Chapter 15, Part 1: Thanksgiving 2018 - The Beginning of the End
I do love Thanksgiving. It is really my favorite holiday because it so food-centered. I don’t really like messing around with modern recipes and prefer the traditional ones: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, etc. I also do not skimp on using butter and cream because this is the one day of the year I want to be completely gluttonous.
I knew Bratty preferred not to eat meat and had experimented with vegan diets before, but never stuck with them. So I jotted down a menu – just a half turkey breast (since SO and I would likely be the only meat-eaters), and a bunch of traditional sides. Most of the sides were vegetarian but not vegan, since most recipes called for butter and/or cream. I showed the menu to SO and asked him what he thought. He said it was fine, and that Bratty was not a strict vegan so the vegetarian options were enough. We also planned to do an easy local bike ride Thanksgiving morning for some fresh air and exercise, so I got an early start on the shopping and the prep. By Thanksgiving morning I would only have the turkey and potatoes left to deal with.
Bratty was set to fly home the Monday before Thanksgiving, and had a late flight out the day after Thanksgiving. SO picked her up from the airport while I was still at work. Bratty settled in for a bit and then she and SO went out for a walk together. SO (unbeknownst to me ahead of time) brought up the topic of Bratty moving out after the end of her post-bac. He brought it up indirectly by asking Bratty when she thought she could clear out of her room. Bratty got a bit defensive and said she couldn’t clear out that visit. SO said of course not but start thinking about doing so after finishing her post-bac. Bratty was quiet.
They returned home and I had already made a veggie lasagna (with real no-vegan cheese) for dinner that just needed to be re-heated. We all sat down and dinner was fine. That night, SO told me about the moving out conversation with Bratty. He thought it was fine that she was quiet and that she would confirm her plans towards the end of her program. OK, fine with me. SO and I had agreed that Bratty could keep her stuff and her room here for a year after her program ended before she would be required to clear completely out but of course she was welcome to take her stuff sooner if she wanted.
The next day SO and Bratty spent some more time together while I went to work, and we went out to a local restaurant for dinner. The Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving Bratty accompanied SO to have brunch with his DS24 (22 at the time), who SO was starting to reconnect with. Bratty was estranged from her brother but decided she wanted to see him and he didn’t object when SO texted him to ask.
SO told me what happened later. Bratty complained she didn’t like the options on the restaurant’s menu. She is a picky eater and doesn’t like salads, spicy foods, or ethnic foods. She also doesn’t eat meat so that doesn’t leave a wide range of options. Anyway, after finally ordering eggs, Bratty proceeded to brag to her brother – she was pre-med and going to be a doctor. She had a 20-year life plan. She asked her brother about his life plan. He just said nothing and stared at Bratty like she just landed from Mars. DS24 had graduated college the year prior with a degree in theater and was trying to break into voice-over work for audiobooks and commercials so suffice it say he had no 20 year life plan. Most kids that age wouldn’t either. I thought it was pretty obnoxious of Bratty but didn’t say anything as it didn’t involve me (note, DS24 and I have no relationship though we’ve met a couple of times at his performances and this is fine with both of us).
Thanksgiving Day finally arrived. The weather on Thanksgiving morning was sunny and warm – beautiful riding weather. We all got on our bikes and headed out. Bratty was still a little unsteady and slow and did finish the whole ride. After we returned home, Bratty mentioned that she wanted to drive out to the beach since she missed the ocean and was wondering if she had time before dinner. I said sure no problem, if that’s what she wanted to do. But Bratty changed her mind and decided to take a nap instead. She also asked me if I minded if she didn’t eat any turkey for dinner and I said of course not, the sides are all vegetarian. She said great and then headed upstairs to rest.
Later both Bratty and SO came downstairs when dinner was almost ready. I was pulling the sides out of the oven; the turkey was resting and almost ready for SO to carve. Bratty starts looking at the sides and then starts complaining to SO. ‘Does this have butter in it, it looks like it does’. SO would respond ‘I think so’ and then Bratty would move onto the next dish. ‘What about this one, is there butter in it’? SO would again respond ‘Um, yes’. Bratty then continued this butter interrogation for every dish that being placed on the table. Finally Bratty proclaimed to SO, ‘Wow, I can’t eat any of this’.
As I was listening to this, I was getting extremely frustrated. I worked hard to pull that meal together and I was stunned that Bratty was now deciding to vocalize that she wanted vegan food. I finally popped off to Bratty that it was Thanksgiving and yes of course everything had butter in it. SO then turned to me (not Bratty), raised his voice (the only time he’s ever done so to me) and said ‘That’s enough’. Now I was completely shocked and not happy at all with SO. Once again he didn’t manage Bratty’s behavior well at all and now he was yelling at me? WTF!
I didn’t want to take anything further at that time since it would ruin the meal I had worked hard to make. So I gave SO the stink eye and went ahead with setting the table. Bratty was quite pleased and tried to chat with me at dinner. I completely ignored her. In fact that had to be the most awkward holiday meal I have ever sat through. For her meal, Bratty pushed a few potatoes and cranberry sauce around on her plate but that was it.
Once dinner was mercifully over, SO was cleaning dishes and Bratty headed upstairs to change. She was going to take her drive to the beach. I went upstairs because I was upset and wanted some quiet time alone. Bratty saw SO right before she headed out and asked him if was mad at her. SO said yes and that Bratty’s timing was off. That was all her said to her – nothing about needing to apologize to me at all. Bratty left and took her drive to the beach. When I saw SO later I told him I was p*ssed and wanted some time to think so we could talk about it more after Bratty left.
The drama was not over though – in Part 2 we’ll look at the day after Thanksgiving where Bratty went to Boston Market for dinner to chow down on chicken and mac. Yes, folks, apparently she was only vegan for Thanksgiving dinner.