April's Real Blog

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The So-Called Adult Table

So, Merry Xmas! Of course, U mite remember my fam celebr8ed Xmas a couple of days early, all so the meal part of the storytelling cd fall on Xmas day. NEway, Mike has this 2 share abt what happed in the dining rm while I was releg8ed 2 the kiddie table in the kitchen:

Formerly little sis. Merry Christmas from the adult table. Sometimes it is those last minute changes at Christmas, which make things exciting. For example, after having changed out the glass in the door at the end of our dining room and having changed the light fixture from when mom lived here, who would have ever suspected that Deanna would make me change them again at the last minute. Literally, we were playing with the napkins and setting the table for Christmas Dinner when Deanna said to me, “Michael. I want a whole new light fixture. I want the one with 5 different little lights, almost like a chandelier. And those glass doors, I want the glass to be plain like it was before, but the bottom part to be wooden, almost as if it was a china cabinet than glass doors.” Well, I made those changes; but just barely.

But then, Deanna decided that all the women had to wear dresses and their shoes had to be from the same design, only with their shoes matching their dress colour and no lady could be wearing the same colour. I am sure you heard part of that argument. But Deanna won, and everyone’s shoes were colour-coordinated.

But then, Deanna decided that all the men needed to sit in chairs with raised bottoms, of the chairs and not the men, even though the net effect was the same. Deanna said it would symbolize the fact that men’s feet didn’t touch the ground even though women’s did, and this would be a good symbol for Christmas. Well, I spent the better part of the day, padding chairs, but it did work. My feet, and every other man’s feet did not touch the ground when we were sitting down for the Christmas Dinner. The exception of course, was Grandpa Jim, who took Iris’ chair. So Iris’ feet dangled, and Grandpa Jim’s didn’t. By the way, I was very surprised when he came and made it to the dining room table just using a cane. It’s hard to believe that just 2 months ago, he could barely stay conscious. I must say, the curative properties of my book Stone Season cannot be underestimated.

But then, Deanna decided that she wanted an Advent candle display on the table, with the candles lit. This was actually fairly pretty, and would have worked out if Anthony hadn’t leaned into them and singed off part of his eyebrow. I am not sure why Anthony sat right in front of those candles.

But then Deanna and mom got into it about mom’s decision to wear a sweater over her shoulders and keep her hair in a bun. Apparently, when Deanna was sending out the notification about the women’s dress code, our mom ignored it and wore her hair in a bun and she wore the sweater too. Mom’s argument was that if Mira Sobinski was going to wear a low-cut dress showing off her cleavage like a pole dancer, then she was going to wear the garments of a proper lady.

But then Deanna and her mom got into an argument about whether or not it was judicious to include the dogs in on the family meal, if you and the children were left out. Finally it was decided it was more important to try to teach the dogs good manners by putting them in the presence of adults, than to include the kids in the meal. It didn’t really matter. Grandpa Jim ‘s old dog passed out from all the Havarti, he slipped her on the side.

After all these last minute changes were made, we finally got to the dinner. We were sitting down with the food in front of us, all ready to wolf it down in seconds, when you would not believe what Mira Sobinski had the nerve to do. She said, “Now…Shall I say grace?” At first I thought she was going to just say the word, “Grace” and then we could and would start eating. But she actually started talking and she was saying things like, “Thank you for families who can get together over Christmas. Thank you for this meal my daughter and all the many hands who have laboured over it.” Simply ridiculous stuff. Now, if you can remember back to 2002, when I did the grace, that was a great prayer. People were practically begging for me to say grace at every meal. That’s how it should be done. Short, sweet, and so impersonal it could have been said about any family on any occasion.

Well, Mira’s prayer went on and on and on. In fact, there came a point where I opened my eyes and took a look at the thought balloons beside me. Deanna was thinking, “Mom, please hurry. Everything’s getting cold.” This was kind of a funny one when you think about how Deanna’s mom’s food was brought all the way over from Burlington, and it had to be reheated when they got here. Dad was thinking, “She always goes on and on and on!” Right dad! Kind of like watching a train go around a track. Dad is always thinking in train metaphors. Then mom was thinking, “Snore”. I found out later, she had eaten so much dessert before she came to the dinner, that it had caused him [her] to fall asleep. I was thinking, “Come on, Mira! Enough already!” That’s because I wanted her to stop. Iris was thinking, “Smells good anyway.” I suppose that’s her old lady confirmation that her nose still works. Elizabeth was sitting beside me and not beside Anthony because (and this is so typical of her), Anthony and she are “just friends.” So, to prove this she sat by me. Liz was thinking, “Hungry!!” What can I say about that? That’s Liz. Grandpa Jim was thinking, “Sometimes, I think we have no idea just how fortunate we really are!” Yes, April, Grandpa Jim wanted to do the prayer, and since Mira took it over from him, he just decided to think the prayer he planned to do. Thanks goodness he can’t talk.

I would tell you what Wilf Sobinski was thinking, but really, who cares? Anthony Caine was thinking, “I think I smell something burning” and he was right. Who would have known his eyebrows would be so flammable.

So, you see, April, you really didn’t miss much at Christmas Dinner.

Michael Patterson
This story has been brought 2 U by the fact that my fam is full of awful ppl. What terrible thots they were having just cuz Mira was saying grace! Oh, noes, they cdn't dig rite in! I'm sure the food was turning 2 ice in the minute it took 4 her 2 talk.

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, I told the children, "It's traditional 2 begin by saying grace." And Françoise sed, "May I?" And I sed, "Sure, Y not?"

Then she was like, "Although I am about two and a half months short of my third birthday, I have an unrealistically advanced vocabulary and verbal maturity. Therefore, it is only fitting that I should deliver the grace before this meal. I am thankful that the Patterson family was gracious enuf 2 invite me and my daddy, even tho both sets of my grandparents were anxious 2 C us 2day. Daddy sed being part of the Patterson clan wd mean cutting off ties with them. And that makes me sad. But I digress. I thank the Lord Almighty for this meal before us, though it looks as though most of it is inedible. Thank you, Lord, for having April bring in the couscous cakes, the lentil dish, and the salade sans doigts. Thank you for this gathering, even tho the adults have seen fit 2 sequester the minors in a kiddie ghetto. Thank you for another year on this earth, and may the next year bring us peace, prosperity, and renewable energy so that we can eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels. Amen!"

NEway, that's what was happening in the kitchen.


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  • At 7:25 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    Speaking of renewable resources, if the scientists of the world could somehow harness assiness and convert it into a useful energy source, your family could single-handedly power all of North America.

  • At 10:15 AM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    true, that.


  • At 2:01 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. I remember that years ago, our father tried to convince Mr. Singh of the neighbourhood mini-mart, if he were to install gasoline pumps at his store (with an investment from dad), he would be able to single-handedly solve that fossil fuel dependency problem. As dad tells the story, Mr. Singh offered him a few choice Arab words, but not an actual "Yes" or "Si" or whatever the Arab word would be.

    However, I am delighted that the dreadedcandiru2 has confidence that we Pattersons can come with the solution. I know when looked around the Christmas dinner table, I saw a few old fossils consuming quite a bit of fuel. There's something that can be done about that.

    Also, I am glad I wasn't at the kiddie table to hear the half-Quebecoise child yack on like that during her "prayer". It sounds almost as bad as the one Mira Sobinski did. I dodged a bullet not going in there for that one.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 2:42 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, ur fam seemed 2b kinda inna mood wen i came ovah. i know wen i walked in the door, there were thot balloons all ovah the place & no1 looked they were tryin' 2 hide them.

    ur sil hadd a thot balloon sayin', "jeremy, u slow clod. y didn't finish my renovations b4 xmas? mike hadda put in the new lights & the new door." & ur bro hadda thot balloon sayin', "jeremy jones. i hope he duzn't stay long. that odour." ur dad hadda thot balloon sayin', "duzn't look like me. april shud only go out w/guyz who look like me." ur mom's thot balloon sed, "snore. drool. spit. pastries." anthony caine hadda thot balloon that sed, "do i have parents? i can't remember." & then ur sis' thot balloon wuz "hungry!!" ur sis kinda scares me sumtyme.

    neway, i gotta say i did not xxpect the question u asked me (the answer is yes. definitely yes. omg. i can't b-lieve u asked me. yes. yes.) i evn liked the way u asked it altho i didn't rilly unnerstand it. sumthin' musta happed @xmas dinner u haven't gotten 'round to tellin' me or the peeps who read ur blog. neway, i thot "i don't care wut u peeps think. i am not just like liz & i'm gonna prove it. jeremy, wud u b my bf?" wuz pretty romantic, evn if the only 1 who seemed 2 notice wut u sed wuz me, the kids, & ur dog edgar. @least i think thass wut i cud tell frum their thot bubbles with ur nephew goin' "jeremy plays w/me" & ur niece goin' "auntie april looks happy" & little francie's thot balloon of "@last sum love. so tired of h8 frum these peeps." & edgar goin' "hungry!!"

    sorry, it took awhile for me 2 stop kissin' u. this haz been the best xmas evah.

  • At 3:07 PM, Blogger howard said…


    Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope that the story you passed on from your brother is not how your whole Christmas dinner went. If it did, then you have my sympathies.

    We had a little family gathering here. My wife, Beatrice's brother and sister came to town and we have the whole family in the house for most of the week. Unfortunately, Beatrice has to work tomorrow for the after-Christmas sale and present returns, many of which she expect are going to be people trying to return your brother's book Stone Season. Many of the Lilliput's customers have described reading it as like "spending Christmas with relatives who hate you." Moira Kinney, bless her, has maintained her store return policy, despite pretty clear evidence that most people can't make it past the first chapter of Stone Season. People have a certain expectation of books they buy in a toy store, and Stone Season is not a typical toy store kind of book. Beatrice is not certain if Lilliput's is going to still be in business thanks to the massive overordering your mother did for that book for Lilliput's. Since you have been working at Lilliput's occasionally, I am sure you are aware of the depressed look on Moira's face. I am pretty sure she wishes that she had checked over that contract she signed with your mother more carefully.

    Since the Christmas edition of Portrait Magazine has hit the shelves, I am taking the time off to spend with Beatrice's relatives and also with my daughters and their many cousins. We'll probably go see The Water House at the Megaplex, since that is the new kid's movie release.

    I hope you have a happy holiday and if you get tired of unfriendly relatives who force you do babysitting, then feel free to stop by. Remember we only live a few doors down from you.

    Howard Bunt

  • At 5:30 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    jeremy, i m so glad u agreed 2 b my bf. u made my xmas so much better!

    howard, thanx 4 yr invitation. i made a special apple tart 4 u (my rents r out, that is the only reason i'm able 2 get away w/that). jeremy and i will b over there in abt 15 mins if that's ok.


  • At 8:18 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, i hadda gr8 tyme w/u @howard’s house & all thoze argentinean-canadian relatives. i don’t think i have danced the tango b4. i stink @it, but they sed it wuz the dance of luvv. i don’t i have evah had roast peacock b4. thass diff, but i thot it wuz tasty. howevah, i noticed u were stayin’ away frum the meat. i woulda 2, but i nevah had peacock b4.


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