[Note from Frolic: Today, we welcome author Alison Bailey to the site. She’s talking about Thanksgiving and the infamous BIG kids table! Take it away, Alison!]
Picture if you will a gorgeous fall day. There’s a crisp chill in the air, the trees are bursting with shades of orange, red, and gold, and the aroma of comfort foods is wafting throughout the house. This was the setting years ago as I attempted to create my first Thanksgiving dinner. No longer would I be looked at as the youngest or baby sister. This was going to be the year I transformed into an adult in my family’s eyes. This was the year I’d take my spot at the big kid’s table, or so I thought.
First, a little background.
I had been married for a few years by the time this particular turkey day had come around. I got along with my mother and father in-law. Kind of. We never argued or raised our voice at one another. No, I did what a lot of daughter-in-laws do…I bit my tongue and remained quiet whenever something offensive was uttered.
For example, the time my mother in-law wanted me to sign a piece of paper indicating that I agreed the antique (old and scratched up) bedroom set being used by me and my husband (her son) was a loaner. That if something happened (died) to me and my husband (again, her son), the set would be returned to her. My mother-in-law was concerned that my family would grab the bedroom set in the midst of their grief over my death. I assured her my family didn’t care or want the set. But still she wanted me to sign. By the way, I didn’t sign.
Now that you have a frame of reference for the type of relationship I had with my in-laws, let’s get back to Thanksgiving dinner.
My side of the family which consisted of, my parents, sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and niece, had all arrived from out of town. The house looked cleaned to the naked eye, and I had just the right amount of fall decorations to make it feel cozy.
Out of a sense of obligation, and because I’m not a total bitch, I had invited my in-laws weeks before to have dinner with us. The answer, they were waiting to see what their other son’s family was going to do. Now in all fairness, the other son and his wife had given my in-laws a grandson. And I’m smart enough to know, grandkids trump everything. That being said, it still pissed me off that they were waiting for a better offer. I don’t know why it bugged me. I guess rejection is still hard to take, even when you hoped your invite was turned down.
So, food smelled awesome, table looked great, wine was flowing, and my family was laughing. A great time was being had by all, then the phone rang. With a smile on my face and the holiday spirit in my heart, I answered the phone.
“Hey,” my mother-in-law said, hesitantly.
“Oh, Happy Thanksgiving to you. Did your family get in?”
“Yes they did. What time are y’all going to Jedidiah?” (The other son. Not his real name.)
She chuckled humorlessly. “Well, they ended up going out of town to spend the holiday weekend with Petunia’s family.” (Bitchy sister-in-law. Not her real name.)
Silence settled between us as the realization hit, my in-laws had no place to go on Thanksgiving. The voice in my head screamed get off of the phone. They’d make things awkward and uncomfortable. You invited them already, and they turned you down.
I opened my mouth to say goodbye, but instead said, “I guess y’all could come over here to eat.”
“Oh good! It’s mainly for Grover (The father-in-law. Not his real name.) He just loves Thanksgiving dinner.”
The conversation finished up by me telling them what time dinner was…blah, blah, blah. They were late because they were always late. And it was awkward and uncomfortable.
Finally, dinner was ready, and being good hosts, my husband and I served our families first. Once everyone’s plates were piled high with deliciousness and seated, I got my plate and headed to the table. As I approached I instinctively knew something was missing. I went down a mental checklist. Everyone had…Turkey, check. Sweet potatoes, check. Green bean casserole, check. Table full of happy family, check. Room for me at the table, not check.
That’s right, after all the planning, the cooking, and the decorating, there was not even an inch of space at the table for me. Sure, a few offered to give up their seat for me, but that would have labeled me as a bad hostess. I’m from the south. Bad hostess would be like wearing a scarlet letter.
So, I dusted off an old rickety TV table, placed it in front of the sofa, and ate Thanksgiving dinner. As I chomped down on a forkful of stuffing, I stared longingly at everyone enjoying themselves, and wondered how it felt to sit at the big kid’s table.
About the Author:
Alison G. Bailey is an award winning, Amazon and International bestselling author living in Charleston, South Carolina. At an early age she fell in love with writing, reworking scenes from her favorite TV shows and movies with new dialogue. Alison wrote and produced several stage plays before turning her sights on the book world.
Under the influence of a copious amount of Diet Pepsi and nonstop listening to her Spotify playlists, Alison writes unique emotional stories full of love, laughter, and romance. Find her here: http://www.alisongbailey.com/
Lip Smacker by Alison G. Bailey, out now!
Logan Heath was the sweetest and most beautiful boy I had ever seen. He was popular, smart, and the star quarterback of Fort Johnson High. Every girl in school followed him around in hopes of getting his attention. I was no different, except that I admired Logan from afar. With him being a superstar junior and me being an awkward freshman at a new school, our coupling was a mere pipedream. Implementing my top-notch investigating skills I learned from reading The Nancy Drew Mysteries, I followed Logan’s life from high school through his college career, and then some. Fearing that my stalker-ish tendencies were becoming more of a mental health issue, I purposely lost track of him five years ago. I admit since that time I have thought of Logan. And when I say thought I mean he has popped into one or forty R-rated dreams of mine. The day he walked into my bakery, butterflies fluttered in my stomach, tingles tingled my skin, and a sequence of R-rated dreams flashed through my head. But I was no longer that awkward teenager, too scared to speak to him. I had grown into a confident woman. A woman who wanted to admire Logan Heath up close and personal. Unfortunately, from the very beginning, Logan wanted something from me that I was not willing to give him.