Let us turn our eyes to our American sisters, for [NEXT] Thursday is their Thanksgiving Day, and many of them will find themselves deep in the bosom of their extended family being asked if they have found a "special fella" yet.
From my uncle's death until my nephew Pirate was a few months old, my family was entirely blue- and green-eyed, and we used to play this terrible game called "Everyone Stare at the Brown-Eyed Person." Perhaps in some subconscious attempt to add genetic variety to our family, my brothers and I dated people with dominant genes and actually brought them home for supper. (My sisters were understandably cagey about exposing their dates to our family.) The effect of having five pairs of blue eyes and two pairs of green boring into them must have been pretty awful for our dominant-gened guests. Deary me. You could have made it into a story about the Nazi occupation of France for children.
Gestapo: Tell us the location of the Resistance, or ve vill stare at you.
Brown-eyed Frenchman: Non! I weel nevair tell you. Nevair.
Gestapo: Ve vill see about that! Gentlemen, prepare to stare!
Frenchman: Non! Non! Not that blindeenng blue Teutoneek glare! Aaaah!
Single people attest that the same thing happens to them on such jolly family occasions as American Thanksgiving. Wonderful Aunt Tilly, who has been smiling sympathetically at her niece ever since she arrived, finally leans across the sweet potatoes with marshmallow dish and says, just as there is a lull in the conversation:
"So, dear. Find anyone SPECIAL yet?"
And then everyone at the table, including her 20 year old married cousin and cousin-in-law, stares at the poor Single until someone kind clears their throat and says, "Time enough for that!"
Then Aunt Tilly says "Yes, indeed," and the most dysfunctional person present says, "Don't leave it too long, though! After all, tick tick tick!"
Oh the horror! And this is a NICE family, where everyone gets along and nobody gets off their heads drunk and has fistfights on the front lawn. (I shall discuss the dilemma of dysfunction tomorrow.)
To help American Singles get through Thanksgiving, I long ago devised a wonderful GAME. It's an easy game. In short, American readers count how many times their relations allude to their Single status and then report their tally here on Black Friday. Obviously this game depends on the honour system. To make it extra fun this year, you have to pledge to join the American Singles' Thanksgiving Survival Game on the poll in the margin. And on Black Friday*, I want a full report in the combox. The game begins as soon as you wake up on Thanksgiving morning and ends when you retire to your bedroom that night.
Incidentally, in the little anecdote above, the Single gets TWO points: one for Aunt Tilly, and one for Mr Tick Tick Tick.
This is our traditional game. Those who want to add a new game, might be interested in the Orthogals' Single Bingo board. Simply print out the bingo board and hide it under the bathroom sink, and whenever a relation says one of the clichés give yourself a point for the bingo AND for the Singles' Thanksgiving Survival game. When you get a chance, mark the bingo board. If you can figure out how to do it, photograph your Singles' bingo board and send it to me by email on Black Friday. Then I will announce who has won Singles' Bingo.
The beauty of the games, of course, is that they turn your relatives' conversational crimes into delicious and delightful points. In past years, sisters have actually competed with each other for the most points, although naturally this competition is entirely passive, like playing the lottery. I bet one could get the edge over another by wearing grey or 1980s-style glasses or anything that might goad Aunt Tilly into saying "You'll never get a fella if you dress like that." However, I am ruling that if this is done deliberately, it is cheating.
*Black Friday, the day after the third Thursday in November (i.e. American Thanksgiving) is the day Americans begin their Christmas shopping in earnest, and so the businesses "in the red" finally turn a profit and are, therefore, "in the black." I encourage readers to post their results first thing in the morning of Black Friday, because I'm on Greenwich Mean Time and will be dead asleep before y'all come home with your loot.
Book News: Great new reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, for which I thank the reviewers from my heart. Don't forget that although women buy most of the novels, men like thrillers, so my novel makes a good present for men and women alike! I hasten to say that Ceremony of Innocence is not for children, as it has grown-up themes, scary scenes and enough irony to build a battleship.
But to paraphrase Saint Francis of Assisi, let there be a 21st Century Catholic Literary Renaissance, and let it begin with ME. ;-)
First Book Update: Oh, and of course Seraphic Singles/The Closet's All Mine/Anielskie Single makes a great gift from one Single woman to another!