About twenty years ago, sitting at my parents’ house for Thanksgiving Day dinner, my mother offered me the cranberry sauce.
“Mom, when will you finally remember that I hate cranberries?”
“You don’t like cranberries?” Dad said. “I don’t like–“
“I know, I know, you don’t like canned cranberries, but you like fresh ones. Then I tell you I’ve always hated cranberries, because they look delicious but taste like a pomegranate vomited. We have this exact same conversation every year. At what point will you finally remember not to bother to offer me cranberries?!?”
Mom and Dad looked at each other, shrugged, and continued filling their plates with Thanksgiving goodness. I knew right then that this entire conversation would get forgotten, and I was going to get offered those Goddamn cranberries again next Thanksgiving. My parents were in their mid- fifties at this point, and their memories just weren’t very good anymore. Not that they were ever great; I’d been bitching about cranberries since I was a child.
It’s hitting me that, at 51-years-old, I’m almost at the age my parents were when I noticed their mental abilities start to deteriorate. They didn’t really take very good care of themselves–they ate a lot of processed foods, sweets, and never, ever exercised–which I think led them to get older faster than their actual ages. I’ll never be able to prove it, but I’m pretty sure this is why neither of them made it past 71-years-old.
Here’s the problem: I’ve been eating processed foods, sweets, and not exercising. I’m going down the same path! And I cannot afford to die at 71. I have a two and five-year-old! I need to see them graduate college, get married, have kids and all that other shit!
So, I need to get serious. I’m going to absolutely destroy the Thanksgiving feast today, of course. But afterwards, I need to lose some weight, exercise, and find a healthy lifestyle I can maintain for the rest of my life. I need to make it to at least eighty. It wouldn’t hurt to be a sexy octogenarian, either.
The next year, as we were sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner and were passing the dishes around, Mom handed me my most hated food item, and asked, “Would you like some cranberries?”
Just as I was about to chastise them for asking, I noticed both Mom and Dad had evil, ear-to-ear grins.
They were trolling me.
Maybe there’s hope for me yet.
If you enjoyed this and/or my other writing, please consider a free email subscription. You’ll get exclusive subscription-only emails, blog updates, and news about my upcoming book!