The Braxtons

If you don't like mushy, nonsensical adoration then stop reading now. Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I usually hate the holidays but this year we went to my aunt's house and I remembered why I love these people. My sister-in-law just bought my Aunt Val a new house for a lot of complicated reasons and this year is the first time we've ever had Thanksgiving at her place. She's lived in some crazy places before. Never really had enough money, was always dealing with some sort of depression or her kids problems so she's had a rough time. Her husband was a lawyer who got disbarred when we were really little and he's sort of been to blame for years after he left her to raise four kids on her own. But for whatever reason they put on a good show. And I'm glad they do because he's a pompous ***** but he's a funny, smart guy and it's nice to have him around. My Aunt Val a wonderful lady. Sweet and bowlegged, she's always been there for anyone who needed anything in our family. She raised my mother for years when my grandmother abandoned her at age 12 and Aunt Val has always been like the family matriarch more than anyone else. But she never had a place where we could all get together. So, this year was awesome.

All her kids were there and they're a hoot. Me and my cousin V--- had a 15 minute conversation about turdunkin. I don't know why, but stupid conversations like that crack me up. Plus, I really love her. We're both teachers. We both have crazy siblings. We both don't like things get to us. She's silly and one of the few people who really knows me and I love being around her whenever I get the chance, so it was just cool to see her. Her brother, M ----, brought his wife and kid from NJ and they're an awesome family. His wife home school's their boy so he lives in this la-la land where he's still the most important person in the world but also treats everyone he meets like they're the most important person in the world. *tear* His dad, M --- likes to cook so he went through each dish explaining what it was and why you had to try some of everything. V's friend D came and we talked for a bit before that quickly turned into some much needed teasing about my cold making everyone sick. Uncle Harry's sister, Mert, brought her two boys and they sat quietly reading for the most part. I came with my stepdad and my brother and they're laid back and quiet, so they fit in perfectly.

But what's really great about them is the way they all pitch in and work together in spite of being absolutely crazy. You get one of them alone and it's all, "I'm the greatest person in the world. I don't know what their problem is" but when it comes time to host they make everything casual and wonderful. M and V run around getting everyone drinks. Their brother K-- gets everyone coats. Aunt Val's in the kitchen. Harry's making sure everyone has a seat, someone says something official, someone gets their drink refilled. It's this kind of thing that I live for, barely get enough of. With my own family it's paper plates and fend for yourself. My brothers and sisters haven't grown up enough to know how to pitch in yet. I usually loathe holidays for that reason. But the Braxtons give me hope that things will change.
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Nov 25, 2011