Thursday, November 22

Happy Thanksgiving From The Wisel-Ditkas

It's typically not my mom's birthday without a flight back home, Midwestern-style portions and a watered-down Cosmo that hits her in under ten seconds. But above cranberry juice, pushing past people when Group 6 is called and chicken entrees that could feed a family of 4, there's one ever-present bonus I look forward to every November 21st: a healthy dose of Wisel craziness.

Somewhere during last nights's dinner and my mom telling us about the gun she's buying to protect herself from intruders (despite having a home security system so intense that I've never come home without waking her), she brought up the much-maligned subject of my Grandma Leila's tooth surgery and the unbelievable thing that happened before it.

For those of you who aren't used to these names speed-dialing you at 11pm to "make sure you got home from Brooklyn okay," let me give you a run down: my Grandmother booked an appointment to get a tooth pulled the day before Thanksgiving. The problem? Not only is it 24 hours prior to a family event revolving around chewing, yesterday was also on the anniversary of when she birthed the incomparable Audrey Wisel, and the sole reason for turkey-related festivities in our nook of the Chicagoland area get second billing to my mother's annual Birthday Week. (There's typically a face cake on the dessert table at the holiday feast, so yes, she's practically edged out the most famous American meal with a self-portrait represented in laser-printed icing.)

Because of the high levels of neuroses that run rampant in the Wisel bloodstream, any form of doctor appointment or minor surgery has a prerequisite six days of total freakout over the entire process (thus overshadowing my mom's festive day), and unsurprisingly, a pre-procedure visit to the cardiologist.

Where, also unsurprisingly, this happened:


My grandmother, my aunt, and the wee little old man who used to coach a local football team.

Pretty sure Mike Ditka lives inside a cardiologist's office judging solely from how many times my family has had bratwurst for dinner while wearing Bears sweatshirts, but either way, further photographic evidence of how weird things involving public figured just happen to our bloodline is better than a glistening turkey.

Or, of course, a birthday cake with my mother's face on it.


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