Thursday, November 26, 2009

Eat the Sausage

I know it isn’t a unique take on things and I know you know what I mean: I am so FULL. I couldn’t eat another bite, the thought of eating tomorrow is repellent, and I am thankful, ever so thankful this night for elastic. Elastic in my track pants, elastic in my p.j.’s. Elastic’s making overindulging just a touch less painful right now.

Though not completely. I really did eat FAR too much.

So now that I’ve established the obvious, let me wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving after the fact. I hope it was really great, spent with family and friends. I hope you ate too much and I hope you have elastic pants.

My brother Tom and his wife Charlotte arrived this morning from San Francisco. We hadn’t seen Charlotte since last Christmas and Tom since earlier in the summer. It’s sort of rotten how far flung we all are. Michael’s family is in central California and Charlotte’s very far from her family in the U.K. Although California isn’t crazy far, it’s far enough.

Tom and Charlotte are the only aunt and uncle the kids have on my side of the family and there won’t ever be any cousins. They’re both pretty solid on that one. So, without children of their own, Tom imparts his brand of wisdom on mine. Today he gave Michael Jr. his “Eat the Sausage” talk.

As we sat in the living room talking the conversation turned to people who found themselves working a particular job that most folks don’t want. The kind of job that screams “I did nothing with my life and my dreams have gone down the drain”. I was expressing my opinion that it was sort of sad and must be difficult to reconcile one’s self with. Tom turned to Michael Jr. and said, “No. They need to eat the sausage”.

Of course he didn’t have a clue what his uncle was going on about but listened as he explained. According to Tom, we eat sausage because we always have. We’re used to it. We even enjoy it. We don’t get all wrapped up in the details of what it’s made of. Yes, it’s made of intestines and offal and lots of other horrific, completely uncool things. But we eat it anyway. He told Michael that life is like that. Sometimes you just have to accept the facts of your life for what they are and love it anyway. Just as it is. Because there are going to be things you can’t change. Things that maybe you could have if you’d done things differently but you didn’t. Things that make your stomach turn if you spend too much time thinking about them. Accepting your life where it is and loving it anyway is eating the sausage. Whether it’s cumberland or bratwurst, chorizo or kielbasa, blood sausage or haggis, we all need to eat the sausage.

I don’t know how that metaphor works for vegetarians and to be honest, the thought of sausage is totally revolting after the eating frenzy tonight. Still, I get it. It’s a decent lesson on a day set aside to give thanks. Furthermore, it’s better than his advice about the Victoria Secret commercials. Michael Jr. and Kenny both get embarrassed when they come on. To Michael he said, “Absorb it” and the next time he told Kenny “You’re going to enjoy this sometime; you may as well start now than later”. His sage words of wisdom are clearly hit and miss!
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