Game for Two Players, #1

Today, my mother and her father had my father’s mother and his brother, sister and my cousin around for Boxing Day lunch. Most Christmases, my mother and grandfather kind of crash my dad’s side of the family’s lunch. That’s their thing. My dad’s family is too polite and too compassionate to say hey, it’s been twenty-five years since you dumped our son, find yourselves a new family. They are lovely like that.

Meanwhile, this year, my dad and i are well out of harm’s way.

I called my mother yesterday on account of it being Christmas’n’all. She felt the need to tell me what dish she had asked my grandmother to bring along: “Her jellied vegetables.” Now, I’ve only known my grandma now for my entire life, and i think i’d remember jellied vegetables, whether or not they were officially accorded signature dish status. Grated carrot in agar with pineapple? Just not ringing any bells.

Be my potential memory lapses as they may: it was made abundantly clear to me that neither my mother nor her father actually enjoy the dish they requested. They mocked it mercilessly. It seems that their “Please Bring” request is part of some sort of perennial game, the purpose of which escapes me.

May be that I am supposed to join them in laughing at my grandmother for preparing jellied vegetables. I’d be more inclined to laugh at the nincompoops who request a dish they don’t enjoy eating – but I don’t find that funny, just perplexing.

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