It’s finally done! I ran the Thanksgiving gauntlet this year with not much damage to show for it.
The end-of-year holidays are always a trial for me, as this is the time of year when the Keeper of the Holograms has her holograms working overtime. This is when we must be the perfect family at all costs. Everybody has their part to play, and if we don’t there is hell to pay.
Today, for example. KotH decided to have Thanksgiving today, she said, since she had to work and didn’t want to cook on the actual day. That means that I was at the grocery store this morning and cooking all day. Literally. She helped me, so I didn’t have to do it by myself, but still it was all day.
The tradition for Thanksgiving in my house is everybody sits down and eats together, then we go around the table and say what we’re thankful for. Normally, I don’t mind this; I can give them a few hours and then escape.
Today I had to lead my coven’s new moon ritual, though. It was set up weeks ago, and it couldn’t be changed. I don’t usually eat before ritual, because it’s easier to direct energy on an empty stomach, and eating afterwards helps to ground you back into your body and “regular” consciousness. My plan was to sit down with the family when they all did, laugh and joke with them, then go up, take an hour or so to decompress, and then have the ritual.
Note I said that was the plan.
We had a snafu and the cooking had to be stopped for a couple hours. Cooking pushed back=late dinner. When the cooking resumed, KotH was on a speed train. She likes to eat as soon as the turkey comes out of the oven, so as soon as the bird was out, she was hustling everybody to the table.
I would have gone too, but by the time she was getting people to the table, I had to go. I stayed to say grace, and then I took my leave–or tried to.
Script format will show how it went.
KotH: Where are you going?
Me: I have to go lead my group’s meeting (I call my coven a group to her because she doesn’t like the word “coven” for some reason).
KotH: You need to come eat with us.
Me: I’ll eat later. I have to do this now.
KotH: Can’t you leave them to fend for themselves?
Me: This was set up weeks ago, Mom. If we hadn’t had to stop, I would have had time to sit with you guys before I had to do this. Everything got pushed back, so I need to go now.
KotH: Can’t you postpone it? Why is it today of all days?
Me: I can’t postpone, Mom. The day is set, and I’ve known I would be leading for weeks.
KotH: But it’s Thanksgiving! Why did you agree to do it today?
Me: Because I thought we would do Thanksgiving yesterday. I was asked to lead today back at the beginning of the month. I figured we’d do Thanksgiving on the Friday, not today. Even without us sitting down late, I wouldn’t have eaten with you guys; I would have sat at the table with you for a bit, then gone up and did what I had to do, and eaten later. The only thing that’s changed is that I don’t have time to sit with you guys now.
KotH: You could leave them to do it themselves and come to eat.
Me: I couldn’t, Mom. I promised I would do it. I’ve got people counting on me. I promise to eat later, as soon as we’re done. (I did, too)
Now I’m wondering if there was another way to handle that. I can’t see it, even now, but maybe there was. My mom thinks that I have no loyalty, or that I just don’t care. It’s not true, of course, but she thinks it, and I don’t know how to make her see that I do care.