimal harm & damage.
There's an old joke that comes to mind whenever family gatherings loom over the holiday horizon.

Two psychologists are at lunch. They're gnoshing and small-talking about this and that. Family matters come up as a topic.
One asks of the other, "So, how's your mom? Seen her recently?"
Other, uncomfortably replies, "Yeah, I had lunch with her the other day. Things were going boringly well. Then, I has a bit of a Freudian slip."
First, inquires, "How bad?".
Other, replies while slowly stirring her coffee spoon, "I had a piece of bread on my plate. I meant to ask her to pass the butter.
Instead, I said, "You lousy f***ing bitch! You ruined my life!""

Now, the below-the-radar monologue that runs through my mind at family gatherings I've attended does not usually run at this high a voltage. This past Thanksgiving was noteworthy as it was not a "time for healing" as our Prez was thinking our country would be in after Nov. 2nd.
In fact "trench warfare" was more the theme. I won't get into the "How can 59,545,002 People be so Stupid?" thing. As pointed out in other blogs, if these folks were that stupid, how could we, the self-appointed "Not so Stupid" minority not be able to convince or even trick the "Stupid" majority into voting for The Other Guy? Either we weren't bright enough...or they weren't stupid enough. Personally, I view the election, and I'm not just talking about the presidential one, as providing concrete proof that this country is forsaking its international position and opting out for isolationism. As the majority has spoken, we are deaf to the world and its interests. Will this come back and bite us? Oh, you betcha and in a big way. Unfortunately, payback will be long and expensive. And I don't believe we'll be able to buy our way back into a position of global leadership. We're sending an awful lot of money to China; like tumbling dominoes money, influence, and world leadership fall over each other.
Thanksgiving dinner was marked with discussions of "blue" and "red". The carving knife was put away hurriedly; don't want sharp instruments available for such an emotional topic. "Butter" was not being passed. Segues into the potentially safer topic of Christmas only prompted discussion of lighting schemes. Should the house be bordered in red or blue lights? And what about white? Or are the always classy white lights now viewed as anti-Middle America? Perhaps just a nice wreath on the door and we'll save money on electricity this year and forgo the lights. Any folks out there go through a similar pitched battle regarding the same topic?

On the positive side, a cherished aunt from the Old Country was visiting during the holidays and was able to be at one of the Thanksgiving meals we had. My kids especially enjoyed the occassion, as just seeing two hobbit sized cooks (my mom and my aunt) scurrying from kitchen to dining room while carrying out an ongoing conversation in an inscrutable language with each other, with us, and with God knows who else was enough to make this day memorable. In 25 days, Christmas. So, remember to pass the butter. Please.

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