Thanksgiving 2006, Richard Dreyfuss, and 10 years of love

Well, Thanksgiving is officially over for another year. We had 10 people, two turkeys (one fried with remarkably no injuries or property damage!), and no visits from my interminably difficult grandmother, who decided to have her holiday with family in warmer climes.

As an adult, holding Thanksgiving dinner with a mix of friends and family is always risky. This year, my mother trotted out all the old stories of me getting into trouble as a kid, ending of course with the grand finale of me finger painting my crib with a shitty diaper when I was 18 months old. Naturally, she thought that was hysterical, yet at the same time felt obliged to blame me for her troubles then, now decades later.

Do we ever escape this? I know, most of you would say I should be glad to still have my mother around to share such embarrassment, right? Whatever…

So, we finally got caught up watching our taped TV stuff. Bill Maher has Richard Dreyfuss on his season closer, and it was a very interesting lesson. Apparently, Mr. Dreyfuss has been studying at Oxford for the past two years on the subject to civics education. He talked at great oratory length about how America has forgotten to teach its children the basics of living in a democratized society, including the need for respectful debate, serious discourse, logic and rational decision-making. It was truly the most important things I’ve heard spoken of on the idiot box in years. Granted, it wasn’t the usual “funny man” bit that Maher usually relies on (an seemed a bit peeved Sir Richard stole the show), but it seems he did grasp the importance of what was being said and did not attempt to debase or deny the content.

The need for such a re-education process was made clear to me, when my 12 year old daughter, a burgeoning political consultant herself, asked me when Dan Rather came on what “side” he was on since he was a news anchor and reporter. I was stunned by her question, understanding the fact that she does not know a world in which the “news” is not twisted to fit someone else’s editorial views. She does not know that the news should be reporting the facts, rather than interpreting them through a partisan filter. Having been a once aspiring journalist myself, this is truly a great tragedy.

How hard is it to turn the ship at this late stage? Are we too far gone to correct?

Then, once the show was over, I remembered the discussion my daughter and I had on the way to the orthodontist last Tuesday. She told me they had a guest speaker in her 7th grade Health class for the past two days, and proceeded to relate a full-on abstinence-only curriculum that they were taught, without the accompanying piece on effective methods of birth control and disease prevention. I was floored that this guest speaker when as far as to say that individuals who have relationships with others are less worthy of love and have less to bring to a relationship than those who wait until marriage. I’m waiting to see if the rest of the program this week will include the birth control part of the discussion, because if it doesn’t, the school can expect to be hearing from me pronto.

In more pleasant news, today is the day that 10 years ago, I met my DH for the first time in person, having talked online and on the phone for 2-3 weeks prior. On that fateful day, we went out to a Mexican food place during my lunch break, and it was magic from Day One. It’s at once easy and hard to believe it’s been 10 years, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I am still truly the luckiest woman in the world.

Have a lovely holiday weekend!


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