The event had sit-com potential. Fourteen people would be gathering at our Bark House for Thanksgiving. The group, descendants from Kim’s ex-husband and their various affiliates, included a new girlfriend, a girlfriend who we thought was going to be an ex-, a girlfriend back in relationship following a breakup, a typically outspoken half-brother, a migraine headache, a granddaughter undergoing an anxiety crisis – and this is only what we knew about. Throw in an upcoming memorial service of Kim’s ex’s sister, sleeping on blow-up beds and couches, Kim’s ongoing pain and fatigue as she hosted the event, and a large active dog – you see the potential. If a blizzard hits, I thought, we might have a murder mystery on our hands.
To my disappointment as a writer but pleasure as a family member, none of this explosive potential came to pass. We had a terrific time (despite some behind-the-scenes drama not acted out in public). Everyone cooperated (not quite everyone) on meal preparation, and the adults who did not pitch in brought alcohol. We seated everyone (except the dog) at two tables, one of which I designated for “the cool kids,” but this did not provoke any entertaining jealousy. Instead, we were entertained by a series of games. Apparently there’s a version of Family Feud that you can play with the aid of a smart phone, and even though we spent more time clarifying the rules than we did playing the game, it got everything started. We played Trivia, also using a phone, and I surprised myself by knowing which is the world’s smallest nation. The game involved a choice between shots and dares – such as, “Sing and dance to ‘I’m a Little Teapot,’” or “Burp audibly.” We played another game where we went around the room responding to various questions or directives, such as, “What is the secret phobia of each person in the room?” or “What did you not understand about sex when you were younger?” (Glad I did not get that one.)
So – a short entry today. No comical stories to tell. No profound insights. I suppose I should be grateful for Kim deceased ex- for spawning this crew.