“I am so grateful we have such a loving family and we can all be together for the holidays.”
“Yeah you are really good at being grateful for things. That’s such an important aspect of staying happy. How come you never taught me how to do that, Nanna?”
‘Nanna’ means dad in Telegu. I would tell you ‘Veena’ means ‘one who speaks unbearably ironic statements about the importance of gratitude while being ungrateful,’ but it is actually just a musical instrument.
Did I really just say that though?
Yes. Yes I did. This sort of thing seems to happen fairly often. I say something, I hear myself speak, and then I become stunned that it was me speaking.
I must really not be as smart as I think I am. Otherwise this wouldn’t keep happening.
Twenty one years later and I still try to dissect my parents’ every mistake, like we dissected cow’s hearts in seventh grade science class. Okay, maybe those two things don’t have quite so much in common, but the point is both are very messy. And as far as I’m concerned, neither produces a desirable outcome. On the one hand you have a bloodied and mutilated cow’s heart, and on the other you have two unhappy people and a roomful of awkwardness.
But seriously, I could actually learn something from my dad rather than skewering him with criticism for every past failing.
Frankly, after having my own child I’m amazed my parents even made it this far with me, without access to the knowledge we now share. Before learning about real love, about what makes relationships work, I’m surprised I didn’t just get thrown out with the bath water one day. And the fact that my parents have been married for thirty years leaves me floored. How? How does it happen? Before I understood how selfish and entitled I can be, I don’t think anyone could stand to be in the same room as me for over two hours. In fact, I’m still not sure anyone can.
Point being, I really am lucky to have such a great family and I really am lucky to have them over for the holidays.