I recently, as in about 45 minutes ago, learned that Capgras Syndrome is a rare psychological disorder that causes those inflicted to believe people close to them have been replaced by identical impostors.
I started to wonder: what would I do if I woke up on Thanksgiving Day and felt that the family I knew and tolerated was not really there? How do we go each day really knowing that the people we said goodnight to are those who greet us in the morning?
To ease my worries that are sure to arise with my track record of hypochondria, I devised a short test to dole out if my parents give me reasonable suspicion of impostor activity on Thanksgiving Day…
Part I: Mom – OPERATION CLEAN IT UP
Mom is an easy one. If I know how to spot anyone in the world it’s Anderson Cooper, but my mother is a very close second. The key identifiers of a Mrs. Atkinson are as follows…
A. It’s Thanksgiving morning: Is my loveable, yet scattered household the picture of cleanliness? Do I hear my mother screaming at my brother to clean his room even though we both know no one but him has been allowed in there for at least a decade?
B. Is mom polishing the family photos so everyone can see just how precious her darling children are? Is she asking where that adorable (horrifying) photo of me from the 8th grade that everyone just loves (laughs at) went after last Thanksgiving? (I hid it under my bed).
If mom isn’t participating in all of the activities above on Thanksgiving morning she’s either ill or a clone. I’ll probably call the authorities regardless.
Part II: Dad – OPERATION I CARE LESS NOW THAN I DID YESTERDAY
Dad is where things get hazy. If Dad was replaced by a body snatcher years ago, I most likely wouldn’t have noticed unless he called me by the wrong name… nope, probably not even then. My dad is a bit of a nonchalant guy; he doesn’t cause waves or do anything “dad-like,” especially on Thanksgiving. I should remember to be on the lookout for hiding, as he tends to disappear around November’s last Thursday. Thanksgiving is his least favorite holiday because he’s a proud immigrant who thinks a majority of America-specific holidays are gluttonous and somewhat corrupt (he’s not incorrect, I suppose).
A. Is he explaining why a majority of America-specific holidays are stupid, gluttonous, and somewhat corrupt? This process should start with Valentines Day (and not pause when you remind him that Valentines day didn’t start in America; he’ll still say it’s our fault…again, not incorrect) and make his way down to Flag Day (I’ll give you that one day, not my favorite either) before rounding it out at Turkey Day.
B. Is he starting to make fake coughing noises so he can get out of going to Thanksgiving dinner and hearing Aunt Sharon talk about how she disliked him “from the beginning”?
If all else fails, these reminders of my parent’s true identity should be enough to weed out any body-doubles trying to fulfill their evil plan by stealing my mom’s secret stuffing recipe.