Monday, November 22, 2004

My Funny(?) Thanksgiving Memory

Well, it's that time again. Time for Judith Heartsong's Artsy Essay Contest. I am submitting my entry in the nick of time. I hope. The topic this month is: My favorite FUNNY Thanksgiving story or memory.

So here goes my attempt:

With time, comes perspective. When I was in 8th grade this story didn't seem all that funny to me. Now? Well, you can't help but laugh. I guess that means the money I spent in therapy for several years was well spent.

My most memorable Thanksgiving occurred the year I was in 8th grade. Hmmm....I guess that means I had just turned thirteen. We lived in a rural location in Pennsylvania. My mom was married to husband number four. We'll call him Bud, for the sake of the story and for the sake of authenticity, because that was his name.

Bud had a humongous family. He had several siblings, in addition to several kids of his own who were grown and had significant others. There were children. Tons of children! And, there was us - my brothers and me, my grandfather, maybe an aunt or uncle and his or her spouse. Most head counts at the table exceeded forty. Holiday dinners were rotated amongst the various houses. This particular year it was our turn. So, it was a very busy time for me. I had to help my mom clean and cook. I was getting to meet several of Bud's children for the first time. His two boys were gorgeous. So I thought, as a somewhat prepubescent teen with a crush on her much older step-brothers.

The day was going along as well as can be expected with so much work to be done and people coming and going. Then IT happened. The moment most girls look forward to with trepidation. The gateway to womanhood swung open and I was plunged into the world of menses and all the yuckiness that comes with it. Unfortunately, my mother was past her days of needing to keep supplies on hand. As such, I couldn't just discretely take care of the situation. I had to go to my mom and ask her to send someone to the store. No big deal. I believe she sent my stepsister and we continued to prepare the Thanksgiving dinner with all the accoutrements. Oh how I loved those dinners. We would have ham, turkey, homemade mash potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, corn pudding and pies galore, and my favorite, Shoefly Cake. Yummers!

After hours of preparation, we finally sat down at the tables to eat. Afterwards, we kids usually took care of washing the dishes while the adults sat around playing cards, or watching TV. All that work had pretty much exhausted me. I also felt a bit overwhelmed having so many people around. Lucky for me, we were at our house that year. I was able to sneak off by myself somewhere like the surly teenager that I was. However, I wasn't out of ear shot, because I heard someone ask my mother where I was and that's when she announced to the whole house full of people that I had started my period. I was mortified to say the least. As a teenager, that's the last thing that you want to hear your family members talking about let alone practical strangers. I wanted to crawl into a hole somewhere and die. Alas, I didn't and had several more such dinners to suffer through after that day. Luckily, on those occasions my monthly cycle was not the topic of conversation.

17 comments:

pollysci said...

Thanksgiving...with wings?  Oh, I would've died.  I would've begged to spare the turkey and let me take his place ;D

I got my first one on a Christmas Eve, a fact my mom shared that with all my aunts.  I still haven't gotten over that.  But I don't want therapy.  I want a time machine and a muzzle. ;D

~tara :)

readmereadyou said...

You deserve to win just for having to go through this! I'm serious. You poor baby!
You get the sympathy vote for sure.
You cracked me up with the Bud line too. : )

Angela

mlraminiak said...

Quite the Thanksgiving memory!  Even at the ripe young age of thirteen, I'm sure I would have seriously considered killing my mother...!  Lisa  :-]

redhdka said...

Oh my god you poor thing. OMGGGGGGGGGG!

geminiwilder said...

AACK! The horrors of the things mothers will say to embarrass you!!  What a Thanksgiving memory, poor Robbie.  I hope you win.  

barebytes said...

I'm glad you can look back on this and get a chuckle. I bet at the time it was shocking and embarassing. But mom's have a pride thing about their babies growing up and forget how it was when they made the change into womanhood. Happy Thanksgiving Robbie, Hugs Lanny

judithheartsong said...

Oh Robbie! You cracked me up and Tara cracked me up. What a Thanksgiving memory. Thank you so much for sharing and writing, I am so glad you did.
:):):) judi

dockart said...

I think any teen would have been mortified. I wonder how many times I have embarassed mine. LOL!

nellemclaughlin said...

Robbie, OH BOY! I was SO embarassed about having mine and Mom wanting to tell the entire world. I was the first one in  my age group to get mine and she seemed to think that was something to be proud of! Can I ask a question? How many times has your Mom been married? I had an Aunt Ruby who was married 7 times. My Dad always said I would follow in her footsteps! He was so wrong I was married the first time for 20+ years and I plan to keep #2! Happy Thanksgiving, Nelle

andreakingme said...

Oh, how embarrassing! I'd have hidden myself in a closet until the wee hours after everyone was good and gone.

I was pretty excited the first time I got my period. In fact, I was SO excited that I called my father (who had been divorced from Mom for the last 10 years and had little to do with me and my sister). "I got my period, Dad!" I told him. I still remember hearing the tone of embarrassment in his voice.

Mom, that wicked wench, didn't even TRY to talk me out of doing it.

msyahtzee said...

Ah, what a lovely memory!  LOL.  I remember my younger brother noticing that I had a "red spot" on the seat of my pajamas.  That's how I discovered I had officially entered womanhood.  Mortified.  My mom got all mushy and stuff and my brother couldn't stop teasing me.  My dad just looked as clueless as usual.  I think I baracaded myself in my room for a day or two after that.  -Kari

plieck30 said...

Enough said about your gateway to womanhood so I'll just say Happy Thanksgiving. Paula

karensull12 said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

ryanagi said...

Oh man...the whole family. I am turning red FOR you. LOL

indigosunmoon said...

Majorly embarrassing!!!
Love ya Robbie!
Connie

lamove04 said...

Oh my, Robbie.  :-(  Not the most sensitive moment of your Mom's.  Holiday dinners when you're that age can be stressful as is... Hope you're having a better holiday today!  --Albert

greyhoundloner03 said...

Oh Noooo-

Good essay.