My Thanksgiving was much better than my night-before-Thanksgiving fun. Robert and I were invited to a friend's house for Thanksgiving today, and we happily attended. It was fantastic: excellent food, great company, good wine, good conversation, and fun games. We started eating around 2:45 or so (that's a guess, I wasn't paying attention to the time), and spread the meal out all the way up until I had to leave at 5:30. We headed for home, because I also had to attend Thanksgiving dinner at my folks' house. Especially as of late, my family has been cause for great amounts of stress, so I was kinda nervous about going. My comfort was in the form of a bottle of wine, which when I had mentioned I might bring it, my maternal unit told me not to bother: only my dad would be allowed to drink; also, my little brother was not permitted to drink.
I brought a nice Riesling wine anyway, because I decided that I, as a fully responsible adult, may just want to have some wine with my food. While this earned me some fairly scathing looks, wine glasses were brought out anyway. And my little brother and I each enjoyed it, while everyone else suffered the feast without any. Martyrs, the lot of them.
Of course, what's the fun of drinking wine when you're told you're not allowed to if you don't make a mess of things? We go to toast, and I suavely reach for my wine glass, only to bump it head on and spill a bunch of wine all over the brand new tablecloth. I guess the glass of wine I shared with Robert at the earlier festivities had relaxed me more than I realized.
The trick to dealing with my folks, in addition to my two hour maximum rule, seems to be having alcohol while in their company. The fact that I'm drinking it overshadows any other issues they may have with me at any given time, and I'm much more relaxed and less responsive to them. For instance, when one brother asked how my previous gathering was, and I responded that it was nothing short of paradisiacal, he pulled this line from thin air: "Well, that's good to hear. Good gatherings are important. It's sad that people don't get together more often, but always wait for some 'holiday' or such occasion to do it." I think what's really sad is that he actually believes his own uninformed opinion.
All in all, a great Thanksgiving: I'm thankful for the wonderful friends who invited us to take part in their celebration. And I'm thankful that the evening with my folks was not a total fiasco. Mission accomplished.