While all of you in America were sleeping off your turkey tryptophane induced eating haze, the expats prepared for a Saturday Thanksgiving and waited for Mr. Understanding’s return from Guanzhou by playing cut-throat Uno on Friday night. The Brazilian neighbor child brought his Ipod and we listened to Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, which I do not have on my own, having had my fill of classic rock in high school and college. Or so I thought. I confess to a little nostalgia. I could have used a little Lynard Skynard but that seemed rude to say that to my musical guest who, after all, was spinning the best tunes in Glama Villas. Antonio says he gets his rock taste from his mother; his father likes that Garfunkel guy.
After a quick trip to the gym Saturday morning, Thing 1 helped make pumpkin pie and set the table. Moving dust required that every dish, crystal glass, and dessert fork be washed before use. The guests arrived late but the turkey arrived on time. We will be repeating this meal on December 25. THE ST. REGIS ROCKS. The bread was delivered in a box nicer than most of my Christmas gift wrapping, the turkey was moist, and the potatoes were creamy and while it was not cheap, it was delivered hot and to my front door by a cute waiter in a maroon jacket with epaulets.
Since our Thanksgiving guests were little more than acquaintances, we had no idea if dinner table conversation would be scintillating or not. Mr. Gol Lee and his wife Hol Lee exceeded my expectations. We see them at soccer and school events and chitchat but had not really gotten to know them. Mr. Gol Lee was born in Shanghai and is a naturalized US citizen. His wife is ABC (American Born Chinese) from the Bay Area. One the way to dinner he said he noted the full moon and realized it was probably his birthday, his lunar birthday. Thing 1 got on the internet to verify this. Mr. Lee says he always misses his mother’s lunar birthday, which is the only one she recognizes, because it can fluctuate so greatly. He does not remember her solar birthday either. Their two children, Jol Lee and Fol Lee, were impeccably behaved and ate my green salad. Not a “yuck” was heard at the table. Our neighbors, Bubba and Donna and their teenage daughter Leaf, having been through a crisis or two lately, were, unexpectedly, every bit as jovial, staying until the wee hours of Sunday morning. Donna’s leftover desserts were consumed for breakfast. Bliss. I think we all needed a party.
Sunday afternoon Mr. Understanding and Thing 2 helped clean the kitchen, washing dishes and picking up the mess. Mr. Understanding booted up Peter, Paul and Mary on the Ipod. For the second time during the weekend I knew all the lyrics to all the songs. Although Mr. U and I grew up on opposite sides of the US, our parents share similar musical tastes and these songs were the background music to two happy childhoods. I got weepy on “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane” as Mr. U was leaving the next day for Singapore. This is perhaps the theme song of our marriage (without the cheating part). Our marriage might not be a Stairway to Heaven but it’s better than a Highway to Hell or Another Brick in the Wall. What’s your marital theme song, readers?