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Susan八年级校园生活(15)--感恩节大餐(魔术女郎成风头人物)

 

            感恩节大餐

 

Susan 小哭译

 

不在美国出生所导致的最糟糕的一件事儿是我们整个家族都不是在这里出生的。家族中的绝大多数人住在中国,只有妈妈、爸爸、弟弟和我住在美国。当类似感恩节这种家族假日来临时这就成了一个问题。感恩节的传统是整个家族聚在一起吃火鸡餐,可是因为我们家族中绝大多数人远在大洋彼岸,于是我妈妈就邀请了朋友们过来团聚。

 

感恩节那天,全家都忙碌起来了。我忙着烤苹果派,妈妈忙着烤火鸡,爸爸忙着打扫整个房子。我们以前从来也没有主办过这么大规模和这么重要的聚会。感恩节基本上算是美国的假日,所以我们没有很多庆祝感恩节的经验,因为我们是华人。这个感恩节以前,我从来没有自己烤过苹果派,我妈妈也没有烤过整只火鸡。这对每个人都是一个挑战。我用了整个上午,从零开始做苹果派,等到我最后做完的时候,累得都想再爬回床上休息了。

 

谢天谢地,客人来之前我们把所有的事情都搞定了。他们都迟到了半个小时至一小时之间。在这半个小时的时间里,我是那么地焦虑和激动。当他们终于到了的时候,我甚至更激动了!我们所有的客人都是华人(除了一人以外),在他们所有人当中,我们是了解美国感恩节文化最多的。给他们介绍美国文化,而不是其它别的什么,让人感觉很奇怪。但那让我感觉很开心,因为我喜欢帮助人,我们主办的聚会帮助了很多人,给他们带来了快乐。

 

每个人都带了食物来聚会,噢,天哪!他们是这么地棒!有鸡翅、排骨、肉、土豆、好吃的青菜和许多别的什么我甚至都不认识的东西!晚餐前,我做了一个简短的发言,介绍了感恩节的传统和历史。房间里的多数人可能一点也不知道清教徒或美国土著人或任何这些故事。这样开始一个夜晚很有趣儿。妈妈端上了她烤的火鸡。相当地好!尝起来就像商店买来的火鸡那样香。马克(聚会上唯一的美国人)说这个火鸡甚至比他在他的家族感恩节聚餐上吃的多数火鸡都香。

 

吃完后,我在房子里毫无目的地乱逛,看看人们都在干什么,这里说几句那里聊两句。房子到处都是喧嚣的声音,我觉得自己淌洋在一片节日的气氛中。

 

所有的好事儿都在楼下。楼上(一楼)是无聊的大人们,彼此谈论着他们的孩子(那是妈妈们)或者他们的工作(那是爸爸们);楼下的地下室,是所有的孩子们,还有几个酷到可以留在下面的大人。楼下热闹疯了!孩子们到处乱跑、乱叫、乱喊和大笑。杰克和另外一个我这么大的孩子也在那儿。杰克真是一个很有趣儿的人,他很擅长和孩子们在一起玩。可能他在楼下帮的忙远大过我。几分钟后,孩子们跑去不同的组,女孩跟女孩玩儿,男孩跟男孩玩儿,他们自己玩着,留下孤单单的我们。

 

看着没有什么事可做,杰克的爸爸,就是马克,建议我给他们表演一些魔术。我想“好啊!好啊!我终于可以给他们表演魔术了!”我能感觉到自己冲刺般地冲到了楼上,抓起卡片,以最快的速度演习了一下,就又冲回到楼下。就是这样地。

 

客人们来之前我已经练习过半个小时了。我相当地确定我会有机会表演一些魔术,所以我要确保所有的卡片都准备好了。回到楼下试演我的新魔术并没用多长时间。魔术还行,不是我表演得最好的一次,但也足够好了。马克非常地满意。

 

接下来的一小时过得非常慢。每一个人真是都很饱,没有人想吃餐后甜点。我不知道楼上在干什么,他们可能只是聊啊聊地聊了一整个小时吧。楼下,我们只是走来走去的,玩卡片游戏。我很满意地说,在输了之前所有的三轮游戏之后,我终于赢了最后一轮。杰克和聚会上的另一个家伙很快地成为了朋友。杰克读高二,另一个才六年级,不过他们几乎一样高。哇!孩子们只是跑来跑去,自己玩着。偶尔地,会出现一点问题,我们不得不处理一下。我注意到一个现象:所有的问题要么是一个小男孩打别人,要么是别人打他。他是个麻烦,就是他。幸运的是,没发生什么特严重的事儿。

 

只是坐在那儿,玩玩卡片,很好玩儿。我总算是可以在充满焦虑地准备和等待一天之后放松下来了;我总算是可以享受这个聚会了。我希望这一刻可以永远下去。但悲哀的是,我们都不得不上楼去吃苹果派。没有一个人想去再吃点什么。我也不想吃派了,虽然是我自己烤的。我真的累了,但意想不到的是,来了一件让我马上振作起来的事情:魔术表演!

 

我要为客人们表演魔术!为他们所有的人表演,不只是马克和少数几个人。他们所有的人!立即,我不再觉得累了。就像上次一样,我冲到楼上。但是因为那将是一个大规模的表演,我不得不演习一下以确认我把每一件事都准备好了。然后,我轻松地走下楼,等着几个人坐下来就开始。剩下的人(除了一、两个)在我做了几个准备动作后坐了下来。好了,“伙计们”,我想,“你们看好了”。

 

我紧张不安,然而,我让自己看起来充满信心。我也很激动。我已经练习了这么多了,为的就是这种时候。第一个技巧(我不想太多地使用“戏法”这个词,因为“戏法”带有一点负面的感觉):成功。第二个技巧:成功。第三个:成功。第四个:成功。第五个:超级地成功!最后一个是迄今为止最棒的一个。在令人费解的魔术戏法之后,人们都很安静,在想着到底是怎么回事儿。

 

我认为这个表演甚至算得上最好的一个。不仅戏法是最好的一个,我的表演也是最好的一次。他们说魔术表演的魅力和惊喜一半来自于魔术师展示他/她的魔术的手法;另一半来自于表演本身。那绝对是正确的。我要确保观众一直很专心地听我说,还要确保不要一下子把所有的东西都放到他们面前。并且,我还要确保不告诉他们秘密所在,这样会使得这些戏法更加不可思议。这绝对是我最好的一次表演!现在,我来告诉你们这个秘密。秘密在这儿。嘘……靠近一点,这就是秘密……“是魔法”。

 

魔术表演之后,我觉得好多了。当爸爸端来苹果派时,我很乐意吃一块了。我以为苹果派尝起来会甜得腻人,或者有一股肉桂粉的味儿,或者……反正我总觉得不会很好吃。结果却证明非常地好吃!真的好吃!在活动和喧闹之后,我很想吃点凉的。冰箱里的苹果派又凉、又鲜,甜度适当,尝起来和我吃过的最好的苹果派一样。多数人也都喜欢吃。他们很是惊讶于是我做的。那晚我的自信心得到了极大的增强,开始是魔术戏法,然后是苹果派。我想我妈妈也是如此,因为聚会搞得如此地好,她的火鸡也相当地棒。

 

最后,马克说聚会非常地好。他说聚会因着火鸡和苹果派而“非常美国化”。这是相当好听的恭维话,特别是从某个参加感恩节聚会的年头比我的年纪都大的人口中说出来。明年我们肯定还会再搞一次聚会!我希望自己可以表演更多的魔术!

 

【小哭介绍背景】这一篇不属于Susan的校园生活,本来我只想和几个朋友私下分享的。但后来发现主要内容“变魔术”属于学校的大作业,于是觉得发表也有理由了。其实主要是我特别地想发表这篇,因为Susan在文后的一句话“那晚我的自信心得到了极大的增强,开始是魔术戏法,然后是苹果派。”这是对我张罗这个聚会所有的辛苦和付出的最好回馈。不用说,明年我肯定还会再搞这样的聚会!除了带给她积极正面的精神面貌外,现在的我能够帮到她的地方已经非常地有限了。在我还能有一定影响力的领域,我当然愿意全力以赴地去做了,何况,这本来也是我喜欢做的事儿,并且还有一个小宝也睁着好奇的小眼睛在看着呢。

 

去年搬家前,Susan在橡树园的女童子军活动中,学过烤苹果派。当时他们现场烤的都吃掉了,后来又烤了一批每人带一个回家。我们家很隆重地品尝了Susan他们的手艺,小宝吃得很香,爸爸大大地赞扬了一通,于是Susan说想以后给家里烤苹果派,我就赶紧跟那个负责人要了配方,不想一年后还真的起到了作用。我们在网上也查了配方,但是Susan还是觉得她用过的这个最好,主要是她觉得心里有点数。但是,她非常高估了自己的能力,以为一、两个小时的活儿,最后做了三个多小时,害得我直催她赶紧给我腾烤箱烤火鸡。

 

话说我也是头一次烤火鸡,但是我从去年起就留意了烤火鸡的方子,所以知道要提前三两天把火鸡弄回家,否则可能就来不及了。后来我在通读了七、八个方子后,选了三个打印出来放在厨房里。最后基本上把其中的两个给揉合到一起,烤出来了令朋友们“惊艳”的火鸡。开吃前Susan爸的发言,主要就是通告大家小哭头一次烤整只大火鸡,如果不好吃的话,请放弃评价。为了给小哭保全面子,还特意讲了一个笑话,意思就是火鸡这东西怎么烤也没人会爱吃。不想等着男主人把切下来的一片片火鸡肉送到孩子们的盘子里后,小朋友们就开始喊“再来点!”几个小宝那么大的,完全是靠吃火鸡肉吃饱的!吃完就下到地下室玩去了。而负责照顾孩子的Susan,为了再多吃几口,急得手足无措地:)Susan在教会和朋友圈中,以最令人满意的BABYSITTER著称,有她带孩子我基本上不用怎么操心孩子们的事儿。

 

开场白是Susan爸讲的,讲完就请Susan介绍感恩节的来历和几个特色的传统。我事先安排时,Susan有点不想发言,我给她带了顶小高帽儿,她就同意了。我说你从小在新英格兰地区长大,这方面的传统了解得比较多,可是今天来宾中很多人并没有你的那些经历,所以给大家讲解一下,帮忙做做好事儿也是尽主人之宜嘛。结果就成了Susan文中写的那样了:)如有冒犯,实非本意。不过想着六个家庭,那么多的小朋友,加上确实也有朋友不清楚除了火鸡之外,还有哪些传统食物以及选用这些食物的来历,所以她那样说也可以接受。

 

Susan对魔术是越来越着迷了。第一个小学期的小电影之后,这个小学期的激情大作业她选的是变魔术,一天到晚有空就在YOUTUBE油管子上搜魔术视频看。当初看阿朵讲双胞胎玩编皮筋时上网自学,我一下子就想到了Susan变魔术:)孩子内心有原动力,他们就会发挥出全部的潜力去学习。这种学习的能力真的会让家长乐得合不拢嘴。管它现在是学什么呢,这个自我提高的能力比什么都令人欣慰。只是,有的时候Susan让我觉得也很烦人,一天到晚都想表演给人看,不管家里来了什么客人,抓住人家就要表演。出去参加任何聚会,随身都会带上扑克牌,随时准备表演:)这人要是着迷什么事儿,可能都是这样的。上个月在马克的生日会上,Susan在马克的美国家族中出了一把风头;而这次的感恩节聚会,她似乎更觉得过瘾:)有的时候她会自豪地说,这个大作业绝对会得A+:)

 

魔术表演时,我在厨房洗碗、洗盘,趁机和一个朋友聊天,所以什么也没看到。后来看了录像和照片后,感觉确实如Susan所言,那场面完全被她控制住了。几家的大人看得都很投入,主要是大家都想找到魔术的机关,可就是找不到!Susan爸告诉我最好笑的一个插曲,是一个挨着Susan、死盯着表演的阿姨,看了几次、折腾了几把,也找不到机关,不得不服之后,问Susan秘密到底在哪里。Susan说我可以悄悄地告诉你,于是阿姨就把脖子伸了过来,Susan就凑上去,悄悄地说了句“是魔法It’s magic”。等到阿姨把答案公布给大家,现场顿时就笑翻了:)可惜这段没录下来。

 

我们六家一堆手机和相机,拍了半天,最后发现,竟然没有一张火鸡的标准照,这一点令大家都觉得不可思议,不过合影里面有:)切火鸡的过程照片也有,就是没有切前最漂亮的标准照,太可惜了。所以当我在微信上晒幸福时,收到了“海内外”“老少爷们”“七姑八婆”们最多的一次留言,而且几乎全部都是要求“上照片”和“求真相”,唉,我那个遗憾啊。

 

Susan爸前两天说,孩子们长大后就只剩下我们俩在家过节了。我说也不一定那么悲观,孩子们长大后不回来过节看你,并不是说他们一定要远离你,可能是他们有更想去的地方和选择。如果我们家的传统让孩子们很留恋,也许他们会选择带上朋友和朋友的朋友和……,回家来过节。所以,咱们就努把力,把办聚会弄成一个家庭传统活动,把家里弄得温馨到他们觉得回家过节是第一选择吧。

 

对了,Susan提到的客人们集体迟到的真相是这样的——我的通知上写的是:晚上五点开门迎客,六点开始吃饭,迟到的请打招呼。结果五家客人齐刷刷地在5:50pm5.55pm到达:)

 

 

 

附上英文原文:

 

Thanksgiving Dinner

 

One of the worst things about not being born in the United States is the fact that my whole family is not born here either. Most of them are living in China. Only my mom, my dad, my brother, and I are living in the U.S. That’s a problem when family holidays, like Thanksgiving, comes around. The tradition is that the whole family gathers together for the turkey dinner, but since most of my family is a whole ocean away, my mom invited friends over instead.

 

On Thanksgiving day, the whole house was busy. I was busy making apple pie, my mom was busy baking the turkey, and my dad was cleaning up the house. We’ve never hosted a party that large-scaled and that important before. Thanksgiving is mainly an American holiday, and since we are Chinese, we have not had that much experience in celebrating Thanksgiving. Before that day, I have never baked apple pie on my own before, and my mom have never baked a tukey. It was challenging for everyone. I spent all morning making the pie from scratch, and by the time I was done, I was ready to go to bed again.

 

Thankfully, we got everything done before the party guests arrived. They all came half and hour late! I was so very anxious and excited during that half-hour. Finally, they got here, and I got even more excited! All of our guests were Chinese (except for one), and among them all, we were the ones who knew most about the American cultures of Thanksgiving. It felt strange to be introducing others to American culture, instead of the other way around. It made me feel happy, though, because I like helping people, and us hosting that party helped a lot of people, and made people happy.

 

Everyone brought some food to the party, and boy! Were they good! There were chicken wings, ribs, meat, potatoes, yummy vegtables, and a bunch of other stuff I don’t even recognize! Before dinner, I gave a small speech about the traditions of Thanksgiving, and about how it originated. Most of the people in the room probably didn’t know anything about the pilgrims or the Native Americans or any of that. It was an interesting way to start the night. My mom brought out the turkey she baked. It was really good! It tasted just like a store-bought turkey. Mark (the only American guy at the party) said it was better than most of the turkey’s he’s had at his family’s Thanksgiving dinners.

 

 After I got my food, I sort of wandered aimlessly around the house, checking up on how people were doing, dropping in on conversations here and there. The house was buzzing with voices, and I felt myself getting into a festive mood.

 

All the good stuff was going on downstairs. Upstairs (1st floor) were the boring adults, talking to eachother about their kids (that’s the moms) or about their jobs (that’s the dads). Downstairs, in the basment, were all the kids and a few adults who were cool enough to be able to be down there. It was crazy down there! There were kids running around all over the place, screaming, shouting, laughing. Jack and another kid my age was also there. Jack is a really fun person, he was great with the kids. He probably helped out down there more thank I did. After a few minutes, the kids ran off into different groups, the girls with the girls, and boys with the boys, to play by themselves, and left us mostly alone.

 

With nothing to do, Mark, Jack’s dad, suggested I show them some magic tricks. I thought “Yes! Yes! I FINALLY get to show them my magic tricks!” I felt like sprinting up the stairs, grabbing my cards, doing a quick practice, and sprinting back down. Which was what I did.

 

I had been practicing for half an hour before the guests arrived. I was positive I was going to be performing some magic, so I made sure I had all my cards all set and ready. It didn’t take long for me to get back downstairs and show test out my new tricks. The tricks were alright. Not the best I could’ve done, but good enough. Mark was sufficiently amazed.

 

The next hour went slowly. Everyone was really full, nobody wanted to eat dessert. I’m not sure what happened upstairs, they probably just talked and talked through that whole hour. Downstairs, we just hung out and played some cards. I’m satisfied to say I won the last round. After losing all the other three games before. Jack and another guy that showed up at the party became fast friends. Jack’s a sophomore, the other guy’s in 6th grade, and they’re almost the same height. Wow. The kids just ran around, playing by themselves. Occasionaly, a problem would arrise, and we would have to sort it out. I noticed a pattern there: all the of the problems were either caused by this little boy hurting someone, or someone hurting him. He’s trouble, that one. Fortunately, nothing too serious happened.

 

It was fun, just sitting down there, playing cards. I could finally relax after a day of anxiously preparing and waiting. I could finally enjoy the party. I wished that moment could go on forever. But, sadly, we all had to go upstairs to eat apple pie. None of us wanted to eat anymore. I didn’t want to eat pie either, even though I made it myself. I was really tired, but then, something made me cheer up immediately: a magic show!

 

I was going to perform some magic for the guests! For all of them, not just Mark and a few other people. All of them! Immediately, I no longer felt tired. Like last time, I sprinted up the stairs. But since it was going to be a full scale performance, I had to practice and make sure I’ve got everything right. Then, I casually walked down the stairs, waited for a few people to sit down, and started. The rest of the people (except for one or two) sat down after I did a few warm-ups. Alright, girl. I though. You’ve got this.

 

I was nervous. However, I made sure I looked confident. I was excited also. I’ve been practicing for so much, just for moments like those. First feat (I don’t want to use the word “trick” too much, because “trick” has a negative feeling to it): success. One person figured it out, but I wasn’t expecting anything less. It was just a simple warm-up. Second feat: success. Third: success. Fourth: success. Fifth: super-mega-success! That last one was the best one yet, and it was met with the satisfying sort of silence that follows bewildering magic tricks.

 

I think that performance was my best one yet. Not only were the tricks the best, my performance was the best also. They say half the magic of a magic show is in the way the magician shows his/her magic. Half the amazement’s in the show. That’s definitely true. I made sure the audience was always attentive and listen, and I made sure not to pile everything on them at once. Also, I made sure I didn’t tell them the secret, and that made the tricks way more magical. Definitely my best performance ever! Actually, I tell you the secret. Here’s the secret. Shhhh…come in closer, here’s the secret….it’s magic.

 

After that magic show, I felt a lot better, and when my dad brought out the apple pie, I was ready to try a slice. I was expecting it to taste sickeningly sweet, or really cinnamon-ish, or… I was just expecting it to be bad. Turned out it was really good! Really good! After all the activity and the bustle, I was craving something cold. The refrigerated apple pie was cold, fresh, and had just the right amount of sweetness. It tasted like the best pie I’ve ever had. Most people like it too. They were surprised I made it. I got a major confidence boost that night, first from the magic tricks, then from the apple pie. I think my mom did too, because the party went so well, and her turkey was great too.

 

At the end, Mark said the party was very good. He said it was “very American”, with the turkey and the apple pie. It’s a fine compliment, especially from someone who’s been to more Thanksgiving dinners than years I’ve been alive. We’re definitely doing this again next year! And hopefully, I would have more magic tricks to show!

 

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评论

司马冰的头像
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真是太棒了,小文章写的,以及整个活动。“我注意到一个现象:所有的问题要么是一个小男孩打别人,要么是别人打他。他是个麻烦,就是他。幸运的是,没发生什么特严重的事儿。”看到这儿,我笑了,观察力和归纳能力很强,很快发现问题所在。

 
周小哭的头像
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 是啊,那天众妈妈们也都悄悄地跟我说,那个孩子真是个麻烦。

 
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