Thanksgiving was extra PC this year, and I don't mean that Aunt Mare finally hopped the fence and is now standing with pitchfork alongside "Native Americans" instead of on the other side, waving her tomahawk alongside "Indians," while fanning her hand against her mouth in a most mocking battlecry.
This is what I mean: I was sitting at Thanksgiving dinner with my mother who raised me to be socially sensitive, to never stare, to consider a person's attributes before the color of his skin or hair or socks, always. She proceeded to assure me that my cousins' beauxfriends were respectively Quaker and Jewish and I believe this was an attempt to comfort me, that my marrying a Korean Seventh-day Adventist was not even remotely outlandish, considering our current familial demographic. We laughed at the tokenism, so self-evident, and ate some more pie, since it was our duty as big fat white Americans.
The next day, we visited Mike at the West Side Market. We weren't sure which stand was his, but after some investigation, learned that he sold pork butts right next to "Authentic Mexican Cuisine." We asked his employee if Mike was working today. She said, "Yeah, he's at the bank. He'll be right back." Lovey and I walked away and Lovey predicted that the employee would relate the following to Mike, "A midget and a Chinese guy stopped by to see you."
In actuality, she said, "A short girl and a Chinese guy who spoke really good English stopped by to see you."
Later Mike told us about his former girlfriend. "She was an aetheist vegetarian and I'm a Catholic butcher. I knew it wasn't going to work out."
And yet in my Pollyanna vision, it does work out. Every Thanksgiving, it all works out. The Natives and the Indians and the big fat Whiteys. The Chinese who speak English and the Chinese who don't, at least not yet. The Quakers and the Jews and Other Assorted Tokens. Every Thanksgiving of my life, it has all worked out. I've gone some where I ate No Turkey, I've gone some where I didn't see one or both parents, or one less grandparent, and it was very very sad. But I've never gone hungry, and I've never lost my belief that there is so much to share, such a bounty to pass around at this giant table, which feels most always like Babylon, but which often give us a sliver of Heavenly pie.