I still don’t know what I’m wearing.
But it’s not even like it matters. I mean, it’s just Thanksgiving dinner with my family.
Family of which consists of:
- Crazy Uncle Pete
- Sabrina who’s convinced she’s a wizard in Harry Potter
- Uncle Gary and his train collection
- Aunt Julie and her shopping problem
… Just to name a few.
I think the last thing they’re worried about is if I’m wearing the same plaid shirt from last year’s dinner.
But then again, there is one person who does care. Her name is: my mother.
I went up to the mirror and combed through my hair — though my wavy strands never seem to stay straight.
I grabbed my electric toothbrush, set the holiday mood with “Thanksgiving” by Cordae on blast and the two sounds mixed in with each other.
I bobbed my head to the melodic beats until—
“Hurry up!!!” a huge bang landed on the wooden door, startling me for a second, but it ultimately didn’t faze me.
I shrugged to myself in the mirror and continued to bob my head and hum to the tune. Cordae is a genius for creating this—
“OPEN” thump “THE” thump “DOOR” thump “NO—“
“What, Alani?” I turned to spit the toothpaste and grabbed a white towel. “You snooze, you lose baby sis!” I chuckled, wiping my mouth.
“First of all, you’re only two years older than me. So stop treating me like a baby, Mr. I’m-Nearing-My-Quarter-Life-Crisis-“
“And SECOND,” she didn’t even let me defend myself. “You’ll pay for this later,” she smiled. And when she smiles like that, it’s never good.
I know what you’re asking. Are we really that typical brother-sister relationship where we’re petty about everything?
Yes. Yes we are. And my sister can get real petty.
But, as Mr. I’m-Nearing-My-Quarter-Life-Crisis, I have other things to worry about than that.
Well, if there really is something for me to worry about — aside from getting lectured by my mom about wearing the same plaid shirt — it’s relationships.
God, please don’t let shopaholic Aunt Julie ask me about Talia.
5 HOURS LATER
“Hey, Robby,” she smiled. Her gold jewelry blinded me and her dark brown suede jumpsuit blindsided me even more. I can’t tell you how confused I am right now.
“W-What are you doin-“
“TALIA!!” Alani rushed from behind me, almost quite literally kicking me to the curb.
If you’re confused, like myself (but I for a different reason), that’s Talia. 23 years old. A Gemini. A kickass graphic designer. And, unfortunately, my younger sister, Alani’s, best friend from college.
Oh, and we went out for two years. Broke up six months ago. No big deal…
“Come inside, come inside, I’ve been waiting for you!” Alani gripped Talia so tight she might as well have had a leash on her. They brushed right past my shoulder and I just stood there.
I shouldn’t have worn the same plaid shirt from last year.
30 MINUTES LATER
“Robert, please be a dear and serve Talia this plate of food,” my mom said as she put stuffing on one corner of the plate.
At least she didn’t notice my shirt.
“And Robert, what did I say about wearing the same shirt two years in a row??” Dammit, I mumbled. “Especially in front of Talia again!”
“Wait…,” I went closer to her and the stove. “You knew she was coming?”
“Yes, honey, of course!” this time she put mashed potatoes on the opposite side. “Why? Are you nervous?”
“Oh please mom…,” I nervously laughed. Before I could defend myself, my mom shoved a plate full of food into my hands.
“Go get her!” she winked.
Pfft! Yeah right… I walked to the dining room saying that under my breath.
On the opposite side of the dinner table was Aunt Julie, Talia and Alani. On the other side of that was everyone else: Crazy Uncle Steve, Uncle Gary, my cousins Sabrina and Selena, mom and dad.
Guess where the only empty seat is?
That’s right - between shopaholic Aunt Julie and Talia. Great.
I took deep breaths as I made my way to the table, gripping the sides of the plate a little too hard.
Aside from my impending nervous breakdown, this food looks and smells amazing: Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce.
I’m getting closer to her and I feel myself panicking a little more. It’s time for a pep talk:
Robby, you got this. You f—ked up the relationship, but maybe you can gain some brownie points here. It’s the holiday season. You look good. This will go good. Win her with your charm and maybe something good can come out of it.
I took another deep breath as I’m now behind her and—
Loud crashing hit the old-themed rug. I felt everyone’s eyes on me but I couldn’t help but look down and see all of the once amazing food — Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce — now on my year-old plaid shirt and the back of Talia’s dark brown suede jumpsuit.
I guess the only one getting lucky tonight is my dry cleaner… JULIETTE.