Alternate title: "Thanksgiving, a three-pronged approach."
For some people, Thanksgiving is just Thanksgiving - a time to gather with friends and family, reflect on blessings, and distribute smallpox-infested blankets to the Native American populations.
That's how it is for some people. And I think that's really, really great. But I think it's important to consider what Thanksgiving is like for other, less fortunate people. People who have, for example, been unable to secure a position as Good Child and have instead been mired in the mediocrity of Medium Child status, meanwhile deriving pathetic and fleeting pleasure in their superiority to Bad Child. People who are...like me.
You see, to me Thanksgiving was yet another opportunity to dethrone Good Child, who has, for the past three years, wowed us all with miraculous feats, including:
- Marrying a glamorous and beautiful Brazilian woman
- Hosting a wedding in Sao Paolo that rivaled Carnival
- Producing perfect offspring in the form of twins
- Buying an apartment in Manhattan
I know what you're thinking: Obnoxious motherfucker!
Exactly. I'm glad you're with me on this one. That's why this year I decided to turn things up a notch by enlisting Fauxhawk's help in hatching a carefully executed plan to jumpstart an ascent to my rightful position.
The first step was to assess the reasons behind my status as Medium Child, which include (but are not limited to):
- Unchaste behavior
- Questionable hair
- Inappropriate boyfriends
- Anxiety-producing international travel
- Refusal to join "young people clubs"
Lately, I've only been a hair or two above Bad Child, who was with his in-laws for Thanksgiving this year, further securing his Bad Child status. Reviewing the above, Fauxhawk conducted a situation analysis.
"Good Child is getting lazy," he said. "He's too comfortable. That's working in your favor. We can bring him down, Persephone. The Good Kid is going down."
It was the Eye of the Tiger, people. We were pumped. Together, we devised a three-pronged approach that would launch me into Good Child status and secure Fauxhawk's position as Good Boyfriend.
Part I: Put Up
Moving more than is physically necessary. Fauxhawk decided that working out was a necessary part of the plan. "Your sister-in-law is admittedly thin and glam. That is working against us. But your brother is slipping. If we exercise, we can soon be the thin, radiant couple that everyone envies!" Note: I am only going along with this because I am desperate.
Supplying the victuals. Fauxhawk brought some smokin' cranberry sauce, and I brought "the effing artichoke dip." Both were good, despite looking as though they had already been eaten. Working in our favor was the horror of Good Child's contribution, which was a Vietnamese brussel sprout recipe with fish sauce that smelled like rotting fish guts. "The stench!" my mother gasped, as several members of the family lost consciousness. Cha-CHING!
Part II: Suck Up
Displaying unprecedented interest in kitchen hygiene. With Good Child and Good Wife happily ensconced in the living room with Good Babies, Fauxhawk and I got to work until the kitchen was unfeasibly clean - silver polished, crystal buffed, china carefully wiped and put away. "Thanks for cleaning up," Good Child said sheepishly. Yeah, DAWG!
Part III: Shut Up
Muzzling my inner snark. Fauxhawk has been clear about this. I am not allowed to balk, argue or respond with snide remarks to anything my parents say. This is perhaps the most challenging of the three-pronged approach, as it involves silencing the sarcasm I have cultivated over the course of thirty (or so) years. It goes something like this:
Mom (looking at my face): "You know, I realized the other day that our beauty comes from our skin. So when we cover our skin with dark rouge, it toughens us."
Me (approved response): "Yes, our beauty does indeed come from our skin, and we should magnify this beauty by using natural, skin-enhancing products."
Me (internal, Medium Child response): "So what you're saying, mom, is that my blush is too dark and I look like a cheap slag?"
Only saying charitable things about Good Child. This includes comments like, "Gee, I hope we can have those brussel sprouts at Fishgiving again next year!"
At the end of the evening, Fauxhawk and I congratulated ourselves on a triumphant evening of ass-kissing and coup d'etat. But the next day, we experienced a set-back. My mother looked me straight in the eye and said:
"Your cousin ratted you out. I know that you and Fauxhawk ate all the pecan pie."
The pecan pie my mother had been saving for Thanksgiving leftovers. Three pieces. Shit.
"One more slip like that and we're outta the game," I warned Fauxhawk.
"Agreed," he said. "We can't afford to be sloppy. It's a good thing your brother recently got a funny haircut, otherwise we'd be fucked."
Poster above available here.