The table had been empty, just her and her daughter in one corner. But soon, the other visiting relatives spilled in and the table filled with noisy families who had, in the heat and length of the day, turned their private messes inside out for the world to see.
One father was recording every moment. He apparently felt the need to document the progression of his family’s emotional paralysis. The spunky mother introduced herself: “Michael and I are divorced. We drove here together. And yes, I just took some Xanax.”
She and her daughter politely smiled at everyone over the rims of paper plates and tried to hold their own among the dysfunction. She liked this scene of domestic discord, this chaotic jumble of feelings hunkered down over bland potato salad and mystery meat. It felt so quintessentially American.