Better remembered as dinner at Dela’s.
But today she had a plan, a catalyst for change. Her family arrived minutes before the meal, and instead of grace, she gave a pep talk. The theme? Love. Though, just as the pilgrims probably advised everyone at their maiden meal on new land, she told the family to check their fighting implements at the door.
She sat at the head of the table and gathered the rest of her thoughts. Her family did not wait to hear them.
BROTHER: Nope, don’t wanna deal with any love business. Just give me D&D. Drinks and debauchery. NOW you’re talking!
Dela frowned. This is not about boozing and one-nighters, she thought. Her brother could do that any time. This is about family and love.
DELA: You guys, just think. Everything that happens — the good, the bad, and the…well, anything else — are like ingredients. And, while some things don’t taste that great all alone, mixed together they can add a delicious spicing to the rest of the pot. Right?
SISTER: We’re having stew for dinner?
BROTHER: I don’t like stew!
DELA: No, no, it’s not really about stew. It’s about how family love is a mix of all the things that happen to us and make our lives rich and bubbly and...
SISTER: You know perfectly well that I’m a vegetarian, so don’t even think of adding any sodding meat to that pot!
She dated a man from England, so the family made allowances.
DELA: You’re not paying attention. I’m trying to explain that though we sometimes don’t agree on so many—I mean—a few things, we really love each other and we should celebrate.
BROTHER: I’m not loving the idea of stew. Really.
MOTHER: I want turkey. I hate it but damn-it-all, it’s tradition. I did not just drive three hours to come and eat vegetable stew!
UNCLE MARYLAND: No problemo. I bagged a 6-point buck this past weekend. So let’s add it to the pot. Look! I got me a photo.
He took out his wallet, which was a No. 10 standard white envelope, and passed the picture of him in camouflage attire with his victim. Uncle Maryland is grinning and giving two thumbs up. The deer is not. The family all murmured distress sounds.
UNCLE MARYLAND: Man, what a lucky day. Yeah, it was. Hey! You can say I got game. That’s right. I got game!
He danced around the table until he had a coughing fit and had to lie down on the sofa.
DELA: Stop. We’re not eating stew. We’re not eating 6 points of deer. We’re going to spend a lovely time eating other things and drinking—God, yes, drinking—and telling wonderful stories and giving thanks for all we have.
SISTER: Actually, my investments are still at the bottom of the toilet. I don’t have all that much. So piss off!
DELA: Oh? On your investments?
BROTHER: O.k. I’m thankful we’re not eating stew.
MOTHER: Oh, good. Though I feel bad for Dela. She does love her stew. Can you imagine? Love and stew on Thanksgiving. She always was an odd child.
Dela stared at the Spode dinnerware she inherited from Granny Edna and realized there was only one more thing to say to her family.
In all the earlier planning, she forgot to turn on the oven
UNCLE MARYLAND: So? When do we eat?
About 20 minutes later, the pizzas arrived.