My parents' friends became very successful. I recently talked to an admiral who described America as the place where if you immigrate here with nothing and work three times as hard, you can be as successful as your neighbors. It's my job as a voter to make sure that stays true, or becomes true again.
Starting my second year in DC (and in grad school), I started celebrating Thanksgiving with friends--one of them whom I'm joining this afternoon. Not unironically, the friend because of whom I opted out of another Thanksgiving celebration once asked me why I was such a "fag hag." Which Jay will point out that I'm not, but, you know, deplorables. I've celebrated many Thanksgivings with this friend who's hosting today, and I've been to a few countries with him. When we were in South Africa last summer, I reveled in the America that we were the face of, we being two gay men, four African-American women, a Chinese woman, and an immigrant. Traveling together, NBD; that's what makes America great.
I think of the few Thanksgivings I didn't celebrate, especially the one that my parents had planned to come down for but didn't. I thought about it yesterday as I shopped (unsuccessfully) for portabellas for my wellington, thought about all the food I bought and the invitation I'd turned down, and not so much how casually my mother opted out because the weather would be bad for driving, but how she continued to waste my time afterward to convince me that it was my decision.
I think about how my dad still does that kind of thing all the time, to a lesser extent, not out of not giving a shit (which was at least partly my mom's deal) but because he doesn't understand how things work. He doesn't understand that airline tickets get more expensive after a certain point (and there's no use in telling him, just like there's no use in telling him that vegetables will go bad if left out of the fridge). I try to cut my dad slack--he's a good person and I love him more than anything. But I also understand why he habitually drove my logistically-oriented mother batshit. I mean, it was partly her but also partly him.
I still hear my mother's voice in my head, nagging me. Usually it's when I'm running late, but today it was about the wellington: so much fuss for one dish! Which it wasn't, and besides, there's something to be said for putting time into something for a special occasion. I'm sure my mother knew that, but she didn't miss an opportunity to nag. She wouldn't have liked either of these dishes; she would have found plenty to complain about, and she would've tied her complaints into my overall lifestyle. In honor of my mother this Thanksgiving, I'm evicting her voice from my head. Here's my tempeh bacon and mushroom wellington. And for good measure, here's some vegetables I plucked from my own garden for a tofu scramble last weekend.
|unrolled: caramelized onions, mushrooms, baby spinah, pine nuts|
|It will be more golden but it will need to be reheated|