Sunday, November 18, 2007

On Breaking Tradition...

NaBloPoMo #18


I did it.

For years and years now, we've gathered together, usually in my home, for Thanksgiving dinner. I love to cook, and I usually start on Wednesday. Brian sleeps late, and wakes around 11 or 12. I feed him bacon when he wakes up. Then I crack the whip! Vacuum the house! Set up the folding tables! Light the candles! Stop smoking! (Hey. I can't help it. It's what Mom`s do.)

Teri brings big sides, like 100 lbs of mashed potatoes, and I force her to cook the gravy. Baby, I can roll some sushi, but gravy from scratch? Fuhgeddabout it. She brings that delicious broccoli cheese rice blop. We eat and eat, then we snap at one another to shut up while we watch Survivor. Mom nods off in the chair, while we whisper and point and laugh.

We are breaking with tradition this year.

It has been, for some reason, an enormous source of stress for me. Brian's in Iraq. Teri's second session of chemo will be on Monday. Mom? I cringe to say it, but Mom will just be merrily surprised to find out that today is Thanksgiving, and that she's coming for lunch with her kids.

Honestly? I'm wiped out. My dilemma has been: Do I spend $200 on groceries and cook for two days, alone, this time? (Clint is working, FYI.) I don't want Teri to cook. In fact, I forbid it! She started yammering about bringing this or that, and I told her to shut up, cuz I'm the boss of her. It's likely she may not feel like coming over at all.

I lamented to my girlfriends Friday night: What to do? Skipping Thanksgiving? God, that seems even more pathetic. No Thanksgiving on top of this?!!

How could I?

"Why don't you just buy one of those pre-maid dinners from a grocery deli?" Di asked? Melissa chimed in: Yes! Meijer does it! Schnucks!

Where have I been? I can CARRY OUT Thanksgiving dinner?

Hecks yeah, I can, and baby, my prayers have been answered.

THIS was in today's Sunday flyer.

Whoo Hoo! I'll fix a few pies, a salad or two, and at 3:00 Thursday afternoon, I'll race out and pick up dinner. I'll pop the turkey in the oven for 1 hour, and by 5:00, we'll sit down to a feast.

A completely handmade, homemade, feast, with everyone we love gathered around the table?


But it's a fair substitute: We'll still gather 'round a table. We can afford this. Teri can take a nap, if she wants. And when we hold hands and tell what we're thankful for this year...

I hope it's that we got a phone call from Brian.

And that's he's doing just fine.

Next year, though.

Hold on to ya hats. You're all coming over.

You are in charge of gravy.


  1. So, I think you were at my Monical's tonight. I, like the idiot I am, didn't realize this until after you had left. Durrrrrrrrrr. I would've harrassed you had I known! Teeheehee....

    Thanksgiving in a box is actually quite wonderful. We did it a couple years back when my stepdad was ill. Worked out fabulously!

  2. I hate gravy. Can't I do pudding?

  3. Maybe I should bring wine instead. Or bread. I'm good with that. Or dessert. Gravy? I don't THINK so.

    I hope Brian calls. I hope Teri feels good. I hope all good things for you and yours.

    Hey wait, bring them all here! Andrew is a great cook! We have room!

  4. stfarmer7:54 AM

    I ate at a McDonald's in Baltimore for Thanksgiving last year.

  5. Happy thanksgiving:) I love gravy

  6. Yay! I love it when I give smart advice and you actually take it.
    Good for you. You deserve a break to ya know. This is just the ticket. Happy pre-Turkey day!

  7. I would totally learn to make gravy from scratch if it meant I got to meet 'ya!

  8. Anonymous3:17 PM

    i will be there. love shelly

  9. I am praying Brian will call =)
    I hope Teri starts feeling better.
    And your Mom? I'm just glad she'll be having dinner with her 2 girls =)

  10. M. Sanchez: !!! Doh! I hope I wasn't picking my nose or anything. Our waiter ROCKED, and as I didn't pay the final tab, I was just in la-la land, paying no attention to anyone that might have been paying attention to me. I'm coming back, to stalk you!

    Sven: You hate gravy? Are you sure? Have you ever had United States Midwestern Redneck Country CowGirl Gravy? On your potatoes? Is it the same gravy you fix in England? I think you'd like ours....despite the 4,000 calories, heart-attack-on-a-plate thang...

    How many calories in pudding?

    Wendy: OH YES, BRING WINE. AND VODKA AND OLIVE JUICE! I hope all those things too, and I hope yours is lovely to, and ANDREW. WILL. COOK. FOR. ME.

    StFarmer: Dammit All to Hell. Do you have any idea I'm the only person in my family that drinks? Next time you're at McDonalds, you get your butt over here! (Power in numbers, and all that jazz)

    Edina: I'd learn to cook gravy, if you could teach me some downhome malaysian style cooking...and show me dad's garden!

    Keyser: Turkey for $30! Whoop! Can't get a dirty martini for that in NYC! You need to move.

    Fashiongirl: Game on, we'll learn together. Want my address? Come on over!

    ShellyWelly: Callz meez.

    Nancy: Thank you, dahlink. I'ma meet you someday, too!

  11. No nose picking that I saw...haha! I'm glad Deangelo was most excellent-he is a hilarious kid. I actually didn't realize it was you until you were out the door and I had my AH-HA! moment.

    And...I don't usually work Sundays, that's the ironic part about it!

    Stalk me anytime,lady! I could use some excitement there once and a while-and not the stabbing, shooting, constant police patrol kind! :)

  12. Anonymous6:10 PM

    What would make the complete Turkey dinner perfect is if you the grocery store had a drive-thru!


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