Golden child

“I don’t get it. It’s just dinner. Why are you making such big deal about it?”

“For you it’s just dinner, you’re the Golden Child.”

“Not that again.”

“When the ‘rents summon me to attend Thanksgiving Dinner, it’s not to enjoy a loving family meal together. It’s far more sinister than that.”

“I think you’re crazy.”

“Just watch and listen.”

It started out just as I expected. I brought two homemade apple pies, both beautiful and still warm from my oven. My younger sister picked up a store-bought pie, handing it to our mother still in the plastic grocery bag.

Mom placed mine on the counter, far away from the buffet she was preparing. There was much fawning over my sister’s offering, and how pecan was Dad’s favorite. She was so thoughtful to remember, unlike some people.

I didn’t say a word, but made eye contact with my sister, raising one eyebrow. She frowned slightly, but shrugged it off.

It went that way the rest of the afternoon. I would mention something I was doing at work, some project that was getting a lot of positive attention. Mom or Dad would then brag about something random my sister was doing without a word to me.

After a couple of hours of this I think it finally dawned on her that I wasn’t exaggerating their one-sided approval. She really never noticed before since she wasn’t actively looking for it. Along with the light bulb that blinked on over her head, a light shone in her eyes too. It was almost scary.

She began saying outrageous things, baiting our parents into making outlandish comparisons. If I mentioned a book I read, she would say she was giving up reading and only listening to audio tapes. Our parents would ooh and aah over her brilliant plan. The best was when she declared herself a vegetarian and wouldn’t be eating the ham or turkey our mother spent hours that morning roasting.

It was priceless.

I’ve joined a new writing community at Trifecta. Weekly one-word prompts, taken from Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary, challenge writers to use that word in its third definition form. Entries are limited to 33 to 333 words. The prompt this week is:

SUMMON verb \ˈsə-mən\
3: to call upon for specified action

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8 replies »

  1. Tara, it’s a pleasure to have you on board. We really enjoyed this piece. It’s a familiar tale for many, but you told it expertly. I loved the twist at the end.

    Looking forward to more next week!

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  2. Oh the ‘fun’ things holidays can bring out in family….and especially siblings. I don’t know why it is…but I’m guessing it’s pretty common. Hmmm, I’m casting my vote for those delicious homemade apple pies of yours. You sweet lady are a saint…. ~Joy

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  3. one year when the family (our kids and their chosen others) were bickering too much for us – we threw away the plans for the family t-giving telling them to make their own traditions. That year hubby-moose and I went to the local senior center and volunteered – helped make the dinner and serve and clean up. It was the BEST t-giving we have had.

    :) love this piece.

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  4. ummmm, were you in my house during the 1990s? This was so relatable.

    This is why I don’t speak at family gatherings…lol

    I loved the interplay with the siblings. Very good writing.

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  5. Oh, good gravy! Taking “sibling rivalry” to a whole new level, eh? But I’ll bet those apple pies were oh, so delish. Bring ‘em over here, Tara R. I’d be the first to fawn all over you! :)

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