“FriendsGiving”. A gathering amongst our closest friends. Typically takes place a few weeks before the actual holiday arrives. I like to call this a practice, a run through & a chance to brush up on our Thanksgiving Day family communication skills before we must actually eat dry turkey with a house full of unappreciative guests dressed in candy yam flannels and ripped jeans from the clearance rack at Walmart.
No matter how much you prepare for this epic holiday there is always that one family member who shows up in a Lincoln Navigator, slicked backed hair with a frosted tip, sunglasses from CVS, a three piece suit on sale from Peddlers Mart, a Bi-polar stripper girlfriend from E-harmony and a box of stale gingerbread cookies. There is a 70% chance this she was born a he. This family member actually believes he’s attending a Christmas Eve dinner. He kicks the front door open with his dog shit engulfed footwear and shouts “What’s for dinner?” Visions of this chooch falling into the 1725 degree pellet stove as he roasts like a chestnut on an open fire is all you can hope for at that very moment.
Each year our “FriendsGiving” hosts LB & Brian invite us to this event. I am always most grateful as things I tend to say, do & post on social media throughout the year usually gets me de-friended, turned into the authorities or murdered. So thanks guys for sticking by me. Much appreciated.
As the guests arrive we instantly begin to argue about what “Annual FriendsGiving” year it is. Was it three or four years? The only real evidence and factual proof we have is what each couple brought to the gathering in past years as far as a food dish. Personally, I drink 2 gallons of cinnamon induced moonshine apple sangria at the annual event so I honestly just jumped up, pulled a calf muscle and shouted “six years” and was kindly asked to leave as my wife stared me down like I just impregnated her mother. We still don’t have the answer but it gives us something to discuss next year at the very least.
We all hovered around the table arguing, disagreeing, agreeing, de-friending, throwing mash potatoes at each other. This is exactly what friends should be doing at holiday celebrations. It was perfect and I was so happy until the doorbell rang and I was escorted away in handcuffs by my policeman buddy who I have a signed contract with to renovate his basement. It was awkward. He fired me naturally.
The concept is great. All guests make a holiday appropriate dish. Turns out there’s always enough food to feed China for a week.
The atmosphere was awesome. As we walked in, LB was running around the kitchen with her wooden spoon, hair tied up in a Betty Crocker bun like she’s preparing to bake a batch of oatmeal cookies & an IPad open with recipe in hand. Our grandparents would be rolling over in their graves if they seen this shit. She always seems to be concocting a pumpkin themed dish. Last year it was Pumpkin Cornflakes. This year her creation was truly amazing. Her husband Brian made several attempts to assist in the process but looked more like “Gumby at a Rave.” He was asked to leave as well and eventually became my cellmate at the local jail. We made booze in the prison toilet and greased up the guards for some grub. It was all good. 😜 That was a joke. We got arrested later in the evening.
Brian & I took this opportunity to catch up. At this point we were at his home, not in prison yet. We go way back & I always look forward to shooting the shit with a lifelong friend. I’m in construction. Brian likes to pick my brain once in a while about some ideas he may have for future work on his home. This was different. As soon as I walked in he said “ I have to ask you something.” I felt this was serious so I took this moment as he was thrown out of the kitchen to discuss his question. “I have this light downstairs & I’m trying to change the bulb. I can’t figure out how to change it.” He mumbled in extreme frustration & proclaimed “I was about to take a sledge hammer to it but I figured I would talk to you first”
We walked downstairs. He directed me to the light like I was that midget lady from Poltergeist dressed in a nightgown from Caldors. I pulled the light frame down in 3 seconds. Exposed the light bulb to be changed & looked at him like he was a Triceratops from the Cretaceous Era. He then gazed at me like I just rode in on an elephant prancing through a Taco Bell drive through on Easter morning. I wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. He is a crane operator. He responsibly lifts 60,000 pounds of steel delicately over our heads each and every day. He builds our cities structures, moves mountains & can’t change a fucking lightbulb. I was deeply concerned. In the end, he was happy he didn’t smash his ceiling. We gathered around the basement bar. Brian broke out a bottle of “Johnny Walker Blue Label” and all was forgotten about. Love this guy.
Dinner was ready. We made our plates and gathered at the table. It was time for the fights, relationship truths & current home renovation wars to begin. I don’t know what it is exactly when couples sit down and break bread but this always turns into some Maury Povich shit. It started out so innocently. Everyone dug in. Compliments flew around the table on how good all the dishes were. It was like one big happy “Little House on the Prairie” episode. Then it happened. That one couple who happened to be in the middle of their “frustrating” gigantic home remodel project began to bicker. “Wow this broccoli tastes so good. If only I had an oven” said the wife of the incomplete renovation. The defensive husband replied “Really, you don’t cook anyway.” “I don’t cook?” I don’t cook?” the scorned wife shouted. The husband knows he fucked up as we all sat around the table choking on corn niblets. So uncomfortable and this is exactly the moment we all thanked our lucky stars we were invited to “FriendsGiving.” The sense of discomfort was so satisfying.
My advice. Get the renovation done. “Happy wife, happy life.” Those words could never be more true. Probably the most honest advice I have ever been given.
“FriendsGiving” is also a time for magic & miracles.
At this point nobody else wanted to stir the pot so I volunteered. I didn’t realize my wife’s friends knew about the love of my life’s anal natural gas issues. Turns out they did. I had the pleasure to learn about what this woman did to her friends one night during their “Girls Annual Summer Weekend.” I was so embarrassed.
After a fun night of drinking tap water and being hit on by a dude with a yellow adidas “Southern Comfort” stained wife beater, baby blue contacts, a tattoo of Italy on his cheek, glow in the dark shoe laces, a severely infected gold fake hoop earring from Spencer’s simply eating away at his earlobe flesh as he pulled up besides her in a deteriorated rusty ass Chevy Z-28 with T-tops dressed in that black leather bra installed over his front end as his “Kenwood” kicker system belted out TKA’s greatest hits, my wife & her friends finally went back to the room. For once she realized her husband was a better option. I hope. If I’m not more appealing than that dude I’m electrocuting myself in the toaster oven. They sat in a circle and reminisced. Most had on Pj’s & got comfy. Their friend Jen was sporting a G-string and joined the party topless. Conversation began. From what I understood, all the women sat and talked as my wife was sprawled out on a cot in her “grumpy” shirt & dirty sweats. She blew constant farts out of her butt crack like she was fueling a “Hot Air Balloon.”
At first the girls all laughed. Then it became serious. They became uncomfortable. They ordered cheeseburgers from room service and this animal continued to pollute the room & smiled about it. I had several eyewitnesses confirm this story. I said “I’ve been exposed to this shit for years ladies. She’s a beast. A savage.
That’s what it’s all about. Rehearse. Recollect. Rehash. Rethink. Reconsider. Relive. Recreate.
I consider myself lucky to have friends who get together & allow me to show them how to change a light bulb, argue, rip ass & just let it all out. No boundaries. No bullshit. We don’t give a fuck. It’s truly a special bunch. I’m proud to call you all my friends. I look forward to the next round of shenanigans.
Thank you again LB & Brian. Two of the truest.
Love you guys!