Thanksgiving – 2005

images-4So Thanksgiving is upon us, the Big Daddy of Appreciation Day.

It’s when we gather together to hear the Lord’s blessing…at least according to the song.

Going back into my Day of Gratitude archives, I pull one out of my hat.

I was with the Flying Dutchman back in 2005, and we went to East Hampton to have Thanksgiving lunch with an artist friend of his.

Sounds sweet, right? A nice long bus ride aboard the fancy Hampton Jitney…bags and bags of gifts and offerings since Thorn could never just graciously accept an invitation. He had what I call an Igor Complex. He rarely felt welcomed anywhere so he always had to show up laden with, over consumption, as if he were one of the not so wise Wise Men:

Myrrh, frankincense…

Dean and Deluca Basil and Lime Sauce feeds 18.

For me it was an awful lot of trouble to go eat.

I liked staying close to home. At that time, still spinning my rosary, I’d go to mass, pray…say thanks…then pop a bird in the oven.

But Thorn, who felt that was much too dull, insisted we go see Janet, I’ll call her, out at the beach.

Little back story:

She’s famous. I don’t know if you’d know her, but in the 80s she was one of the hottest modern painters around. She was right up there with De Kooning, Stella, Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns all hanging majestically side by side in the Museum of Modern Art.

Of course now, this is well over 20 years later and she’s no longer a household word which let’s say, has made her not the most congenial person to spend a day with.

She drinks. From the time she gets up till she eventually passes out with a Tiffany wineglass in her tinted hand. She still paints and lives on her many European royalties, but she’s basically now a 60 something year-old drunk who only talks of the good old days. It’s very sad, but once you get passed that part…and you do very quickly…it’s maddening.

Rather then truly being her guest, you’re more or less grandly, rudely received.

In other words…you’re allowed to kiss her paintbrush.

So we get there. Thorn of course, who also belongs in rehab, starts playing houseboy. Such an attractive role to see your boyfriend in. Oh yes, it really makes you want to rip his clothes off to give him a great big…

SLAP…

“More wine Janet?”

More wine? Just plug her into an IV of Merlot why don’t you.

“Susannah, do you mind peeling a few turnips?”

“Yes.”

I didn’t come here to pare, dice and slice, but there I am with a beach towel wrapped around my pretty, new Agnes B. dress wielding a William Sonoma potato peeler.

I’M A FUCKING GUEST.

Sorry, that slipped out.

Suddenly all these people, much smarter than us, show up right when dinner is served. The table is now packed while Thorn and I are the designated servers. How the fuck did this happen?

Janet is holding court like a tipsy Catherine de Medicis saying things like, “Susannah dear, don’t forget the chutney.”

Chutney? I don’t even know what that is. I’m Italian.

Thorn, who I’m about to kill, is now so drunk that he’s sitting down no longer doing a thing to help. I am basically on my own.

Furious but from Connecticut, I continue to serve everyone…like being on the turnpike and not being able to turn around.

Hazel, just call me Hazel.

At the conclusion of this Waspy, bullshit meal, our hostess gets up disappearing into her bedroom before her parting remark of, “Susannah, tell me when you have the dishes cleared and dessert’s on the table.”

Ma, Ma…I need you…

NOW!

“Janet, before you go…

it was very nice of you to invite me to your home and studio, but you know what, if I went to Sing Sing for lunch, they would have treated me better. So…let’s just say, I won’t be here when you emerge from your next…

STUPOR.

Thanks Ma…knew I could count on you.

I took my beach towel, snapped and flung it across the table making sure it landed on Thorn, whose head was dangling in his plate like a very badly done beheading…grabbed my coat, and a turkey leg wrapped in one of her Porthos napkins that I still have since they’re 50 bucks apiece, and walked the two miles…not one but two, to take the next Jitney home.

Thorn and I didn’t speak for a good long while after that…we eventually did dragging out the inevitable for another four agonizing years.

And from then on, on every Thanksgiving, and this one will be no different I say…

Thank-you God…thank-you for giving me the strength to run no longer having a Thorn in my side.

I don’t serve drunks and addicts chutney anymore.

Them days are over.

Happy Thanksgiving to all…be happy…

no matter what.

SB

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About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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26 Responses to Thanksgiving – 2005

  1. micklively says:

    Very funny Susannah. I can almost taste your indignation.

    Like

  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, did the other guests even know that YOU were also a guest? I’m glad you stood up for yourself and walked out.
    Up until five years ago, my sister-in-law did Thanksgiving for my mother and father in-law (f-i-l now deceased), and three of my sweetie’s sister’s families. His parent’s contribution was to drop off a frozen turkey several days earlier. Two of the sisters brought one side-dish each, and one never brought anything. Immediately after eating they sat on the couch and said they’d love to help clean up, but if they moved they’d puke! After dessert, they had a fantastic recovery and went shopping at any place open with deals. I kept telling her she was a shmuck for doing it every year, but at least they were family and not rude strangers like you had to deal with.
    I’m having my four children, their significant others, and two unofficial older grandchildren for dinner. My father (86) and Vivian are in Florida for the winter. I always invite Pookie’s mom, but not the cling-ons (daughters and adult grandchildren) that live with her. She doesn’t come since they now do their own Thanksgiving since my sister-in-law stopped hostessing.
    Have a great Thansgiving! And let me know when you’re in upstate NY during a holiday so I can book you as a server, ha ha!

    Like

    • I will Skinny. I might have a new career in front of me…didn’t realize you had four children…you never seem old enough to be the matriarch. How nice for you though that they’re all coming with their offspring. See, I like that. The thing I was dragged to was so impersonal and fake.

      Thanksgiving is all about authentic feelings of grace and gratitude. The food is fine, but it’s not really about that, is it Skinny?

      Enjoy your day…

      Like

    • Happy Thanksgiving Jimmie…heard you’re going to your grandmother’s for dinner. Wearing your new sweater. Nothing like something new to lift one’s spirit. And of course there’s that turkey leg with your name on it.

      Like

  3. I was reading Janet’s words with a shaky Katherine Heparin voice…lol! Happy Thanksgiving Susannah, enjoy your day. I am having my family over for all the festivities today, which is always a treat.

    Like

  4. katecrimmins says:

    Great post! When I was married to Brand X we flew to Chicago for Christmas to spend the holiday with his family. Since we only went there once a year, I expected to spend quality time with people. Nope! I found myself grating potatoes (and my fingers) for some stupid Polish dish that I didn’t like. Then I was dragged around for show and tell to friends who were over 90 years old. They would cope a feel while hugging me and spit in my wine. The family was into quantity so instead of one nice gift, they gave you 20 that came from someplace far worse than Walmart. The room was half full of presents that were worthless. I insisted on staying home the next year. We went for Thanksgiving instead. Oh yes, instead of mailing all those useless gifts, they sent us money. (Thanks for letting me vent. I didn’t think I had that much anger after all these years!)

    Like

    • I can see it all…love the wine spiting…or whine would be more apt. I know this is moot…BUT WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE???

      I should have inroads on the top of my head from scratching it so. That woman, who if I was a different type of gal would not remain nameless, was awful. Rude doesn’t cover it.

      And your group…someone should have come with a huge net…no, a tarp, like at Yankee Stadium when it rains, to gather them all to ship them out to sea…I’m just sayin Kate.

      Have a Happy Day with the Hubs…I know you will…and those cats…they better be making out their gratitude list and there better be more than Friskies on it šŸ™‚

      Like

  5. Melinda says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Susannah!! Loved this one. Being an artist myself I’m having fun guessing, but I think I’ve got her right. I hope you have a wonderful day with GOOD friends this year. Best whshes.

    Like

  6. Melinda says:

    LOL…whshes sounds like I’m in my cups at 6am California time. Really it was just a pre-caffeine typo. Really. šŸ™‚

    Like

  7. Vasca Beall says:

    Hopefully you’ll have a good day. Not nice to be taken such advantage of…but it happens…often. I will probably be waited on today…because I have a broken arm. Surely, I’ll get a free pass.

    Like

  8. Great post! Hope you have had a good day. You have been on my mind all day long, I am thankful that I have had the gift of you in my life this year. Happy thanksgiving.

    Like

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