Curbside Holiday: Family Gatherings

Thanksgiving in the U.S., as with most other holidays, involves a lot of family time.  These are the times that families leave their faraway homes and come together.  Every family’s dynamics are different, and there is always a diverse group of personalities.  But one nearly universal custom is for the younger ones to let the old folks cut to the front of the buffet line for dinner.  Cousin Vic always defers to Uncle Mark, who isn’t as young as he used to be.  However, he has taken pretty good care of himself.

After dinner, most of the little ones go outside to hang out together.  The twins look like they are ready for a little game of football, each with his own Colts jersey – one home, one away.  They seem so happy, always with big smiles on their faces.  They are active and keep pretty fit.

Not everyone is in the mood for football.  Sometimes, one of the little ones likes to cozy up between Grandpa Thurston and his brother Brad and listen to some of the old family stories.  Maybe after a few beers, they will show the kid that blinking trick that they can do.

Some families have multiple sets of twins.  Of course, they have usually stopped dressing alike once they hit middle age.  Still, they do share similarly conservative tastes, except that  Lee always kind of had a thing for flashy shoes.  You might not guess it, but these two were both quite good looking and athletic in their younger years.

Sometimes there is the dysfunction on display for all to see.  Doesn’t it seem that some folks are just so much alike that they can’t stand each other?  These two haven’t had a civil word to say to each other in years.  Trisha never misses the chance to tell about how Belinda kicked her in the flank that one time, and will show you the scar to prove it.

And don’t start with the political discussions.  Torrey and Russ have never seen eye to eye, one looking to the left for all of life’s solutions, and the other looking to the right.  Still, they are both pretty good natured guys and try to keep smiles on their faces while slinging the bull at each other.

But then there are Cary and Van who have always seen things pretty much the same way.  Except for when Cary got married.  Van always thought he “married down”.  It wasn’t about her Central American ancestry, but that she was always causing so much trouble.  After a few drinks, he would also admit that he considered her one of the ugliest girls he had ever met.  She has sort of come between them.


It’s funny how some opposites attract and like to hang out together.  Win, one of the in-laws, always chats with Sabrina.  He is so conservative and practical, while she, though a bit homely, is always the life of the party.  Of course, they can both be a little “high maintenance”, if you know what I mean.  Sabrina’s older sister Kay was always kind of a loner, though, despite being fairly attractive.  She has certainly taken better care of herself than her younger sis has.  She tried to tell Sabrina to cut down on the salt, but Sabrina has never listened.

Do you have some cousins who are so similar, yet so different?  Henry was never one to really stand out in a crowd, but his cousin Anson always considered himself to be pretty hot stuff.  It sort of irritates Henry, because he knows that Anson is mostly about flashy jewelry and that big smile of his.  I guess that’s why Anson went into sales and Henry went into accounting.  You would never know it to look at them, but Henry as actually quite a bit the more successful of the two.

Thankfully, not everyone is into drama, disagreement and resentment.  Sometimes, the time just comes to sit back and watch a little football.  Some are really interested in the game, but others just like the chance to drift off into a little nap.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.