This was our first true empty nest Thanksgiving. It was . . . different. Zach was off to his in-laws, Eric was with his in-laws to be (heck, he’s LIVING there, it’s sort of a command performance), leaving Cindy and I to our own devices all weekend. Well, for Thursday & Friday anyway.
Thanksgiving dinner was a little different for us. We did turkey, but smoked only a breast (well, both breasteses). We did dressing, but cornbread, with apples and cranberries in it. We did green beans too but not the casserole, just steamed beans. The smoked turkey was, as always, excellent. Steamed green beans are very high on my list of favorite veggies and the dressing, while new to us, was really, really good. Even the second & third times.
Of course, all that good eating we did on Thursday was blown right out the window Saturday. THAT’s when the kids came over. Cindy & I partook of a spin class Saturday morning, (first one for me in 5 months!) then got to working on some of our (her) to-do list items. Someplace in there, I snuck a few racks of ribs in the smoker and let them get happy all Saturday afternoon.
Trying to remember what else we had with the ribs. Fresh winter squash (a mix of butter nut and butter cup I call “nutter cup”) – oh yeah! Black beans & rice. Hard to forget that when it took 5 hours of simmering to get the beans tender. Worth the wait though.
All in all, not that bad a meal. Bit of meat, nice complex carbs, some decent veggies. The killer was the pumpkin cheesecake dessert. Granted, it was home made pumpkin stuff, not store bought, and we used 1/3 less fat cream cheese (quick aside – did you know that Philadelphia brand cream cheese was named after Philadelphia NY, NOT the big Philly in Pa???), but still – cheese cake. Mmmmmmmmmm.
Went out deer hunting twice. The deer won. The turkey were apparently aware that their season was over and deer season was in full swing. Saw and/or heard more turkey than deer. Might get out again one more morning this season, but the deer get real skittish late in the season and are nearly 100% nocturnal. You almost have to step on them to get them to move. It’s almost like you only see the dumb ones late in the season. Not sure they taste any worse, but what if the dumb is contagious?
Things on the drinking front have been well, slow. Bottle of vodka appears then evaporates over 2 weeks or so.
Box of wine also sloooooowly disappears. I’m sitting in my “pretending to not notice” mode again. When it gets bad enough, I’ll play my “I feel xxx” card again and pop her little bubble of denial. Again. Or, I’ll just ignore it and let it blow up.
At counseling tonight, I made two points about Cindy’s methods of trying to exert control. #1 – Thursday I was presented a list of things to do (chores) for the weekend. Items were tagged with B’s, C’s or both – indicating who was to be doing what. This list was created and presented with no input from me, no inquiring as to MY intentions for the weekend. I pointed out to Cindy that that is a controlling tactic. Cindy disagreed, Janine (the counselor) kinda had to agree that it was an attempt at control. #2 – withholding information. One of my per peeves – I ask a question that has a yes or no answer. What I get is all sorts of reasons why something can’t be done, why it isn’t liked, why it’s a pain in the ass. But I don’t get an answer. So we called a little bullshit on that tactic tonight too.
My last little point tonight surrounded an Al Anon gathering I wanted to have at the house. The last meeting before summer, all the GR’s meet at someone’s house for a picnic and a quick business meeting. Takes 2 – 3 hours tops. I asked Cindy about my hosting it this past June, asked if she was comfortable with it, told her she was invited, could have dinner with us, and I gave her over a months notice. She was uncomfortable with it, felt it was forcing her out of the house, didn’t want a bunch of people she didn’t know at the house, would rather I hosted something we could do as a couple.
My counter? What about the candle parties, Lia Sophia parties, Tupperware, Mary Kay events, what about all the times you invite a shitload of women I don’t know over for some party? I get “I’m having a party for xyz on such and such a date, do what you want that day”. My choice is stay and enjoy the estrofest (Riiiiight) or look at it as an opportunity and go golfing. But do I get a say in whether or not I’m comfortable with a whole boatload of people I don’t really know hanging out at my house for something that is decidedly NOT a couples thing? No.
What’s the difference? To me there IS no difference in the events. To Janine, they are also on par with each other. To Cindy, my hosting an Al Anon gathering is allowing a bunch of strangers into her house (that I remodeled with my own two hands) for a non-couples event, which is COMPLETELY different from HER hosting an event inviting a bunch of people I don’t know into MY house for some lame ass party I want nothing to do with. She just expects me to deal with it. (Yeah, I know. It’s different sides of the same coin.)
Bottom line? Fuck that noise. With Janine’s support, Cindy relented. But she had to try and play the guilt card. Three times. Janine and I both called her on that, all three times. When I ask a question, provide an answer. Yes or no. Red or green. If you really don’t have an answer, say so but promise to resolve the issue in a reasonable amount of time. And handing me a to do list with out ever asking for my input IS a control tactic. I will spit that bit every time.
Gah, it’s late, I gotta run.