Missy and Matt walk into her parents’ dining room and Missy stops, stock still. The side table is laden, overflowing with a deluge of food—a huge (dead) bird with a small pitcher of brown sauce beside it; large serving bowls of soft white stuff, elongated green things, and what looks like chunks of bread; several smaller serving bowls with some kind of red sauce; butter on a dish, dinner rolls, and a braided loaf of bread. An assortment of cakes and pies sit on a nearby table. Oh, right. She remembers from the chicken-fried-steak meal that the brown sauce and soft white stuff are gravy and mashed potatoes.
“Are we expecting more people?” Missy asks.
“No, darling,” Linda laughs. “We’ll just have lots and lots of leftovers. We’ll be eating this through the weekend.”
Missy watches Frank and then Matt load food—and then more food—onto their plates. She’s more than somewhat dazed.
Linda takes her plate. “Here, let me help you. Here’s some turkey, here’s some stuffing, and here’s some mashed potatoes and green beans. Here’s the gravy boat—you tell me what you think is enough.” Linda pours until Missy holds up her hand. “That’s all? Well, okay.” She butters a dinner roll and plops it on the mountain on Missy’s plate.
The crowd can’t all fit around the dining table, so some sit in the living room, balancing their up-to-the-stratosphere-high plates of food on their laps. Missy tries to focus on just her p
late, eating around the edges and trying to get as far inward as possible.
The football game—Is that a gladiator event? No, wrong millennium—on the television makes it hard to hear the conversations around her, which seem a little stilted. The family members cast glances at her, and she just tries to smile back at them as best she can.
“Going back fer seconds,” Matt says. “Want anything?”
Seconds? She shakes her head as her mouth is stuffed with stuffing.
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