(Caveat: This will be a work-in-progress, updated as the day progresses. Feel free to check back periodically, and Happy Turkey Day to you all!)
1. Official Gratitude Statement: check. And now I find myself thinking vaguely about the various jerkwads who have been pains in my tuckus over the years, and trying to dig out their kernel of inherent goodness. This is easier for some folks than for others.
2. We got a new-to-us spare fridge last week from a dear friend, and were all excited because we could use it to defrost the turkey. A smart person would’ve installed a thermometer so she could see whether this was a reasonable plan. Guess whether I installed a thermometer?
3. A smart person would’ve checked the turkey thawing status before Time To Start Prepping the Bird o’clock. Hence Moon Man’s last-minute run to the grocery store today for a fresh bird. Thankfully, they had one, and in a reasonable size; so there is, in fact, a bird in the oven. Otherwise I was going to make him get deli turkey, and we would’ve served that in gravy over the rolls. I am nothing if not resourceful.
4. Jamming handfuls of compound butter into the personal regions of a dead turkey will never, ever be sexy, and there is nothing to be done about that. So I upped the sexy factor by doing this while wearing a frumpy housedress and sweatpants. Iiiiif you want my body, aaaaand you think I’m sexy….
5. Just wrote out all the dishes we’re having this year, and there are approximately two entire dishes per planned attendee. Two. Entire. Dishes. Someday I’ll learn how to cook the correct amount of food for a given group of people; in the meantime, apparently I’m planning to feed my entire zip code. Awesome. Yay for leftovers?
6. My dislike of gender-based stereotypes notwithstanding, I couldn’t help but notice last night at the grocery store that the shoppers were generally divided into two groups: women who were On A Mission So Do NOT Get Between Me And That Cranberry Sauce, and men on their cell phones saying things like “they don’t have any fresh, but they have little canisters that say ‘rubbed’ and ‘ground’. Which one do you want? Are they even different?”. Outliers included what appeared to be an unattended 12-year-old boy with his own cart and an older couple who were strolling along like they were taking a leisurely walk in the park.
7. Changing the cat litter is a nice sort of thing to do. However, attempting to do so after your husband has already vacuumed and while he is on the phone with his parents effectively guarantees that the bag will snag on a corner and break. The good news is that the floor is now extra-clean, as is the litter box.
8. “Grabbing a quick shower before the guests arrive” is an awfully good way to make sure they all show up a half-hour early, while your hair is still wet and you’re still in your housedress.
9. It’s family. They can just cope with the housedress.
10. You know on tv, how everything is timed perfectly and comes out at exactly the same moment? Yeah, well, that’s because it’s all fake food. It’s not going to happen. Especially not if you forget the asparagus altogether until the last second, which turns out to be ok because you forgot to turn up the heat under the Brussels sprouts so they are still pretty much completely raw despite being in the pan for 10 minutes.
11. You can fret about not making stuffing if you want to, but at some point, while five adults are all in the kitchen juggling pans and pots and bowls and ladles, you will look around and realize that stuffing would have been total overkill. The human body only holds so much, and besides…
12. There is never, ever, ever enough counter space for a Thanksgiving meal. Ever.
13. It’s a good idea to serve the kids first, but this means that they will be finished eating first, and then you get to figure out what to do with them while all the grownups try to eat their food. (Hint: when one is six and one is three, “sit still while the grownups visit” is an unrealistic goal.) Turning on cartoons for them only works if you also remember to un-mute the television; Auntie Buffalo’s remark that “those cartoons don’t have sound because they’re old, from before when they started using sound in movies” only works for a few minutes.
14. Kids will always, always, always believe that if they touch the keys just a little bit softer, you won’t be able to hear them playing with the piano this time.
15. Therefore, if you promise them that they can play the piano for a few minutes right before they leave, they are suddenly much more compliant with directions like “not quite yet” and “put your shoes on so we can get ready to go”.
16. Punkin Chunkin is a beautiful thing. Some will argue that that’s because of the technical skill and physics involved; personally, I’d submit that it’s a very easy thing to veg in front of while you try to digest the approximately 394 pounds of food you consumed.
17. This year is never going to be the year that you “just take a little bit”. Stop kidding yourself.
…and when it’s all done, you look at the niece’n’nephew and realize that they’re growing up ridiculously quickly, and you look at your Mom and wonder how you got to have such a great Mom (even if she does drive you a little bit nutso sometimes), and you look at your brother and sister-in-law and realize that when you weren’t looking your bratty younger brother became a grownup man and your sister-in-law has become such a key part of the family that you can’t actually remember when she wasn’t there, and you look at your husband and your heart grows three sizes, and you deeply, profoundly understand what Thanksgiving is all about.
…and then you chase the cat off the counter, because he has discovered the butter dish and is trying to eat as much of it as he can before you catch him.