Sunday, November 25, 2007

The 55th Annual Family Thanksgiving

In my family, being present for Thanksgiving dinner is of equal importance to breathing or paying your bills. You could choose not to, but the results would be dreadful. So, nearly 40 of us gather together each year at my grandparents' house in Atlanta--great aunts, 1st cousins, 2nd cousins, 1st cousins-once-removed (whatever that means). For many of us, this is the only time we see each other all year, and in spite of that (or maybe because of that), we truly enjoy time together. I also think there's a part of us that knows that it won't always be like this.

Because we only see each other once a year, it's always interesting to see the changes in people. This year, for example, I had a cousin who was pregnant, another cousin whose 8th grade voice changed to a man's, another cousin who got his driver's license, and a great aunt and uncle who now use walkers.

Because there are many in our family who are getting older, we always find ourselves thankful for one more Thanksgiving together, one more meal shared, one more conversation, one more round of laughter, one more game of football, and one more common memory. It has now been 55 years since our family Thanksgiving tradition began, and I find myself grateful for those who started it and those who continue it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dirty Birds Drop A Turd

That's right: I am writing about my husband's favorite sport, football. While I often feel like football games should be about one half shorter than they are, this one should have been non-existent. Phil and I joined his parents yesterday in some choice seats at the Falcon's game in Atlanta. Unfortunately, the only redeeming part of the experience was the company, the new visor Phil bought, and the foam sticks they gave us to wave in the air...or at Phil's face. In addition to the disappointing final score of 31-7, a team that couldn't play offense if they were paid an extra million, and one too many 1-yard plays, I had the pleasure of having the world's loudest fan yelling in my left ear. Nothing like hearing a guy say, "If it weren't for the eye candy, this game wouldn't be worth s***!" Nothing like a football game to make you realize the ridiculous obsession Americans have with entertainment. There's a book that's been around for a while called, Entertaining Ourselves to Death that I've never read but want to. The title says it all.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Morning Car Thoughts

Most mornings, I'm in the car on my way to work a little before 7 a.m., which means that I have a good 15 minutes to let my mind wander or pray or contemplate the really deep issues of why the symbols given to males and females are what they are. Yes, that was the topic at hand this morning. As we all know, males have the circle with the arrow pointing out to the northeast while females are designated a crude-looking stick figure with no legs.

Here's my interpretation: Males tend to have difficulty following through with tasks, becoming side-tracked with distractions. Hence, the circle (head) with an arrow pointing off in a non-descript direction. Females, on the other hand, are very anchored people. Their head is on their shoulders and it is clear that they are unmoving in the face of distraction or interruption.

Of course, interpretations often seem a bit like guesswork to me, so here's an alternative one: Men tend to have big heads, but are certainly not lacking in direction, and, women, while also have big heads, can tend to be so "unmoving" in nature that they can teeter on stubbornness.

And now, here's the truth about gender symbols (thank you, Wikipedia): The male symbol actually began as the female symbol turned on its side. However, the cross was later changed to be an arrow so that it looked like a spear and shield, thus preserving a sense of manhood everywhere. The female symbol is supposed to look like a hand mirror, symbolizing beauty.

John Eldrige would be proud that his "beauty to rescue" and "man-warrior/adventurer" had its roots in mythology long before he wrote any of his books.