Thanksgiving is only a few days away, and I can’t help dreading the gathering. Too many people all at once. It makes me anxious. And it’s not even that many people!
Oh, I like seeing most of them, but I’m not big on all-at-once. My nephew is adorable and my brother-in-law is awesome. And of course, I enjoy seeing Mom and my two sisters [my third sister never comes – she doesn’t speak to me – I’ve seen her twice in the last 5 years – but that’s a topic for another post…]. Some of my extended family, though… ugh! I have this one aunt who is especially exhausting. I cannot stand that woman.
Do not forget to take an extra anxiety pill Thursday morning.
My aunt is not a blood relative; she’s my maternal uncle’s second wife. She is also a moron. Here’s one of the many reasons why…
Years ago, she was diagnosed with high cholesterol. When her levels didn’t improve enough through diet, her doctor prescribed medication. Then one day she saw some talk show where she ‘learned’ how meat goes from farm to plate. She was, as she described, so repulsed that she “went vegetarian immediately” (her phrasing, not mine).
I do not take issue with this. Vegetarian, vegan, rampant carnivore, nothing but donuts… do your thing.
But my aunt… oh, thank God I don’t see her often. Let me tell you how vegetarianism is going for her.
A few weeks in, she ‘felt healthier’ so she decided, on her own, to stop taking her cholesterol medication. Dumbass. Change in diet and weight can help, but if it’s genetic, you’ll need the medication regardless. I know this… Dad was a doctor; Mom is a retired nurse… I’ve been surrounded by medical-speak my whole life.
So… when Aunt Dumbass told us she was shocked at her doc’s office when he discovered that her cholesterol shot way the fuck up, I laughed my ass off (on the inside or, at least, in private). When her doc asked her what could have caused this spike, she told him she was a vegetarian now so she no longer needed medication. Jesus. Seriously, how fucking stupid is she?
Wait… it gets better.
Two Easters ago, I was at our family buffet set-up collecting my dinner. [Aside: my brother-in-law is a chef so our food is always amazing.] As I drizzled a little honey-raisin glaze-y goodness over my ham, Aunt Dumbass walked up beside me and reached for the big old fork in the ham and plopped a piece onto her plate.
Vegetarian, my ass.
Oh, but she had an explanation. ‘It’s a holiday, so it’s okay if I have just a little. It looks so good, I have to have some.’
Vegetarian, my ass.
Same thing last Thanksgiving with turkey. And even with the pork-tenderloin-wrapped-in-bacon my brother-in-law made for Christmas. [FYI, that pork-bacon thing was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever had in my mouth… food or otherwise.] But but but… my aunt is a vegetarian. I don’t believe in depriving yourself of the special foods you only have once a year. I try to make healthy food choices, but Mom only makes that heavenly rum cake once a year – I’m having a piece! It’s tradition and it’s delicious and it’s one day. (And I think it gets me a little drunk.)
But do vegetarians really jump off the wagon on special occasions? ‘Yay, it’s Christmas, give me bacon!‘? I’ve never been a vegetarian, but somehow, I’m sure this is not done.
And I can’t help remembering that first family gathering post-vegetarianism-conversion when Aunt Dumbass spent the entire coffee-and-dessert conversation preaching about how much healthier we’d all be if we gave up our carnivorous ways. To convince us, she described, in graphic detail, every reason she could not possibly ever eat an animal again. She was trying to be as disgusting as possible, and she did rise up pretty high on the grossness scale. But she did not make me a vegetarian. I’ll make my own Goddamn decisions about what I eat, thankyouverymuch. And I’ll think it over while enjoying a delicious juicy bacon cheeseburger. And healthy cholesterol levels.
Oh, Aunt Dumbass, who the fuck are you to tell the rest of us how to live?
Oh wait, you can’t. You’re a fucking vegetarian.
~Writing 101: day 16 [mining/forgotten draft]