My Thanksgiving Documentary
November 30, 2011 36 Comments
Thanksgiving morning wears on as I watch people fret over whether the oil is not enough in the turkey fryer. While I want to appear helpful, I move back from the flaming propane tank under boiling oil. Determined to make the most of the day, I go inside to the bag of Honey BBQ Cheetos I plan to taste test in honor of The Little Johnny Club (@debihen, @daralynneiloo, and @haircuter).
My mother-in-law, sees the Honey BBQ Cheetos, and, much to my amusment and dismay, treats them like an actual food item. She gets a bowl out for them, because no civilized snack can just sit out on the table in its own bag.
It may have in fact been the bag throwing them off. Once she put them in a fancy bowl, people were raving over them. Even @lahikmajoe was convinced, “I don’t even particularly like Cheetos, but that presentation is making me hungry.”
This is about the time the box Salt and Vinegar Crickets arrives. I know you are thinking that if there are crickets available as snack food, that they MUST be the same crickets I took pictures of and posted a while back on Twitter. However, these are totally DIFFERENT crickets. My sister-in-law’s boyfriend’s brother brought them because he was “interested in trying new foods.”
If I had brought crickets to Thanksgiving, I’m pretty sure it would be considered an act of war. I actually brought a stryofoam cup once and tried to hold onto it for the day, which wasn’t received very well. Crickets would have been way over the top. But somehow, when someone else brings bugs, it is whole different game altogether. Maybe there is some parallel universe out there where my snack crickets are better received.
At any rate, the crickets were treated with the same pomp and circumstance as Cheetos and placed in a dish of cut crystal. It was about this time that @LittleGirlGrey sends me a beautiful picture of her gourmet bruschetta creation, complete with Blackberry Lemonade Fizzy.
So, of course, I send her a picture in return.
@LittleGirlGrey, like most of my Twitter friends, was quick to show her support, “Don’t forget to add a caramel dipping sauce! It will make that salty cricket taste GOLD!”
I was a little concerned when I couldn’t find a pumpkin or gourd with my name on it at the main table. Turned out, I finally made it to that little table off to the side where they put all the odd relatives and children.
Some people call it the kid’s table. I call it the table for the drunk and disenchanted.
By brother actually made it to the big table. He is little more civilized than me, I suppose. I exacted my revenge by giving him all the crickets left over from snack time, a surprisingly large percentage.
Dinner commences and the afternoon wears on. For the entire day, I have really just wanted to take a break from everything and write my sappy Thanksgiving blogpost. @lucysfootball got to write one. I know, because I read it while I was hiding in the bathroom (Gooble Gobble Goo and Gobble Gobble Gickel; I Wish Turkey Only Cost a Nickel).
After dinner, when it seems like everyone is distracted watching the Cowboy game, I quietly take out the laptop and begin to type. I have not yet even typed one sentence when I notice someone reading over my shoulder, uncomfortably close to my face. I pull back with what I hope is a look of quizzical annoyance. “Watcha doin?” they ask.
I shut the laptop. Nothing. Now I am doing nothing.
The evening wears on. The room begins to darken. Cheers rise and fall in the background as someone wins the football game. Then people begin to leave. “Drive safe. See you soon,” we tell them, with hugs all around.
The night wears on. Someone builds a fire outside. My father in law grabs his guitar and heads out, yelling, “Fireside sing-along everybody!” Oh shit, I glance down and realize my phone battery is at twenty-percent. I should have been more careful taking all those Cheeto pictures then not charging it. Hoping for a Thanksgiving battery-life miracle, I head out toward the singing and general merriment. Neither of which I am good at.
The phone held in for a little while. Before I ran out of battery, I was able to accuse @AIRIGOAGAIN of being a van and somehow inspire @jbrown3079 and @lucysfootball to convince me to care about either dogs or Sarah McLacklan.
When the fire finally dies down, my sister-in-law and I head indoors, get our laptops and retreat to the dining room. Neither of us bothers to turn on a light and the darkness works its magic. Despite the eerie white glow of our computer screens, we become invisible as everyone moves past us for more pie, or to wipe the stickiness of the fireside smores from their fingers. I finally get to type.
When I get started on something, I am pretty good at tuning things out. So, once this blog thing gets rolling, I am determined to finish despite interruption. At some point, my sister-in-law starts singing show tunes, or a song from the Little Mermaid 2. She was telling me about it, but I was too busy typing like mad to pay close attention.
Then, my mother-in-law comes in and for some reason beyond my comprehension, starts telling me about breakfast. I give her the same agreeable nod I gave to my sister-in-law in response to the show tunes. Then she says, “I hate to do this,” and literally starts pulling the tablecloth out from under my laptop. The tablecloth apparently needed to be washed… at midnight. I lift the laptop, and pause typing, never taking my eyes from the screen. Finishing my sappy Thanksgiving blog is only thing I really wanted to do all day and I will not be deterred, not by show tunes, and not by table clothes. And no…. I don’t want pie.
So, I type through the whir of dessert. Forks clink amidst the banter of a late night talk show host. Someone makes coffee, most likely decaf. Then, suddenly, the most amazing thing happens. Silence. Amazingly, everyone finally went to bed.
Alone in the darkness, I add a last few words to my Thanksgiving blog. Finished. With the feeling of gratitude I sometimes get when my life almost makes sense, I hit the magic button… ‘Publish.’ Like a message in a bottle, my sappy holiday post drifts out into the world, waiting to be found.
A sense of relief washes over me as Thanksgiving slides away, leaving only vast amounts of refrigerated turkey in its wake. The new day finds me on my own at a table once teeming with activity. Enjoying the small achievement of holiday-accomplished, I check to see who is awake with me on Twitter. Then, a timely message appears onscreen from @heinakroon:
“Well, I’m glad you survived. On for Christmas!”
Sigh. Bring it, holidays. Bring it.
Side Note: I am totally aware that from an alternate perspective, there is a woman out there perplexed that her lovely formal dinner was waylaid by crickets and Cheetos. But, the world belongs to people who write shit down. Remember that. Or, you can just link here and refer back to it.