I met my husband Picasso in April of 1999.
By Thanksgiving of 1999, we moved to what was our second room in New York, a house in Long Island City. The room was big, but the situation was rough.
We didn’t have any furniture, so Picasso piled two milk crates on top of each other and laid down a small cardboard square for a table. He covered it with designs using his calligraphy ink and pen. He put a layer of thick plastic on top and we now had a table. Execs at Ikea would have been jealous.
Thanksgiving rolled around, and while Picasso doesn’t have any emotional ties to the holiday because he grew up in Mexico, he could see that I was a little tender to the emotional touch.
My immediate family and myself were in a moment as rough as the room that we were living in, so visiting them was off the menu.
Picasso came home the night before Thanksgiving with two big plastic bags, a sweet smile on his face.
Inside was a Mexican Thanksgiving. A small spicy turkey, known in the mountains where my husband grew up as pipilo. Some side dishes that didn’t have names in English but smelled wonderful. I wasn’t as familiar with authentic Mexican food back then. Each styrofoam cup with the plastic cover was like nothing I had ever eaten at a Thanksgiving meal before.
Picasso kept reaching into the bag and I couldn’t stop gigling, not knowing what was going to come out next.
Picasso laid everything out with a big flourish on our little cardboard table. The thick layer of plastic fogged up from the weight and heat of the food. We ate by candlelight and I lovingly wiped down our table’s plastic cover after we were done.
To this day, it remains one of my favorite celebrations of this holiday.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May you sit at tables full of love, no matter how large or small.