You know the scene that usually plays out when you go home for Thanksgiving? The one where your older relatives start getting nostalgic and telling stories about the past? If your family is like mine, it looks like this: Great Aunt Thelma settles into the cushy arm chair after dinner with a cup of hot chamomile in one hand and a crossword puzzle in the other, adjusts her glasses, and says, “Did I ever tell you about the time…?”
In my family, she would begin with the classics, like the one where uncle Mike, when he was 16, snuck away in Grandpa’s Lincoln Continental and drove doughnuts and figure eights through the neighbor’s front yard. Then she might jump ahead 15 years or so and pull out a picture of me when I was four years old, dressed up as an 80’s rocker, chomping on bubble gum, and banging kitchen pots and pans with wooden spoons.