Thanksgiving Started Out Normal Enough…

That's me and my never-ending laughter

Trip to the cemetery to see Gram, some coffee and the newspaper. As I walked next door to my mother-in-laws, I always laugh at how lucky I am that we can all walk over, there are dozens of cars on our street and we don't have to worry about parking. This is our first year without my father-in-law, the best man I have ever met. He passed away rather unexpectedly in April and things aren't quite the same in the neighborhood where he grew up and raised his children. Everyone has been a bit on edge coping with their feelings but I certainly didn't expect the scenario that played out at dinner.

I have two brother-in-laws, the oldest is a bit emotional; when he gets mad, he face gets beet red, he starts yelling and his face contorts, same with my oldest son. My younger brother-in-law has a bit of a take no prisoners attitude, an inappropriate sense of humor and gets wound up when he gets upset, same with my younger son. So here we are 3 men, 2 boys and 2 women ready for our first Thanksgiving without the head of the table. The older brother-in-law seemed upset but controlled himself, for a while anyway, but my oldest son broke into tears as soon as we sat at the table. It was quiet and a bit strained until my younger brother-in-law decided to tell jokes, my younger son laughed too loud, repeated the parts he shouldn't and made up some pretty silly ones himself trying to get in the game. By the time dinner was over, I was laughing uncontrollably while my mother in law rolled her eyes and all 5 boys were yelling, laughing or crying.  It was a festivus for the rest of us.

My children decided to head in to the living room to play ball with my younger brother in law, the 3 of them were all wound up and the ball hit something in the living room that belonged to my older brother-in-law. That's when he snapped. He went in, snatched the ball, took it to the kitchen, held a knife to it and threatened the air it lives on. My husband jumped up, took off his belt, held it like a whip and yelled, "Put the knife down! You don't want to do it!" Now I am laughing so hard I am crying. Please note, I am the only one laughing.

The ball ended up getting thrown in the woods and the big guns came out. You have to know my brother-in-laws to know there were red faces, spitting while talking, hands waving and ancient history being brought up. There were also a few accusations of immaturity, stupidity and favoritism, meanwhile my kids were repeating what they said in silly voices and making fun of them. Everything calmed down, we had dessert and we all went home, some of us much more amused than others. We all knew it was a tense holiday so no one thought much of it. I headed off to the convenience store for some orange juice. While I was there, a very drunk man followed me to the counter, pulled out a blank lottery slip and said "You want to pick my numbers? I'd like to get lucky with you tonight." Needless to say,  I broke into yet another uncontrollable fit of laughter, shook my head and thought "only my Thanksgiving would end like this." And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Thanksgiving! How'd you do?

The Missing Niche

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