My aunts and cousins would all gather at Grandma's house to start the cooking and other preparation on Thursday morning. Around noon the men would start to arrive - all with beards and wearing blaze orange and generally looking a little rougher than I was used to seeing my uncles or my dad. Grandma had a truly open heart, so our Thanksgiving celebration picked up a lot of extra folks, if you had no place to go for the day and knew someone who was going to be at the Rochon's, then you were invited. Her house would be bursting with people by early afternoon, an odd mix of family and hunting buddies, men in flannel and girls in dresses.
The football game would be on the TV, and around 2p the meal would begin. There was only one large table, everyone else grabbed a plate and a corner of the couch or a piece of the floor. And the men were always served first.
I was around nine when I really noticed it for the first time and asked Grandma while helping stir something in the kitchen. She told me of course the men were served first and to her the idea seemed as natural as breathing. Whether it was because of when she was raised or her Native American heritage, it was ingrained into her. Sitting at a table with men who were literally hunting for food that morning seemed to only prove her point.
I argued, mostly because I was hungry. It didn't seem fair. Then Grandma told me something I've remembered ever since.
The men are served the completed meal first. But the women doing the cooking have to taste what they're cooking, to know that it's ready.
Truth bends, and is all about your point of view. Sometimes an early taste is better than a later meal.