Monday, September 29, 2008

The Turkey

The word "Turkey" conjures up many memories for me. Naturally, Thanksgiving comes to mind.  For some reason everyone in my family is usually very stressed out by the time we all sit down for our Thanksgiving gluttony-fest. This, more often than not, has led to major family meltdowns and full on throw-downs. One year while still in college I brought my boyfriend over for the meltdown festivities. Sure enough my mom told me I looked fat in the dress I was wearing ( she meant it in the nicest way of course )

During dinner the cat was hissing at something and my mom, Nancy, made the genius move of trying to grab the cat during the cats full-on Cujo moment. Next thing I see is Nancy on the living room floor with cat still hissing and attached to her neck. Cat had to go to kitty quarantine for the night, my little sister was full on crying and my Dad was naturally yelling at Nancy while she lay flat on her back. This was also the first Thanksgiving that my oldest brother brought home his girlfriend (and now wife of 15 years) to meet us. We broke her in early.

For some odd reason, one year during high school I ended up at Val's house for Thanksgiving, (I must have been boycotting my family). Val's mom, who all but had a cigarette dangling out of her mouth at the table, cooked the shit out of the turkey. We were very humored as we chewed shards of turkey jerky and she cursed the turkey. Clearly it was the turkey's fault.

More recently "turkey" has a different meaning for me, as in the house my husband and I bought and took us 3 years to sell.

The house was in Dallas' oldest neighborhood. There are tons of stunning homes in this area however ninety percent of them are very old. It is a neighborhood where everyone is constantly working on their homes. Since I am not exactly Bob Villa, I wanted to find one that someone had already fixed up. Luckily, we found a great home that had been owned by a gay film director who had re-done the entire house. He also left dog bowls out to feed the raccoons from the creek behind us.

Our first night in the house the noises outside were like a herd of coyotes feasting on a family of rabbits. The raccoons were pissed, and revolting from no longer being fed. They would not stop there however, and within our first month of living in the house a family of raccoons tore a hole under our deck, made their way into the attic, gave birth to more raccoons and invited some squirrels to join the party.

The adult raccoons were so big that it sounded like a four-year-old stomping around in the attic. I once heard "Mister Bigglesworth" (as I named him) toss some things across the attic floor that sounded like he was playing jacks. During a football party we hosted, I put the volume on our TV really loud to muffle the noise of "Noah's Arc" as the animals  made  dinner and did the dishes in the attic. I looked over at our neighbor who was sitting under a recessed light and had plaster raining on her head from one of the raccoons stomping up and down. At this point we had spent thousands of dollars with 'Critter Catchers' and I was really hating our new house.

Doing laundry one day I heard a noise above my head and actually looked up to see little squirrel feet dangling from the recessed light that had partially popped out. Eventually we got rid of the zoo in our attic but there were lots of other problems awaiting us. Although the house was redone, its bones were old and it was showing its age. One day while in the kitchen a swarm of flies swirled all around me I did my best Janet Lee In "The Birds" imitation and called Daddy Warbucks to get home stat; not shockingly we had a dead rat in a wall.

I was ready for a new house immediately. We found the our "dream house" which we now live in and love. The only problem was, through a series of bad realtor advice and just bad luck in general, it took 3 years to sell the other house. We rented for one of those years, however the two mortgages was something we had not expected and so we nick named the house that I thought would never sell " The Turkey" .

I an happy to say the word turkey now only makes me think of our family cluster f#*k holidays, and the throw down Jerry Springer style fights that are in store .

1 comment:

Jenni said...

I'm a little jealous that I don't have any holiday horror stories (that I can remember, at least).

The best I got is an alcoholic aunt who insists on being called "Aunt Mimi" (which I, nor have my siblings have EVER called her in our entire lives), and loudly comments that "YOU can have some wine, Jennifer! YOU are 22 and CAN have wine if you choose!!!!! But I'M going to have a sprite!!!!". Along with a uncle's wife, who is only entertaining because she's self-centered and thinks her problems are unrelatable to the rest of us. The females in the family entertain ourselves by having to take turns bailing each other out by socializing with her, as she complains about her daughter, her father or her husband- a man who talks too fast (to himself, most of the time) and who has severe ADD that you can barely keep up with him in conversation.

Along with the generic rowdy uncles who get more so with each beer, and phone call to uncles not at the house.

If you're unfortunate enough to have a significant other at a gathering, my well meaning, large uncle will purposefully screw with them as much as possible, with death threats and speed bumps. (which he has never done to my boyfriend which makes me worry he doesn't actually like him, or me, lol. Funny how that works out)

So I guess I have some good stuff afterall. I'll have to pay attention this holiday.