Thanksgiving is that time of year when families gather around to gorge themselves and give thanks for all the wonderful people and events in their lives.
In the Ferguson household, family traditions were held very highly indeed. Each year, Owen and Leila hosted the ham and turkey feast for Owen’s parents, his 2 siblings and their spouses and children, and Dulcimena.
Aunt Dulcimena was Owen’s father’s younger sister. She said what she felt and never held back.
“Poor Leila,” she declared to Owen’s wife, “you look so drawn around the eyes! Eat a burger or something, woman! You’re a walking bag o’ bones. You look like a waif!”
And then, “My god, Christina, you’re so fat! Stop eating so much!” she shouted at Owen’s mom, as she took her third helping of mashed potato and turkey breast.
And on and on Dulcimena would go. Never stopping to think that she’d overstepped any boundary.
“Roberta,” she addressed Owen’s sister, “why aren’t you working?”
“You know why, Aunt Dulcie,” she replied. “I have children.”
“And that renders you unemployable? Do you know how many generations of women have fought and suffered so that women like you can regress into the role of ‘stay-at-home-mom’? Besides, aren’t your children in high school now? Sounds like you’re just lazy to me.”
Dulcimena didn’t care how much she interfered.
“It’s a great-aunt’s business to interfere!” was her retort.
Every Thanksgiving dinner was the same. First, she insulted the family members, then the food.
“Have you people never heard of a vegetable? Every year the food here is as white as ever. No carrots? No green veggies? And your turkey is always so dry, Leila! You have to keep the oven temperature low…”
And they all put up with Aunt Dulcimena and her very generous money and they all kept quiet about her insults.