Magnificent!

This year, we gave up.  No one was willing to host a holiday meal for the entire clan on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Rather than completely throw in the towel, we went for neutral territory – one of the local All-You-Can-Inhale buffets.

Timing was critical – to avoid crowds, we targeted 2:00pm.  Not only between the lunch and dinner crowds, but also during the telecast of a major college football rivalry that was sure to keep many folks home and glued to the sofa-television combo.  It worked.  Plenty of room to accommodate a crew of ten.

Originally, Mom had picked her favorite restaurant – Golden Corral.  Nice enough, if your idea of fine dining involves a metric ton of breading and vats of hot oil.  On Wednesday, she changed her mind and had us assemble at an “upscale” Chinese buffet.  The use of the word “upscale”, however, is relative. 

For the most part, it was a pleasant meal.  i’d reminded my Mom and sister, S, that if they really want my brother T and his wife to come around more often, perhaps they shouldn’t bitch at them to call and visit more often.  Often before saying “hello”.  Much to my complete amazement, neither Mom nor S said a snarky word about it… 

My brother noticed.  As Mom, S and their crews piled into cars and headed out, the first thing he said to me was “It was really nice not to get yelled at for a change!”  Progress, perhaps…

The big buzz at the table was all about the most exotic item on the salad bar – the pickled baby octopi.  “Gross!”  “Yuk!” and “You’re not going to eat that, daisyfae, are you?”*

While chatting with Mom last night, she acknowledged that it was very pleasant for a family gathering.  Seemed that no one had hurt feelings, no overt drama, and there were no tears involved.  But she brought up the exotic fare on the buffet one more time for good measure…

Mom:  The food was good, but the octopus on the salad bar hurt my appetite!  I don’t know why they don’t keep those separately!  I might have been able to eat a little more if those things weren’t sitting right out there when I walked by…

daisyfae:  Ummmm…  You still ate three plates full of food, plus two bowls of ice cream and a piece of cheesecake.  i think you got your money’s worth…

Original illustration from “Charlotte’s Web” – image found here 

* i ate the sushi, which grossed out the entire table except for my brother’s wife.  She decided to try some after seeing the enthusiastic response by the rest of the clan to my ‘bait plate’… i did not, however, eat the octopus.  i like my meat and seafood processed beyond all recognition, thankyouverymuch.