Please, Somebody Stop Me!!!!
Spellbound by the sugar free apple pie with a lattice crust, there was no orchestra to "Play Me Off" the stage
Guadalupe Gonzalez, Contributing Writer
One of our family traditions at Thanksgiving dinner is to have every member at dinner speak, if they would like to, about why they are thankful. Our younger nephew was last, darting into the room long enough to say, "My God, my family and my toys." Then he was off again, like a streak of lightning.
Published on LatinoLA: November 26, 2012
But, he had covered all his topics, the topics of interest to a seven year old young man.
Wow, I thought, that was really good. Because compared to my fumbling, bumbling attempts to encompass all the goodness in my life, all the love in my heart, all the blessings with which I have been showered, I blew it.
As an attorney who has tried hundreds of jury trials, my goal in closing was always, always to get to the essence of the case and stay there. I have eulogized several people, at the request of family, and have been told I captured the heart and soul of the deceased loved one. Let's face it, I am a talker. But this Thanksgiving, I must confess, the whole concept in my head went terribly awry.
Firstly, I began to talk about crystals, thinking about all the different colors that a prism exhibits, depending on the light and the angle of the crystal. My initial idea was kinda leading up to the different facets of each person at the table and how everyone has something to add to the conversation, the mood, the ambiance and the food. But then, I caught sight of something that absolutely had me transfixed. Mesmerized. Hypnotized. Catatonic.
A whole sugar free apple pie with a lattice crust. Just sitting there. No one had touched it. Everyone had fallen on the luscious, pumpkin cake with ginger laced throughout, the offering brought by my older nephew's lady friend. (For the record, there were two lady friends and I thought my head was going to explode. I mean, I used to go dancing with one gentleman friend one night. Then the next night, I was still there dancing with another gentleman friend. But at least they were different nights.)
So there I am, the pie and I. And I cannot stop talking. For a while, everyone gathered around the table thought I was going to say something deep and meaningful. Something that would be the stuff of legend, that would be contemplated and mused upon for generations to come. Then, I think I and everyone realized that I was really skidding off the road into the ravine when I began to launch into "rainbows." RAINBOWS? This was becoming a "free association" session of Thanksgiving.
What the heck did rainbows have to do with anything? Okay, colors. A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Lucky Charms, the cereal my Mami never let me eat. It was then that I lifted my eyes and saw everyone else's eyes darting around the table. The adults were wondering, "What medication is she on?" The teens were thinking, "How much has she had to drink and was it my wine coolers that I had stashed under the piano?" And the little ones were thinking, "Isn't Tia Lupita funny, talking about all this weird stuff?"
It did not help that my sister-in-law, whom I adore (still) was in the kitchen behind me making the universal signal for scissors. Like: "Somebody cut her off." The somber, deep thinking faces were beginning to crack up. At least one person at the table may have peed in her pants, just a little bit, to keep from laughing. And I, I was desperately looking for a way to JUST MAKE IT STOP.
I think my Mami was trying to help when she removed the wine bottle which had been set firmly at my spot at the table, and began to offer the remaining wine to all sorts of people. I think she even tried to get Hercules, our family Chihuahua, to have a few licks...Hercules, a recovering alcoholic, declined.
So, I finally said something, like, "I thank God for all my blessings." The crystals, colors, prisms, rainbows and all the other detours I had taken remained firmly entrenched in the ravine. Spoken about only when one of my sisters said, "What the heck was that all about?" And I honestly said, " I have no idea. It was like the 'Exorcist' and the apple pie took over my soul." Either that, or I had been transported through time to the Sixties and was back at Haight/Ashbury.
It is only now that I appreciate the orchestra at the Emmys and the Academy Awards, with the microphone that disappears into the stage and if the winner wishes to continue talking, they must lower themselves to the highly waxed stage and put their lips to the floor, talking over the orchestra, which is playing more and more loudly and is about to break into a John Phillips Sousa march. Or something evil, like from Wagner. (Not Robert Wagner, VAGNER. Yuck)
Next year, will one of you, mi Gente, be kind enough to remind me of this terrible episode in my life? That way, I can just say, "My God, my family and my toys", when it is my turn.
Guadalupe Gonzalez, Contributing Writer:
Expansive talker, great at closing arguments, not so hot at Thanksgiving Dinner, writer
& attorney in Los Angeles