Always Room for One More

Posted: 22 November 2007 in bitter old woman, other folks, queerlife, triptastic

I’d say Thanksgiving is the big holiday for my family.  With all of the November birthdays, this particular Thursday seems to be the best opportunity for many of us to be together in one place.  It doesn’t happen every year, but most years find some sort of reunion on Thanksgiving instead of any of the religious holidays.  Smallpox and colonization aside, I love my family immensely and this is a welcome event.

On the other hand, there are a lot of us.  Growing up, I never had a Thanksgiving featuring any less than 16 people.  16 people was the bare minimum for years – toss in extra uncles one year or a few additional second cousins and we’re easily up to 25 at the table.  My mother has china, silver and crystal (yes, she’s that sort of mother) for 50 it seems, even if all the napkin rings don’t match.  Fortunately, we don’t dress for dinner anymore (it was always embarrassing when cousin S and his motley kids showed up in jeans carrying a two liter while the rest of sat around sipping cider from bone china.)  And we’re more of a drinking family these days, which is fine by me.  But one thing hasn’t changed at all – we still bring in the numbers when it comes to supper.

It hasn’t ever been all family.  One year, it was the guy from the corner my dad invited home.  Before that, it was students working with my mother who had no family to go to.  We’ve always been a wayward home for old and new friends and we’re all experts at stretching a soup or fitting one more place setting into the mix.  This year featured the small town minister and his wife.  My sister invited them and my mother condoned it, only grimacing slightly when they didn’t call to RSVP and it was rumored that they might bring other folks with no families if they did come.  Our modest supper for 10 was rapidly expanding.  In fact, we got the RSVP about an hour before they arrived and they were sandwiched in, less Earl (I’m not sure who Earl was/is) for the meal.  We don’t know how to cook for 10 in my family anyway, so it all worked out.

I love the extra company, but I’m not a fan of ministers, particularly ones who run small town churches (congregation: 15) and have the tag-line “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”  Aside from the fact that I wish my family might have considered my feelings (that would be new and unusual though, but that’s another post) I wish other people wouldn’t preach, literally in this case, hate. 

Look, I don’t care who you hate.  Go ahead, you can believe gays are going to hell.  Muslims are evil.  White skin is best.  You can have whatever misguided nonsense in your head you want.  I don’t have any illusions that I can change who you are.  But I firmly believe you have to have the manners, grace, diplomacy, good will, couth, common sense and intelligence to keep it to yourself.  I might think I’m better than you, but that doesn’t give me the right to tell other folks, who may be less educated about people like you, that you’re bad stuff.  You’re Mormon?  I’m not.  But I’m not going to stand in front of a group of people and tell them they should be Christian, not Mormon.  I think folks have a responsibility to keep that hate to themselves.  Especially when those folks have a flock to lead. 

Over the dishes, my sister said, “See?  They’re nice people.”  I pointed out that, while nice, it didn’t excuse hate-mongering.  I’m not sure she know what that meant.  It was a bittersweet Thanksgiving.  Yes, there’s always room for one more.  But what kind of one more?

Bonus points for keeping your hate to yourself.  And happy thanksgiving,

  1. Bittersweet indeed. Sorry you had to deal with that, and sorry that the lack of consideration came from the family side. I am totally with you on minding your manners.

    Hope the rest of your visit goes well.

  2. rye says:

    Wow – well said! I couldn’t agree with you more. Why is it always the people “in power” that seem to be the most misguided?

    (And I’m thankful for your posts as well 🙂 I’m so glad I stumbled upon NaBloPoMo this year!)

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