Posts Tagged With: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

finding the right balance

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know Thanksgiving is absolutely not my thing. But, Thanksgiving is Thing 1’s most favorite holiday. When the our dining table arrived, Thing 1 said, “You know, Momma, our house is really small. And yours is big. And you have that big island and new table. So, if I cooked and cleaned, would you host Thanksgiving?”
Without hesitation I told her yes, I also told her I had to talk with YBW.
I only got as far as “and yours is big” in relaying her question before he said “Yes!”

YBW then reached out to each of our other three kids and invited them for Thanksgiving. And when I say invited, what I mean is he didn’t actually give them a choice as much as he was like, I want you here, please and thank you.
And if you actually knew my husband, you’d know that’s not his typical M.O.
The boys and Girlfriend L are confirmed.
Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K are confirmed.
YBW’s brother, his wife, and our nephew are also confirmed.
Thing 2 and Boyfriend M cannot be here.

YBW and Thing 1 are planning to do all the work. I’m planning to watch the parade and drink apple cider mimosas and play with Baby K.
Though I’ll make the cranberries and probably the stuffing. And maybe the gravy, because it’s Thing G’s fave. Though Thing 1 could absolutely make him some gravy he’ll love.

I’m excited about three of our four kids being in the same place at the same time.
I’m excited about two of our kids’ partners being here with us.
I’m excited to welcome my brother in law’s fam to our home.
I’m disappointed Thing 2 won’t be here, but what she’s doing instead is actually much more important.

I have real, and deeply rooted anxious feels surrounding Thanksgiving and I’m working hard to reconcile those feelings with my excitement of us all being together.
These opposing feels create unbalance in me, and I want the joy to outweigh those feelings of discomfort.
I don’t like Thanksgiving, but I love being surrounded by my family.
I’m hopeful to find the right balance.
But even if I don’t, I’ll always have the parade.
And that’s fine by me.

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Thanksgiving in Charleston

Yesterday was spent downtown.
We met my Charleston family (sans nephew) for lunch at one of our favorite places, Jestine’s Kitchen. Mac and cheese, green beans, and unbelievably yummy fried chicken, (which I ate in my systematically OCD way of picking off and eating the fried bits, picking the meat off of and discarding the bone and then eating all the meat).

We wandered and shopped King Street. Jessica had a list we needed to check off, I was just along for the walk.
Turns out that I did a little shopping too. What’s curious about this shopping is that I only purchased things for myself. That’s unusual for me, normally I purchase for everyone else first.
It was fun though, because I bought sort of silly and frivolous things.

As we walked past Copper Penny, I saw a scarf on a mannequin in the window that made us stop and go in. It was the only one in the shop and the girl climbed into the window to get it for me.
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I may have a slight scarf ‘problem’…if I don’t reign it in, it could blossom into a full fledged addiction. (Surely, there are worst things I could be addicted to…so scarves might just be OK.)

Candlefish was so cool! They even have candle making classes! I diffused oils, so I never really burn scented candles, but they had some really lovely ones. Of course I bought these adorable bobby pins at the candle shop. And that makes a kind of sense that really doesn’t. Who really cares? I absolutely adore these little moon and star hair pins!
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In a curious little boutique called lou lou, I bought this precious little headband.
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We stopped for a post-shopping cocktail at the Thoroughbred Club in Charleston Place.
I had a delicious concoction called the Courtesan Cocktail.
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After a visit to my Charleston family for more cocktails and time near the fire pit, Jessica and I went over the Tattooed Moose for a late dinner. Their french fries are cooked in duck fat. I mean, my God those fries!!
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This beer though!

After all that we came home and watched Chadwick Boseman as James Brown.
If you haven’t seen it, you simply must!

Today, we’ve eaten breakfast, watched the parade, and gone through a box of old photos. Now we’re watching Hairspray while I write…

We’re going to Sweeny’s for dinner this evening.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

My favorite James Brown song.
Please listen responisbly.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I probably get more worked up than necessary…

I may have mentioned once or twice that I don’t “super love” Thanksgiving.
Alas, that day is upon us again so here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to lay it all down and walk away.

I don’t want to do what’s “required” of me today.
That would be riding in the car with YBW to get his mom and go over his brother’s house to eat the Thanksgiving meal.
Perhaps it’s because I don’t have any family. Perhaps it’s because I’ve already lived through the “this could be my mother’s last (insert holiday/milestone here) with the former husband.
I very much understand combining families means the combining of rituals. But my hope was that in creating a new family, there would be room for new rituals. This would mean a mixture of the two.
Of course I understand wanting to celebrate with your family. YBW’s mother is eighty-five years old, how many more holidays/milestones could she possibly have?
The other side of that coin is that he’s had forty-four years of celebrating with her.

He reads my words, so there will totally be a conversation about this later…but that’s not the point.

Yesterday we were invited to a holiday party at friend’s of his. This is an annual event that’s been going on for more years than I actually know. He loves this particular party and looks forward to it every year. When we were apart, he would see if I could be here the weekend of the party, which never worked most often because one of the Things would have a school commitment the same weekend. So when I finally moved here he was so excited to take me to this party! It has a gift exchange, but the thing about it is that it’s horrible gifts nobody wants. I’m not sure I understand the wasting of money like that. On something that is either going to be trashed or rewrapped for return to the exchange the following year. (Of course, I’ve never had disposable income. Everything purchased at the holidays is always well thought out and specifically for someone who needs or wants it.)
Anyway, I agreed to go even though I was so anxious about being in a room full of people when I only knew four of them. What he doesn’t understand is that anxiety I have. Being social with people I don’t know is physically painful for me. So off we go, with the caveat that I won’t participate in the gift exchange, I chose to observe, it being my first year and all.
Well, when it comes time to draw numbers, I politely decline and then YBW’s sister in law pipes up with something about how they brought an extra gift and I can use it. I thank her and decline once more. Then YBW turns and tries to convince me that it’s fun and I should participate.
That was the moment I was officially done.
When I said that yesterday, I had barely taken a breath to continue talking when he apologized.
That wasn’t the point. I don’t want you apology a year later. I want you to listen to how I feel.
He reasoned that if I had done something that hurt him I would apologize.
Of course I would. But this wasn’t the time! I was trying to express myself.
I believe he apologizes to make himself feel better. I believe this is unintentional. I don’t think he is even aware…

I swear to you there is not only a point, but also a connection…

YBW asks me if I want to go to this party. I say no, but I’ll go if you want to.
Well this turns into a very uncomfortable conversation in the car.

What we have here, y’all, is a failure to communicate.

So I reply that he loves this party, he’s excited to go and because I love him and know how excited he is I’m ready to go.
But then he says he thinks he’s “dragging me against my will” because I said I didn’t want to go.
(Ah, the dreaded catch 22.)
He doesn’t like it when I defer to him when he asks a question. e.g.: If I had said: I’ll go if you want to go. when he asked me if I wanted to go to the party then I’m not telling him what I really think/want. But when I answer truthfully to the question: Do you want to go? and the answer is: No I don’t. He struggles with that.
Which has to do with him knowing I’ve spent my whole life doing what everyone else wanted so I shouldn’t have to do this if I don’t want to.
And that is kind.

But what really happened when he heard me say no was he thought it would be a case of he could go and I would respectfully decline and not go.
(This is where my actual point happens. And hopefully you’ll see the connection.)
He didn’t want any part of that because “he went to too many parties without his wife” and that’s not something he’s willing to do.
You see, the mad alcoholic second wife, never did anything with him as a couple.

Ah ha! Now we’re getting somewhere!
He is unwilling to go without me because he doesn’t want to feel like that anymore.
OK. So why when I say: I’m happy to go with you. does he not hear that? Well that’s because I told him I didn’t want to go.

I probably got way more worked up about this than was necessary…

He takes the “I can’t say anything right” stance. And I counter with “No, I can’t say anything right.”
But neither is true.
I explained to him that he doesn’t like if I defer when he asks a question so I answered it truthfully. He didn’t like the answer. So then it occurs to him that he should ask a different question. Instead of do you want to go? he asks: Are you willing to go.
Of course I’m willing to go. I love you and you want to do this therefore I’m going to do it with you.

Nothing and I mean nothing gets resolved in the car ride. How very us.

Anyway…I said there was a point and a connection…I just had to go all the way round Robin Hood’s barn to get there.

I said: I’ve already lived through the whole “this could be my mother’s last…”
This isn’t his fault but he must pay the price.
He said: I went to too many parties without my wife…
This isn’t my fault but I must pay the price.

We carry our baggage with us no matter how hard we try.
So I’ll go to Thanksgiving with his family. Perhaps there will come a time when we create our own rituals…

He switches holidays with his Things mother. So every other year it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas. Even twenty-two year old Thing C.
I don’t have that luxury.
Thing 1 is about to move into her own home with her fiance N. I would like to consider celebrating holidays with her at some point. Especially because within the next few years, I’ll have a grandbaby.
This will force new rituals. And they will either mean us celebrating holidays separately with our own children or we will have to figure out how to do it together.

All this drama simply to overeat?…why don’t I like Thanksgiving again?

Two days ago was the one month anniversary of us being married. I glanced as I walked past him and was filled with so much love. I stopped and told him I was so happy I was married to him.
Yesterday not so much. My instinct to run nearly overpowered me. I seriously considered getting out of the car at a traffic light. But I didn’t. I tried to be a grown up and discuss the madness.

Here’s what sucks.
He’s going to read this and this is what I fear he’ll take from it.
1. I don’t like his family.
2. I don’t like his friends.
He hears what has been conditioned to hear, not what I say.
I can’t fix that.

I also do what I’ve been conditioned to do.
I defer. Because when I say or do what I really want, it bites me in the ass. I don’t blame him for that. It simply is. It was always thus.

What I struggle with is where to go from here.
I don’t feel like things get resolved. I don’t know how to make that happen, so I beat things into the ground. That ain’t fun for anyone.

Perhaps I should learn to like Thanksgiving. Maybe there would be less drama if I wasn’t such a bitch about it.
Poor YBW, he didn’t believe that I was such a raging bitch. That I’m a hot hot mess. I guess I didn’t believe he was a hot hot mess either…
Love is blind right?
I’m thankful that YBW is part of my world. However jacked up that world is, we’re in it together.

The parade is on and I’m tired of being a whiny crybaby so I’m going to watch and wait for Santa to show up.
Then Thanksgiving is over and we’re on to Christmas.
I’m holding out for new rituals…

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kiss your brain

I don’t normally love Thanksgiving. I mean the actual ‘holiday’, not the concept. To me it’s just an inconvenient stop between Halloween and Christmas. I am thankful all my days…I don’t need a specific day to celebrate my gratitude. I have an issue with the conspicuous consumption of food on Thanksgiving Day. Now, I absolutely love food, but it seems to me that Thanksgiving is more about celebrating gluttony than giving thanks.

All of that said, I have to admit I’m actually feeling enthusiastic about Thanksgiving this year. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is even though my child won’t be living in it, the basement is finally finished and we are beginning to put our home and our lives back together.
The second is because I ordered all my food from Wegmans this year.
The entire meal, from turkey to cranberries, completely cooked, packaged up and ready for me to heat and serve. This feels equally wrong and right. I’m perfectly capable of making Thanksgiving dinner for eight, but I don’t really want to. Wegmans has everything I need for a price I couldn’t argue. I’d have spent just as much gathering all the ingredients.
I’m a teeny bit ashamed of myself…but I’m so relieved I’m not going to be stuck in the kitchen all damn day and missing the thing I love about Thanksgiving…the Macy’s Parade. Won’t be stuck in the kitchen all damn day while people lounge on the giant sofa in front of football games.
I’ll heat that food, serve it up pretty, have other people clear and clean up and enjoy my day.
There will be a teeny bit of me that is ashamed for not cooking…I’ll just pour her another glass of wine and she’ll shut up quickly enough.

I’m thankful for the people in my life, my family and friends and the love we share. For my home where I feel safe and loved.
I’m especially thankful for a man who loves me because I’m me and not for what he’d like me to be.
I’m thankful I am so close with my co-teacher, that she and I were meant to be in a classroom together, that we make each other better teachers.
I’m thankful for words. Word that have been written, words not yet written.
I’m thankful for art, all kinds of visual art, but mostly books and music.
I’m thankful for Macy’s and their parade because it really does bring me joy even though I cry every year when Santa arrives.
I’m thankful for Wegmans and their delicious food and reasonable pricing.
And wine! I’m SO thankful for wine!

There is a wonderful teacher in my school who has the most precious habit of encouraging her students to “kiss their brains”. They do this by kissing their hands and placing them on their heads. She encourages them to do this when the are attempting to learn, when they have learned or when they just need a bit of reassurance.
I love this practice!
I’m thankful for my brain, for everything it helps me do.
I kiss my brain.
And I encourage you to do the same.

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