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Most Memorable Holiday Dinner

Since the holidays are upon us soon, let's hear your most memorable holiday stories. Be they good, bad, or cringeworthy.

I remember a year I was 17 and we went to a family friends' dinner party for Thanksgiving. The hostess and my mom had worked together in college. She was a cute and nice blonde lady who was in love with a much younger alcoholic waiter who gave me a first edition of "The Grapes of Wrath". Sadly he was straight and died a few years later. There were two other gay men there. A greasy queen who had also worked with them and often stole tips had brought some God forsaken soup with quail eggs which I swear smelled like sulfur. He ran to the bathroom halfway through the dinner ro throw up. The other guy had red hair and spoke incessantly of Star Trek and his partner looked and behaved just like a sloth. Years later, I went with my folks and late partner to Vegas and my dad HAD to have a cold beer so we wondered into the seediest casino where said Trekkie was now fat, old and working the bar. He ran away ashamed to be seen by my folks in this condition and I always wondered how he ended up there.

by Anonymous reply 27Last Sunday at 2:15 PM

Cool story

by Anonymous reply 111/17/2020

It was the first Christmas after my mom died. I traveled to spend time with a friend I knew since childhood. Friend warned me that she wasn't in the cooking mood and that was okay with me. Some relatives (friend's) came over and it was a very small potluck of frozen (cooked) lasagne, salad, croutons from a bag, and bottled salad dressing. IIRC, no dessert, not even a supermarket bakery cake. Friend was in a pissy mood. The combination of everything was extremely depressing and unforgettable. To this day, I never want to eat a fucking crouton from a bag.

by Anonymous reply 211/17/2020

R2 your friend wasn’t much of a friend. You needed some TLC and should have made a fuss for you.

by Anonymous reply 311/17/2020

I hope I can describe this well, because even as a young child (7?) this was uncomfortable/funny.

My parents, sister and I went, as usual, to my maternal grandparent's house for Thanksgiving. Twenty or so assorted relatives, a very WASP-y and sort of formal affair. To say my grandfather was taciturn and an introvert would be the understatement of the year. (Um, also an alcoholic so factor that in). He normally only spoke a few words on each visit. Note that he and my grandmother had had separate bedrooms for years at this point.

Supper started and around the giant table, food was being passed, small talk was being made. My grandmother remarked that she was cranky because she had a headache. My grandfather said (and *everyone* stopped talking at this point, because Bill was actually SPEAKING) "Well Isabelle if you made your way to my bed once in awhile you would be feeling much better". It was not said lovingly or lightheartedly it was mean. Even I could tell that.

The silence was deafening, people. Deafening. I remember clearly that forks were stopped mid air. I was sitting across from my youngest aunt, who was in her early twenties at the time, and she was SHAKING with silent laughter. So much so that she dropped the heavy dish of mashed potatoes she was holding. Crash and splat!

My father, being uncouth and non-WASPY, said "Hell Yes" and kept eating. Someone brought up football and changed the subject without acknowledging the remark or the splattered potatoes because that's how we WASPs roll.

The younger relatives and I still talk about the year we learned about our grandparent's sex life and no one got any mashed potatoes.

by Anonymous reply 411/17/2020

[quote] [R2] your friend wasn’t much of a friend. You needed some TLC and should have made a fuss for you.

Thanks, R3, appreciate that. It was really depressing and she and I are not friends anymore.

by Anonymous reply 5Last Wednesday at 12:09 PM

[quote] "Well Isabelle if you made your way to my bed once in awhile you would be feeling much better". It was not said lovingly or lightheartedly it was mean.... The silence was deafening, people.... I was sitting across from my youngest aunt, who was in her early twenties at the time, and she was SHAKING with silent laughter.

R4, why was your aunt laughing?

by Anonymous reply 6Last Wednesday at 12:11 PM

So your mean, rotten, alcoholic, selfish grandfather humiliated his wife - who had cooked dinner for 20+ at her house, no doubt taking days of fretting & organizing everything - in front of her whole family and you thought it was hilarious.

Says a lot about you.

She should’ve kicked everyone’s ass out of her house & said “Go be the rock of the family & *you* do all the cooking, cleaning, caring & invite me over for the holidays.. And take your abusive, smelly old alcoholic autistic grandfather with you.”

by Anonymous reply 7Last Wednesday at 12:59 PM

R6, my aunt was laughing because her parents were talking about sex and she was completely embarrassed. She was only about 21 or so. And I have to stress, my grandfather really very rarely spoke. So it was surprising to hear him speak, and then to have it be about sex?? Wow. Bizarro world. No one knew how to react.

R7, I was about 7 years old and seeing adults stop in their tracks and potatoes falling to the ground was funny/uncomfortable (as I said in my first sentence). I was very close to my grandmother and I know what she had to put up with. And for her, divorce was not an option so there was no kicking out to be done.

Just to make it weirder, my father was much older than my mother. In fact, he was a year older than my grandfather. So Dad piping up to take Grandpa's side was another layer of WTF to dissect over the years.

by Anonymous reply 8Last Wednesday at 4:24 PM

R8 - well it sure shows why some folks dread family dinners. It starts to make my sister's endless talk about yoga, liberal causes and positive energy seem harmless.

by Anonymous reply 9Last Thursday at 1:32 PM

Thanksgiving dinner, Laguna Beach, mid-2000s. Eclectic crew made up of my friend’s wealthy WASP immediate family and her mother’s middle aged bohemian Laguna artist friends. The wife of one of the art friends broke out a weed pipe after dinner and waxed poetic about the 70s when everyone was into “sport-fucking.”

by Anonymous reply 10Last Thursday at 1:38 PM

Oh gawd. I lived in Laguna for awhile. I can only imagine the sport-fucking back in the day!

by Anonymous reply 11Last Friday at 2:57 PM

My grandmother drank a gallon of gallo wine and projectile vomited all over the dinner and we had to order pizza.

by Anonymous reply 12Last Friday at 3:09 PM

I remember a couple...

The Thanksgiving invitation from the art dealer who was then representing my mother's work. Their house was a historic Gothic villa on a hilltop. His wife was a textile artist so the place was a nightmare inside of cloth buntings and sewing paraphernalia. They had decided to light the interiors with florescent lights as these were cost-effective. There was a dog with no legs living in a basket in the fireplace. The hosts themselves did not drink but had kindly procured a single bottle of very bad sherry for 30 people. The food was so salty my lips began chapping. The other guests ranged in pleasantness and attractiveness from "not very" to "lycanthropic." A young lady promised to entertain us with her sitar after dinner, but not before the hostess invited us on a flashlight tour of her goblin garden, which was a collection of gargoyles salvaged from demolished buildings and strung with blinking Christmas lights. Soon it began to rain and we all caught colds.

by Anonymous reply 13Last Friday at 3:19 PM

Thanksgiving dinner, many years ago. I was a guest at the house of an older couple I didn’t know. Their son invited me. They had a huge gathering every year that included a lot of friends and relatives’ friends.

The night before, several of us were sitting at the dinner table with the wife, just talking. The husband came in, for some reason he was mad at her and said some deeply humiliating thing to her. She was a natural redhead and just blushed scarlet red from her hairline straight down, just bright red. I was embarrassed for her, his remarks were really degrading towards her. It was awful.

You could see instantly that he was an asshole and was making his comment because he wanted to humiliate her in front of a bunch of people. They had been described to me beforehand as a happy old couple of many years by my friend. So I was not prepared for this at all. If I’d known, I never would have gone. Unfortunately, we drove out there in my car and it was in the middle of nowhere, so I was stuck there for the holiday weekend. It turned out later the wife was even more dreadful than the husband, and they were both playing individual versions of some weird power game. A whole weekend of, how awkward can we make it for the guests. I couldn’t wait to get out of there, and eventually that trip led to the end of the friendship.

by Anonymous reply 14Last Friday at 3:19 PM

R14 - wait...George and Martha DID have a son?

by Anonymous reply 15Last Friday at 3:24 PM

[quote]There was a dog with no legs living in a basket in the fireplace.

You win.

by Anonymous reply 16Last Friday at 4:04 PM

I was maybe 8-9 years old. We had just finished Christmas Eve dinner which was our traditional meal of oyster stew. It was my mom’s side of the family, aunts, uncles and grandpa and his new wife, Bernice.

My mom went outside to get something from the porch. We used it as a kind of freezer in the winter because it was so cold. Suddenly we heard a commotion outside and we all ran out to see what was going on. My mom had found a opossum eating out of the barn cats’ food bowl and grabbed my Louisville Slugger off the porch and began to beat it to death.

The mood was not quite the same that night. I don’t think Bernice ever saw my mom the same way again.

Mom was hardcore.

by Anonymous reply 17Last Friday at 4:16 PM

I got out of my comfort level and agreed to host the extended family for Thanksgiving. Just as we were about to begin eating, with the various dishes laid out, my relatively new marble dining room table suddenly split in half. Fortunately, the food was spared &, almost without missing a best, my party moved to other tables & each had a holiday story to tell.

by Anonymous reply 18Last Friday at 4:23 PM

R18, my mom used to have a very thick glass dining table, and we were told not to put hot dishes on it because the glass could crack or even shatter, if it was hot enough.

I wonder if that’s what happened to the marble. It’s a lot softer than granite.

by Anonymous reply 19Last Friday at 4:36 PM

I wish I had been given that advice, R19.

by Anonymous reply 20Last Friday at 6:02 PM

R16 - totally...along with his description of the lycanthropic guests. The fellow whose grandmother puked all over the Thanksgiving spread gets the silver.

And some of you miss holiday gatherings?

by Anonymous reply 21Last Saturday at 1:54 PM

R17 - no wonder you turned out gay. With a mother like that, you probably subconsciously think that if a woman caught you eating out of her cereal bowl in the morning...God help you.

by Anonymous reply 22Last Saturday at 2:23 PM

What R7 said. R6 is tone deaf. Fuck your nasty grandfather.

by Anonymous reply 23Last Saturday at 2:37 PM

R17, that's extremely disturbing. Your mother had no call to beat an animal to death for eating food that had been left out. Horrible.

by Anonymous reply 24Last Saturday at 2:43 PM

R24, that Hollywood schlock Hillbilly Elegy ain’t got nothing on me.

by Anonymous reply 25Last Sunday at 12:43 PM

At about 7 years of age I had my suit and tie on for Thanksgiving dinner at a tony SF restaurant. About 20 family members were seated waiting for Aunt Marie to make her big late entrance per usual.

Finally she arrived and made her way dramatically around the table. As she leaned over to kiss my grandmother her big Connie Francis hair touched a lit candle and burst into flames.

by Anonymous reply 26Last Sunday at 2:09 PM

R26, What happened? Did she get burned, or just her hair? Did she have to go to the hospital?

by Anonymous reply 27Last Sunday at 2:15 PM
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