Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving and all that horror!

Come to think of Thanksgiving as a holiday, it is virtually unknown outside of US. Originally founded as a way to thank god and the Indians for giving the land, now it retains a scope far bigger than it was et to be. And after 7 years of my stay, I was finally invited to a true turkey and ham lunch. The week before was quite rocky with a customer handing over my ass to me in my hands, a good relaxation session with folks in the east coast followed up by a friendly reunion with my old employer. The last week was even outrageous considering I picked up a fight in the bar and drank myself to glory. Co-workers tell me my cuss word frequency has increased and that I was displaying aggression uncharacteristic of me.

All in all, it took me an year to my current stint to earn a respect as a "man" enough in the firm that I am now on the invite list to 2 of the celebrated parties in the bay area. Previously, I was a supposed to be a geek (literal definition a carnival performer who does disgusting acts) whose job was to turn shit into something sellable and once you had enough produce turned into gold, I presume you naturally get invited. My thanksgiving lunch was supposed to be a warm-up for the upcoming christmas and other parties.

Where do I start? The even kickstarted at 2:00 pm when my gracious host enquired about my poison of choice to which I responded Beer. We then deep fried a duck (in a nice stainless steel canister fueled by a propane gas tank) while we waited for other guests to arrive. One was a wealthy old man who changed his houses more often than his cars. Then a lady in VW Eos appeared. As a conversation starter I enquired as to where she worked, to which, promptly came the response that she was laid off. Err.Umm. She also bought a condo and this new car just 15 days before. I moved on to other topics.

Later, we were followed by a true blue American couple, call then D and T. Now T was an admirable personality who always complimented his wife D and seemed like the party was on its way to start. The view from my hosts' deck was fabulous with Mountains (and Mountain Lions, I was to discover) and the city traffic flowing like blood corpuscles to and fro. Overall, it was a nice view to soak yourself into with a Martini (which is what I promptly did).

We were ushered into this dining room shortly where the lunch was supposed to commence and I was struck by the formality of the process. Silverware and table laid out for a 4 course meal. The background was a huge painting of Eiffel Tower with photographs at its different phases of construction. The other end was a transparent view of the hillocks and the lake nearby. Absolutely perfect to be lunching in such a nice ambient "french-looking" room. We sliced our ham and ate our turkey with rejoice. Finished the meal with a nice cognac and some cigars in the lounge. Now, comes the dreadful talk of civilized men. Well, after such a hearty lunch its easy to forgive most things in the world and probably T knew this because he brought up the distasteful subject of politics . We politely nullified him by hijacking the subject to that of Wines and opening the cork of a 1995 Silver Oak Cab. Very nice I must say. The wining and chatting continued and more progressively the subjects grew distasteful.

By 8:00 pm I knew the precise psychological moment when I should be hitting the hay and lied down on the couch without much ado. I woke up around 9:40 pm when I heard a strange sound thats was polluting the nice background streaming music being rendered out of an iPod. I saw this VW Eos woman sobbing right next to my couch. Instead of asking whats wrong, I asked her if she cared for smoke. She said yea and we headed to the deck to get our nicotine fixed. Then she started sobbing more and I pointed this would dilute the nicotine fix. I wanted to know her sob story in exactly one sentence. She said she broke up this Monday, lost a job on Tuesday and has bills to pay. Phew! Straight out of a horror movie. Also seemed to have a insecurities regarding her age as she tried cover it up by saying "there is no such thing as too old" to which I retorted, "No, There is.." The the conversation went something like this

She: Shut Up. You are the youngest one here and its better you keep
Me: Okay.
She: Smoking is very bad for your health.
Me: Uh Oh!
S: My mother died of lung cancer even without smoking
M: Too bad, Just as one prefers to be loved and lost than to be lost
forever, so I would prefer to be smoking and then getting a cancer rather simply
contract the wretched disease

[she stubs out the cigarette as she isnt in a morally superior position
lecturing about the ill while doing the same herself]

S: I stubbed it so that I can resume my anti-smoking spiel.
M: Pray Continue (while I finish my stub..)
S: Its disgusting that you choose to smoke first thing after you wake
M: Your pont being..
S: [Blah Blah..Yadda Yadda]
M: Okay, if I were to do this waking up routing differently what should be
a normal person be sayin to you after he wakes up?
S: For one, have sex with me
M: [Ogling for the lack of better expression]
S: Then the second best thing would be to have coffee
M: Ok. I saw a fine Italian made espresso machine thats glinting by the side of
the kitchen. Let me make you some while I make one for myself.

So the caffeine fixed one awkward part of this party and I joined the mainstream audience at the same dinner table. People were more visibly agitated, drunk and were quite having fun. In a party there are never good or bad people, simply charming or boring folks. I steered my way to my appointed place and started sipping my steaming coffee. Remember the american couple T and D, of which the woman D started speaking about mountain lions and boars in the area. Her hubbie T narrates an incident when they were swimming naked and a wild boar was in the way to their home from the shore. I steered clear of comments (trust me, I know these moments where one needs to be silent) and chatted heartily with the old fella about things indian (like the taj mahal, lack of white lane markers on the road and other standard issue things) . D stares at me and starts the following conversation

D: So you are from India
Me: Proudly So.
D: I like your accent
Me: Thanks
D: How long is your [beep]

I was stultified at this question being asked across a dinner table in the presence of her drunk husband along with other inebriated folks who were trying to do their best to reduce the number of bottles in the cellar. Luckily, my host understood my aggravated situation and mediated to change the subject to more palatable topics. But then, he underestimated the persistence of this woman. She claimed curiosity to be the driving factor at which point I wanted to tell her that for normally distributed population these are the confidence intervals for this mean but that would be too much.

Later, after another round quick turkey burgers to fill up our tummies, D decided to launch the second attack on a different front this time.

D: Are you a virgin?
D: Great! I respect your for that and Trust me its gonna be a lot of
M: Duh! Err! Umm! TaaDaa!

Now D's husband takes an active interest in the future direction this talk should bear and makes this comment that he was playing with GI Joes when D was getting bored and decided to do something for fun. Then, I decided was the right time to call it a day. Thanked my host for having me and treating to some of the best wines. I drove off, thinking about a lot many things with the way these guys defined their lives. There used to be something that the jewish called "covenant" between folks that guided them to do some decent things be it in their marriage,co-worker or friend. Its very easy to break one and I see that guys who break one can easily break another whereas guys who keep one tend to keep most of theirs. Happy Thanksgiving!


Anonymous said...

Interesting.. and really very Interesting. I like the way you wrote this. keep up the work and someday I will get to read something written by you.

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

so, so, how long *is * it? ;)
* having a hearty laugh *