“I know Thanksgiving is this Thursday, Jasmine,” I say, pacing my living room floor. “I can read a calendar as well as you can.” Onyx and Jet, my two black cats, sister and brother, pace alongside me. Onyx is mewing at me, and Jet is watching her back, as always. Onyx is five pounds of fluffy attitude, whereas Jet is close to four times her size and pure muscle. He’s content to take a backseat to his more vocal sister, however, which has been their pattern since I got them eight years ago when they were six months old. I fan my waist-length black hair away from my neck as I’m suddenly hot. Perimenopause is no joke, yo.
“You’re delegated to make the pies—whatever kind you like.” My older sister has been in charge of family functions since we were kids, and she’s not above bossing me around.
“I’ll make one pumpkin and one sweet potato. How many people are going to be there?” I make a note to myself because I’ll forget if I don’t. It’s my passive-aggressive way of getting back at Jasmine for being such a control freak.
“Me, Bob, Coral, Jamal, the twins, Jordan, Joanna, and their three kids as well. Vivian said she’d try to make it, but she hasn’t booked her tickets, yet.” Vivian is our younger sister who lives in Boston and is an artist. She has no concept of time or responsibility to others. It’s not that she’s thoughtless, but that she’s focused on her art most of the time. Bob’s sister and her family lives out of state, and I’ve never met any of them. Jordan and Joanna live in NYC, so they must be flying out for the holiday. Jasmine’s other two kids, Robert Jr. and Michael, live in California and Florida, respectively, and won’t be able to make it this year. “Oh! Bring that guy you’re dating. It’s about time I met him. I want to make sure he’s a good match for you.”
“I’m not sure about that,” I demur. “We’ve only been dating a little over a month, so I don’t want to spook him.”
“You’re not getting any younger, Megan. It’s time for you to settle down.” Jasmine’s eight years older than I am, and she was a second mother to me after our father left when I was three, and my mother started quietly drinking herself to death. That’s why I put up with Jasmine talking to me as if I’m an idiot, but only for a limited amount of time.
“It’s been a month,” I reiterate, keeping my voice even. “He probably wants to go to his mother’s, anyway.”