It's been a different holiday for me. My parents are visiting my siblings in Missouri and North Carolina and I'm staying at their house with our lab, Karma. This is the first holiday in many years that I haven't spent with Frank. He's at home in El Paso catching up on family gossip, playing with the babies and relaxing with his parents. Since I'm home alone, I've let Karma sleep inside every night. She'll be spoiled rotten by the time my parents come home.
David, soon to be the newest roommate in our house, invited me to his family's lunchtime celebration. I make it a rule to never show up empty handed, so in addition to the bottles of pinot noir and riesling I'd picked out, I made some munchies. I'd run across a super easy recipe for chili cheese bites in a cookbook. The bites are similar to cheese straws, only round, and are made with sharp cheddar and green chilies. After a few cocktails they became known as Nacho Balls. I am so junior high still.
My roommate Darren's parents arrived just before I did. There was a houseful of relatives and friends, and most of us headed straight for the alcoholic bevies. I was surprised at my reaction to seeing my roomie. I'd been away from home since the weekend and spotting him across the room made me realize how much I miss home. And our pug o'love, Harley. Not so much the cat. Jenny Craig has lost weight, though. The cat was the size of a small bathmat when I moved in.
Darren and I have a comfortable routine at home, one that is peaceful and easy, except of course at Hallowine, the Asian Invasion Persuasion Celebrazion (work with me, people) and a few other social events. Aside from our crazy social life, I had been craving stability and calmness at home. It would help if I'd finish unpacking. It's on the To Do list for this month...and the beginning of December. I've meandered off topic, though. The point is, I was thankful to see my roommate.
After plates full of food and too much wine, I headed home to make sweet potatoes before my next stop. Thanksgiving dinner was at Frederick & Jed's house, the first one with both kids. This time last year we didn't know yet that Nate had been born and was in a Georgetown foster home. I finished sobering up with more food and a huge glass of water and watched Nate smear mashed potatoes on his face in an attempt to get them in his mouth. I adore my nephews. Adrian is talking up a storm, an animated tiny wonder. Nate is still an incredibly happy baby.
I rounded out the holiday evening by meeting Margie at the Can for a drink. Or two. Or six. Yikes. Darren and David came by later and we had lots of laughs, mostly at each other's expense. I had a text from Travis, one of the barbacks, that he was enjoying Thanksgiving in Slovakia, in Central Europe. And you wonder why a straight man would work in a gay bar? It's profitable.
It was certainly a rum soaked evening, and I paid for it on Friday, when I woke up all headachey. I keep forgetting I'm not 22 anymore. I'm sure some of my imbibing was to chase off the demons that have been troubling me of late. I spent a little time with Rockett on Friday, shopping at Victoria's Secret. We both made purchases that lifted our spirits. What girl doesn't need pink low rise undies edged with claret colored lace and the words "Rosy Cheeks" silkscreened across the back?
The rest of the afternoon and evening I spent in quiet reflection. I read, watched a movie and communed with Karma, who mostly lay snoring on the living room floor. I thought about what I want to change in my life, what has already changed in my life and the adventures that are still to come. I mulled over my friendships and family and chosen families and how much I appreciate all of you. Alone in my parent's living room, dog at my feet, I was thankful.