J and I left LA Thursday morning for a long weekend at my parent’s house in North Carolina, the better to celebrate Thanksgiving as a family.  Well, faux Thanksgiving, if you will, as my brother’s wife’s family requested them for ACTUAL Thanksgiving, so we all gathered a couple of weeks early to celebrate.  It was FAKE Thanksgiving in a number of ways, not only because the dates were all fubar-ed, but because we ate DUCK instead of turkey, there was no gravy in sight, and while there were yams in attendance, they were not candied nor covered in small marshmallows.  This is what happens when a French Jewish woman marries a Methodist guy from Iowa- traditions start to seem like things you just get to MAKE UP. 

In any case, it was a winner of a weekend, and my witness to this is that there are no pictures whatsoever, mostly because we were too fucking busy either laughing or stuffing our faces to run upstairs to grab it. 

The highlights are as follows (with apologies to my NC people for not calling or letting you know I was in town):

Breakfast at the 501 Diner: a fluffy biscuit the size of a toddler head, stuffed with egg, cheese, and bacon.  Accompanied by a side of grits drowned in butter, and two enormous glasses of sweet tea.  It was a heart attack on a plate, but it was the kind of food you can only find in the South, no matter how many Southerners transplant themselves to places like LA and Seattle and try to recreate it.  I don’t know, maybe there’s something in the red clay of North Carolina that makes brewing Lipton and saturating it with sugar a different beast than what passes for ice tea elsewhere, or maybe it’s just the taste of my youth.  It was exactly what I was after, and it cost us $15 for the two of us. 

Homemade pasta: my brother likes to make extravagant meals in the kitchen, and the discovery of a pasta rolling machine in the back of the cupboard sent him off to the store for more eggs and flour.  J and I Cuisinart-ed the hell out of some fresh basil and walnuts, resulting in a thick pesto we thought for sure would yield enough to freeze some for later, but I think someone ended up licking the bowl at the dinner table, because that’s the kind of family we are.

The weather: OMG, the weather.  Gorgeous, clear, mid-sixties, the kind of weather that requires a sweatshirt and a scarf that you might peel off later, if you sit still enough in a sunny patch.  I don’t know that there’s anything quite like it on the west coast, but those of you reading all along the eastern seaboard know exactly what I’m talking about.  The leaves are changing, the sun is shining, you’re in the reprieve before winter starts, and oh god, it is the most beautiful time of the year, anywhere. 

The flat screen TV: my frugal parents are the sort who will keep something, as long as it is in working condition, FOREVER.  It does not matter if there is a better technology, an easier method, or a faster device.  “It works fine!  I can still watch Dancing with the Stars, no problem!” they said, about their TV, which dates from, I SHIT YOU NOT, 1985.  The colors were going, giving everything a blue tint, and it was so ancient there wasn’t even a REMOTE with which to switch channels.  So my brother and I, with our respective spouses, ran out to Costco and bought them a new flat screen TV, just big enough to fit right in the space their old one occupied.  My mom’s friend came over for lunch, and while the “adults” were gabbing over a second bottle of wine, the kids installed the TV on the down low.  It wasn’t until my mom’s friend left, and remarked calmly to my mother that there appeared to be a TV on the lawn, and that it looked a bit like her’s, that my mother thought to look at the entertainment center to see the new TV all ready to go.  The best part was really how flabbergasted they both were that we’d managed to install it without them knowing, and how charmed they were by the four of us.  So this is what it’s like to really, actually, truly, LIKE your parents.  As people, and not rule makers and rule enforcers, and dolers out of cash and disapprovers of that second helping of dessert, but actual people I might CHOOSE to hang out with, genetics aside. 

The trip was marred only by airport drama- after reading this post by The Everywhereist, I’d pretty much decided to opt-out of any full body scan, regardless the technology, as I am not all that excited about being forced to be viewed essentially naked in order to fly, nor am I that into subjecting myself and my fetus to some sort of radiation the health effects of which are essentially unknown.  I agreed to the “enhanced pat down” which is probably only enhanced for the perv performing it- the female TSA agent shoved her hand firmly into my crotch on four occasions, and cupped my boobs to make sure I wasn’t hiding plastic explosives in my A-cup camisole. 

The most striking part of the whole thing was the visibly pregnant woman behind me, who was exempted from the full body scan AS WELL AS  the pat down, because everyone knows REAL pregnant women are no safety threat whatsoever. 

ANYHOO.  We made it back to LA in one piece, collected our bags, and flopped happily into our own bed at midnight.  How was your weekend?

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