This I Believe
Today is the last Thursday in November. Today is Thanksgiving. I inhale the delicious aromas of roasted turkey and creamy mashed potatoes and let out a deep sigh. The scent of fresh baked rolls and seasoned stuffing fill the air. My cousins are laughing and waiting on couches, chairs and the floor. All of my aunts are in the kitchen frantically preparing for the grand meal. Muddled sounds of joy are heard from the basement where the younger kids are playing games. Amid the chaos, my older cousin brings out an electric scale from the bathroom. She plants it on the floor and the weigh in begins.
I believe in scales.
It is a tradition in my family that every cousin will weigh them self before sitting down at the dinner table. The goal of this strange yet enjoyable practice is not to offend or embarrass: the goal is to win. Among the thanks that are given on this joyous holiday, there is a competition going on. In order to win, they must have gained the most weight when the food is put away.
For some of my cousins the scale is visited regularly. The pounds add up. Cheating does occur when some of the cousins consume cup after cup of water, but none of us care, for we are enjoying the fun. Throughout the appetizing meal the scale remains in the corner waiting for the next victim. I believe in scales.
This overlooked household item has a bigger purpose than to inform us of our current mass. The scale is a way to look back and remember the crazy times we have shared. My mind returns to the past. I see myself and my cousins jumping on the trampoline, barrel rolling across the lawn, or just talking about problems and the exciting things we would accomplish together.
Unfortunately, no family has perfect happiness. It is hard when a member of this tight-knit group leaves by marriage, business, death, or choice. A loss is horrifying for anyone. However, in my family we are there for each other. Constantly supporting and comforting. During these sad moments, one joy we can always relish is returning to the past and remembering the day of the electric scale. A day when turkey and potatoes were our greatest concern—when standing on the electronic scale our biggest worry.
The scale sits in my aunt’s house almost abandoned. It is discarded in the corner. Forgotten. When I go to visit I have no inclination to weigh myself. The scale seems worthless. But, there will be a day after the long summer and when it turns cold again when Thanksgiving will come and the scale will be brought out. Our worries and fears will disappear for a moment and love will fill the air. I believe in scales.
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