Sunday, November 26, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Until Tuesday, I had no idea what I was doing for Thanksgiving. I had bought a frozen turkey dinner, just in case. I was contemplating going to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade the way I did my first year in the city. The thing is, the weather reports were predicting a miserable day. I was also considering volunteering to help a charity serve Thanksgiving dinner. Then Tom called me and invited me to have dinner with his family. I agreed.

The thing was, I'd kind of gotten pschyed up about volunteering. Then I found my opportunity. I got of work Wednesday, made a batch of fudge to take to dinner, then went to "the theological seminary" to help prepare meals that would be served the next day. I was a particularly valuable member of the crew because cutting onions doesn't make me cry. I also learned a fabulous method for doing so. Too bad I don't really like onions. Everyone there was just so cheerful and warm. Clearly if I had decided to spend Thanksgiving with those folks, it still would have been a good one.

Eventually I tore myself away, quickly went home, showered and packed a bag of stuff for the weekend. Tom's brothers' band (Dead Men Dreaming) were playing at Lit Lounge. I didn't get there, carrying the world's fullest backpack, until after their set was over. I ditched my bag under a bench. (Perhaps that was a mistake. Some of the clothes inside ended up beer-soaked, but at least I wasn't carrying them all night.) At one point I heard a ruckus behind me and Tom was making a wierd face. It turns out Tom's brothers and their friends were giving him thumbs-up and shouts of approval following my arrival.

The next day, we went to his parents' house. His parents, his brothers and his dad's parents all live there. They're this hilarious Italian family: warm and loud and arguing, but mostly happy.
When we came in, I asked Tom if I should remove my shoes. His dad's first words to me were: "That depends. Did you step in shit out there?" Then they preceded to feed me until I thought I might explode. At 1:30 there was a huge antipasto course of meats, cheeses and fried artichokes which, it turns out, I like. They were shocked that I'd never had it before.

His grandmother asked it I like Italian food. I replied that I did. "But you're not Italian?" I admitted I wasn't and she sighed sadly, then shrugged. "Well, at least you like Italian food."

People watched football for a while. Dinner was served at 3:30 and was enourmous, leaving all of us stuffed for hours to come. Then we watched The DaVinci Code (I fell asleep). Then, in lieu of the evening meal we had the dessert course. Chocolate pudding pie, apple pie, pinoli cookies, rainbow cookies, my fudge, nuts and ice cream. There was also port, which is perhaps the most delicious alcoholic beverage I've ever tasted.

The next day Tom and I walked to Prospect Park. Before we left, I told him I needed a snack, but we both forgot. Halfway through the park, my bloodsugar crashed, and he had to half-drag me to a snackbar. I didn't like that. I'm very independent, and it makes me feel so silly. I'm a strong woman, yet if I forget a snack I'm suddenly so light-headed and weak that I'm in need of rescue. On the other hand, it's probably good for me. I have trouble letting myself depend on others. After we got home, Tom make me some amazing Italian dish that involved noodles and clams and garlic and fresh parsley. Yum! I love men who cook.

Saturday began well enough. We made french toast and bacon. Later we went to a birthday party for Tom's friend, Pablo. Pablo is from Barcelona. His wife, Janey, is six months pregnant. She's American, but was born in Korea. They're a fun couple. We had lunch at Heartland Brewery, then went to see Volver, the new Almodovar film. The movie was great except for two notably fake elements: Penelope Cruz's curves and her singing voice. Yep, that is definitely a padded booty(I found confirmation online), and I'm pretty sure her bra was padded, too. And the voice? Beautiful. Very Spanish. Just not very Penelope Cruz.

After that we went to Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station, where we met up with more of Pablo and Janey's friends. I was afraid the smell would nauseate me, but luckily it didn't. We had so much fun. Then Tom and I went back to my place since I wanted to get up in time for church this morning. When I opened the door to the building, I could already hear the music. I knew it was coming from my apartment. I opened the door, and fourty people looked at me. I walked around. Rick was nowhere in sight. We decided to ignore it and go to bed. We even managed to fall asleep. Then, at two a.m., the guy with the speakers arrived. We woke up. People kept trying to come into my room (thank goodness I locked the door...but how many people were in my bedroom before I got home and locked it?) I went out again, in my pajamas. Now there were easily fifty people, spilling out of the apartment into the stairwells, both up one flight and down one flight.

I found Rick and informed him it was too loud. He replied that he didn't know I was home and said he'd keep it down and get them to leave "earlier than I'd planned." But it didn't get quieter. The music was so loud, it was creating waves in the glass of water on my bedside table. I went out again and found Rick. I asked him what leaving "earlier" meant. He replied that it meant 3 or 4 a.m. (Oh, and in the past he's told me Dominicans are very "flexible about time", so 3 or 4 means at earliest 4 or 5.)I told him I had somewhere to be in the morning and would have to leave by 9 a.m. I asked him why he didn't call me to let me know he was having a party. He said, "Well, I would have invited you, but I knew you wouldn't come. I mean, I thought about calling you, but I didn't think you were coming home, so I didn't."

I finally just made him give us money for a cab (It cost $45!) and at 2:30 a.m. Tom and I left to get a cab to his apartment in Brooklyn. As we were leaving, Tom heard a guy on the stairs say, shaking his head in disgust, "How you not gonna tell your own roommate?" Hee. Even the partygoers were on my side. I did not wake up in time for church choir practice. I am, even now, mad at Rick.

But that aside, it was a wonderful Thanksgiving that reminded me of how lucking I am to have my friends, my family, my boyfriend, and all my opportunities. I know that I have something to offer, ways to make this world a better place. I'm doing my best to find them and use them to the best of my ability. Happy Thanksgiving.

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