Well, I hope you all had a pleasant holiday overflowing with sweet potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce.
I can say that my family indulged in a vegetarian’s worst nightmare and loaded our table full of food that used to have a face.
That’s just how we roll.
And now our bellies roll.
In order to tell you the tale of Thanksgiving, I’ll have to start on Tuesday morning when I recieved this text message from my sister:
“You, me, Dad, and the Palm Beach Turkey Trot.”
Me: Um, what?
Kira: I’ve always wanted to do one, and it’ll be nice because you, me, and Dad never run together.
Me: When and where?
Kira: 7am in Palm Beach.
Me: @%$#!!!!! How long is it?
Me: Fine, that’s doable.
Kira: Ok, I’ll register us today.
On Wednesday night, I went to bed early with Emmalyn so I could wake up at 6:00am so we could leave at 6:30am so we could be in Palm Beach at 7:00am and start the trot at 7:30. You guys know me fairly well at this point, right? So you can gather how I felt about this situation. I don’t need to go into detail.
During the night I ended up stealing Emmalyn’s pillow and so she stole my arm as an act of revenge. That meant I woke up at 5:30am to the sound of my arm dying. Emmalyn has a large head, the weight of which cut off all circulation to that extremity. I tried to shift her off my arm and onto the pillow, but she would have none of it. Every time I moved or wiggled, she snuggled closer. To make it even better, Emmalyn had a cold which was aggravated by the act of snuggling. This caused her to sneeze.
My face was a tad moist by the time she woke up.
At 6am, the alarm went off and Emmalyn bolted upright and squealed, “Auntie Gyasi!”
“Did you sleep well?”
“I’ll take that as a yes.”
Kira and I brushed our teeth, put on our running shoes, and woke up a snoozing He-Man. After prying Emmalyn off Kira’s leg, we piled into the car and started driving to the Turkey Trot. This is when Kira decided to tell us that she had neither registered us for the race, nor had she googled directions for the race location.
Me: You fail at life.
Kira: It says you can register at the race.
He-Man: How much is the registration fee?
He-Man: $30?! We can run at the park for free!
Kira: I hate running at the park! You just run in circles! I feel like a hamster!
With this lovely mood sitting shotgun, we googled directions on Kira’s phone, arrived at the race and found the registration desk. At the registration desk we were greeted by a Native American in the Gucci fall line. I’m pretty sure her war paint was designed by Betsy Johnson, but that’s besides the point. I didn’t have time to ask because an anthropomorphic ear of corn was strolling along the promenade and he demanded my attention.
Only in Palm Beach.
I was still in a funk around 7:15 when they called everyone to the start line. They asked fast runners to stand at the front, medium speed runners to stand in the middle, and those with strollers to stand at the back. Since Kira and I can only pull a 9 minute mile, we stood in the middle and let all the fast people stand in the front. He-Man decided to stand next to us because his knees bother him. The only problem with our system is that everyone else is Palm Beach is a bloody liar.
The gun when off and the people in front of me started WALKING.
They were WALKING during a 5k RUN.
Now, at this point, I was generating a dense cloud of what I call “pissed mist.” I tend to create pissed mist when I am so pissed off I could punt a chihuahua across a football field and feel not one pang of guilt. I was ready to punt the Gucci clad Native American so I left He-Man and Kira and started weaving my way through the crowd with nary an “excuse me.”
You may walk during a 5k, but you may not start WALKING at the beginning of a 5k.
Then you’re just a road block and I reserve the right to trample you.
Around the 1.5k mark, He-Man caught up to me and we trampled the lazy walkers together. There was also a woman running in a skirt, but I won’t go there. Since I had expended a great deal of my energy going around walkers and people who should have been honest with God and themselves and stood at the back, I started to lose energy around the 2.5k mark. I still had another 2.5k to go. He-Man suddenly found an energy reserve I didn’t know he had and left me. Kira kicked herself in the butt, remembered that we’re BYNGS and we eat 5ks for breakfast, and caught up with me. At first that helped to keep me going at a steady pace.
Then a man with a neck the size of Nebraska jogged past me with his greyhound in tow.
I was passed by a dog during a 5K.
When you’re as egomaniacal as I, you just cannot let such an insult stand with impunity.
I left Kira and chased that greyhound until the finish line.
And I beat her.
He-Man had beaten the 5K and given it a wedgie, so he greeted me at the front line. Kira passed the finish line about 30 seconds later.
We were standing on the sidewalk stretching and drinking Gatorade when a teenage girl rushed past us and proceeded to throw up on the sidewalk.
He-Man: Are you ok?
Girl: (between sobs and…vomit) Yeah…I’m fine.
He-Man: You ate breakfast before the race, didn’t you?
Girl: (between sobs and…vomit) Yeah.
Watching someone throw up everything they’ve ever eaten ever is a great way to prep yourself for a Thanksgiving feast.
It’s a wonder we were able to smile for this picture.
After the race, we got home and started cooking. Chi-chi was making fruit salad, macaroni and cheese, and rice and beans. Kira was making curry chicken. I was making pumpkin bread and colon cleanser cookies.
Before I continue I should probably address the fact that we had curry chicken with rice and beans for Thanksgiving dinner. Dear reader, we’re island folk and if we could we would bathe in curry. If you ever get the chance to attend a West Indian Thanksgiving, you can rest assured that you will see some type of curry at that shindig. If the curry chicken with rice and beans were not present at that feast, the West Indians could cuss, complain, and possibly come to blows.
Curry is to West Indians what mashed potatoes are to white people.
Does that make more sense now?
My aunt asked everyone to be at her house at 3pm. At 3pm, my family piled into two cars for the 30 minute drive to my aunt’s house. At 3pm, my aunt called my mother’s cell.
Chi-chi: Oh shoot! Ok, pretend we’re on our way.
At 3:02, my aunt called my phone.
Me: Hey Auntie Barbie.
Auntie Barbie: I know you guys haven’t left so could you ask your mother to bring her punch bowl glasses with her?
At 3:45, I stepped into my aunt’s house and was greeted by…faces. Unfamiliar faces. I found my cousin and asked, “Rachel, who the heck are all these people?”
She replied, “Gyasi, I never know who’s coming to Thanksgiving dinner.”
Around 4pm, we moved to the patio and held hands to pray.
Auntie Barbie: Ok, everyone, we usually sing before Thanksgiving dinner. It’s tradition.
Me: (whispering to my friend, Tesia) When did this become a tradition? We only started singing last year.
Tesia: It’s a two-year tradition. Gyasi, who are all these people?
Me: I don’t know!
After we thanked the Jesus for our food, we praised him with the fork and psaltery. Sorry, I meant the fork and salt shaker. We ate and then we ate and finally we ate.
When we were done eating, the women commandeered the television and watched “Guess Who?” on TBS.
I thought it was quite fitting given the atmosphere.
And so another Thanksgiving passed with mirth, curry, and