November is for Suckers

Okay, so I’m the one responsible for Thanksgiving and I keep convincing myself that it must be because I’m so awesome. But mostly, I’m just a sucker. Because as we all well know, all that preparation for Thanksgiving totally sucks. People start going wild in the supermarket, and something about an oven heating your house till kingdom come while you run around trying to get everything together is kind of awful (I should mention fall weather is sporadic if not nonexistent in Florida).  Of course, my sister claims she can’t cook so she brings drinks (though I still wonder if this was just part of her plan all these years. However, her dishes do speak for themselves and are quite convincing). And my mom, having hosted all her life, bowed out several years ago and handed the cooking twine to me.  So I get stuck with basically everything. Fun, right?

No. Not fun at all. It’s miserable.

So, I played around this year with convincing my family to go to a restaurant.  You know, being practical and all that, and I know if I really wanted to, I could actually convince them. But . . . yeah, you guessed it.

I don’t want to go to a restaurant. 

Turns out I actually want the craziness. I want to lug around a frozen turkey and worry about how to properly defrost it again. I want to curse in my kitchen as I handle this huge freaking dead bird and worry about all the potential salmonella on the counters and cross contamination. I want to get borderline crazy. I want to make a mess that will have to be cleaned up. I want to have to look up the cooking temps and times again. I want to figure out at the last moment that I forgot the one key ingredient I need to make three dishes happen. I want to forget the gravy boat, damn it, the gravy boat that I forget to buy every year! And I want to be in the middle of getting a hot pan out of the oven when the phone rings and I answer it to my sister screaming “Gobble, gobble, gobble!” into my ear the way one of us always does to the other. 

Yep, I actually prefer this.  Kind of sick, right? 

Because even though it’s crazy, it means being home and enveloped in the smells of Thanksgiving and having my kids remind me how much they loooooooove Thanksgiving. And the Macy’s day parade is on TV in the background and I say to my husband (as I do every year) “Man, I could not *bleeping* handle being in a crowd like that!” and he says, “It’s *bleeping* crazy!” like he always does.  
And as family arrives, I like how my house becomes this place where everyone wants to be together. We all know each other’s faults, we know how imperfect and crazy and ill-tempered and kind and funny we can all be and we are tucked away here, free to be that way together. We know my sister (a bit of a sap) will make us go around the table and say what we’re thankful for even though she can hardly ever get the words out herself and she ends up shaking her head, trying to hide the ugly cry faces she makes (I do too, but it’s funnier to tell you about her). And my brother kind of smiles at us but then mutters one or two things because he’s single and lives on his own and just wants some damn mashed potatoes already.  And then we all hang out the rest of the day and well into the evening, and discuss the abundance of food and feel guilty about how gluttonous we are when so many people in the world go without. And we all wonder the same thing—how in the world we’ve been so lucky. Some of us believing it’s because of prayer and faith and some of us relieved because we’ve managed to fly under the radar again. And we sigh, and cut ourselves another piece of pie and promise to eat all the leftovers and make a smaller turkey next year.  

This is Thanksgiving.

So I head out, and roll my eyes at the lady who thinks it’s a race to the cans of pumpkin pie filling and who would surely take me out if I try to take the last one, and I’ll complain and call my sister a liar and tell her she could cook if she just tried.  And I do it because I really love my family a
whole lot (even my super conservative brother in law whom I always bait or he baits me into some kind of political smack down until we both think the other is a total idiot). And I looooooove these moments.  All of them.

Because it’s Thanksgiving—in all its horrific glory—for suckers like me.

I remembered this year! Finally!


  1. I'm reading this post as I draw up my menu, (cooking for 17 this year, as I have been doing for 20 years now,)and thinking about the one time (ONE TIME!) I forgot to put sugar in the pumpkin pie, and how every year (EVERY YEAR!) someone will bring that up. Remember the time Jody forgot to put sugar in the pumpkin pie? Ha ha. Fun times.

  2. My favorite part of the Thanksgiving weekend is putting up the Christmas tree...

  3. I'm a Thanksgiving sucker, too. Love the craziness, and feeling like I'm going to ruin dinner, and yelling at everyone to hurry up and come to the table before everything gets cold. Which it does, but it's good anyway. Most of all, I'm super thankful my husband does all the dishes. Which is the very worst part. YES!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Yep! That's T'day all right. This year I'm up to anywhere between 10 and 16! Why 6 people can't say yes or no is beyond me.

    I loved your comment about Amazon. You are definitely right about their not getting to the heart of the problem with this crazy author-banned on review thing.

    Have a great holiday. Have your sister always bring the water for the tea. That's safe. :-)

  5. Hey, Jody, remember that time you forgot to put the sugar in the pumpkin pie!

    @Holly, something was definitely wrong with me this year. Got the tree up early November. Not typical at all!

    @Beth, yes, I always feel like I'm going to ruin everything. You wouldn't believe how I check to make sure I got all the, er, um, insides out of the turkey. I know it's just a little bag of stuff, but I'm always convinced there's more and I triple and quadruple check to make sure I don't cook the turkey with the all that stuff still tucked inside! Ew!

    @Cleemckenzie, yep, I always worry I won't have enough and then I always end up with waaaayy too much. And I don't remember commenting about the author banned review thing on Amazon, but I'm curious now. Still have the link? Hope you have a wonderful holiday also and yes, water for tea from my dear sister is probably safest! :D

  6. I like your description of your family and your holiday, and I can see why you prefer to host the dinner at home. It sounds like it's worth it. I also like that Thanksgiving is one of the few days where people are encouraged to eat without having to feel guilty about it. :)


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