“There has to be a better way to spend Thanksgiving,” wrote my witty pal, Tom, in an e-mail he shot off to me as Thanksgiving, 2008, was drawing to a close.
“Three hours of preparation, four hours of cooking, thirty minutes of eating, two hours of cleanup and five hours of heartburn. It just doesn’t compute,” he declared.
“Next year, if I can’t wrangle a dinner invitation, I’m going to the Salvation Army and eat!”
Now, THAT sounds like a plan, only he got off easy. I also wasted a tank of gas visiting all local grocery stores to take advantage of Thanksgiving specials, and stood in line so long, I was able to read four of my favorite magazines plus the National Enquirer. (I especially enjoyed the article about the woman who was suffering from severe headaches. During exploratory surgery, doctors discovered a worm in her brain which had migrated north after she ate undercooked pork. Needless to say I won’t be serving pork this year.)
I rearranged the house to provide more seating in my tiny gathering space and cleaned away seven months worth of dust and grime that had collected since my Easter celebration. I broke three fingernails and had to run to the store for drain cleaner twice to unclog my garbage disposal which gets backed up inexplicably every year when the doorbell rings.
I have decided the doorbell is somehow routed through the garbage disposal! Neither works properly.
I spent eight hours cooking, and two hours getting it all on the table. My gang consumed their fill in about 20 minutes and left me with a house full of dirty dishes, one broken plate and stains on my white table cloth which impart a less than festive tie-dyed effect.
On the upside, I didn’t have a single personal disaster. Nothing went wrong. Absolutely nothing. I didn’t drop anything, burn anything, undercook anything, or have to call the fire department. As far as I know, no one has been admitted to the hospital for food poisoning – but the week is still young.
Now, I’m faced with a dozen containers of leftovers to carry me through the New Year. Since I cannot bring myself to throw food away, I’LL probably be the one to be admitted to the hospital with food poisoning – somewhere around Christmas Eve!
Yes. I’ll do it all over again – in about three weeks when the Christmas spirit descends upon me – all complicated by the added chore of buying and wrapping Christmas presents.
As I dutifully cleaned up the kitchen and took down all the pumpkins tonight, I began humming “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” while Tina Turner belted out her signature song on the CD player.
Suddenly, the answer dawned on me. We do it for love. That’s enough for me.
To keep me going, I grabbed the last fillet mignyam and used it as my microphone to sing along. “What’s love got to do with it, do with it, do with it?
I did “The Bump” with my dishwasher which won’t send in the water until it gets a couple of big bumps. I’m on a roll.
I’m thinking maybe I’ll just serve Wild Turkey for our Christmas celebration – in a paper cup. Maybe no one will notice there’s nothing else to eat and forget the gift they’re getting is the one they gave me last year.