Thanksgiving to some is a time to break bread with your family. I am still waiting for this understanding to come to fruition for my family.
This year I hosted! I don't know how they convinced me to do this...
Aunt Rose walks into MY house and immediately critiques my décor. She is known to #criticize all despite having nothing of her own.
Cousin Mila arrives and we enjoy #laughs and #jokes about the possibilities of the night. She does not like my selection of alcohol and asks for money to go to the store to get something more #appropriate.
My Mom arrives. She thinks I could have cleaned better for a #holiday and #family gathering.
My sister Dani arrives and offers to #help me cook because she does not think I can cook like her being "so young."
The in-laws arrive and occupy a corner of the living room with #disgusted looks but they say nothing verbally.
Time to eat! Everyone gathers at the table while I organize the food to fit on the dining room table and the overflow table.
I am proud of the #feast I generated for my family and I stop to appreciate all of it- including my family. That moment was cut short as the questions started. What is this? What's in that?
As calm as I can I tell then to enjoy and take my seat.
Aunt Rose scoffs and says
"You should be grateful we decided to show up to this ghetto feast!"
I smirk and ignore her comment. My mom continues,
"Gratitude is not something these young people have."
My cousin, in my defense, retorts, "y'all always got something to say. It looks good!"
My family continues to #critique the food, the place settings, the drinks, the plasticware, and each other.
My in-laws continue in silence with looks of #disdain on their faces.
I stand and I address each person at the table...
To Aunt Rose, I say:
"You should be grateful to be invited to my home because I do not have to have you hear."
To my Mom, I say:
"You should be grateful you can sit amongst us with all of the drama you start in the family.
To cousin Mila, I say
"You should be grateful that I provided any alcoholic drinks for your enjoyment because most do not need it to be sociable.
To Sister Dani, I say
"You should be grateful that I did not ask you to pay per plate. I seen the Tupperware you came with but want to talk like I cannot cook."
To my in-laws, I say
"You should be grateful that no onw is calling you out on your mishaps. Do not frown your face up at my family because your family is not better."
The family sat and ate in silence for several minutes. Sister Dani broke the silence by talking about the time where cousin Tina, who was not present, messed up the Easter dinner a few years ago.
This is a story of #resiliency. This is a story of a person #hushing the #naysayers and defending their honor. Speaking up for yourself is not #disrespect, it is self-preservation. Allowing anyone, family or others, to harshly and incorrectly critique you freely eventually #negatively effects your mental and or physical #wellbeing. The #holidays are tough and family can be nasty towards each other. Having solid #boundaries can help minimize the effects.