Pardon me for this maudlin post. World news is too much. The U.S. government election was unfortunate. Personal discovery is disappointing. Life has got me down. This leaves the obvious topic; once again I will discuss Thanksgiving. Fear not leftover gorgers; before I hit publish, I will find something happy to focus on because that’s what I’m here for. Happy.
Thanksgiving commemorates a fictitious tale, nothing close to what American children are taught in school. The legend maintains that on the third Thursday in November 1623, two groups met to share the first happy meal.
Pilgrims and “Indians” ate casseroles, some made of canned cream-corn and others of green beans with canned cream of mushroom soup. They also shared canned cranberry gel, and a freshly slaughtered turkey. Pumpkin pie with whip cream aerosol spray ended the meal.
That original feast took place 129 Novembers after Columbus thought he’d discovered a shortcut to India. Despite realizing his mistake, he named indigenous Americans, Indians… because some people are rude.
Anyway, there was a prize inside that first happy meal, like happy meals today. Their prize was disease. 17th century European settlers brought smallpox to America, and annihilated 30% of the native people.
It is for that reason we celebrate Thanksgiving. We gather family and friends, like them or not, every third Thursday in November. A large non-flying bird is sacrificed, and then we reflect on our good luck… I guess. What am I missing?
On Thanksgiving, I struggle not to think about torture and genocide, but I do. Indigenous Americans offer enduring testimony that Columbus did not “discover” anything. The Thanksgiving fairy tale is a lie told to children to preserve adult’s sensibilities.
The following has been my past or present experience, perhaps embellished or not. Families and friends have been changed to protect the author.
Back to modern-day Thanksgiving feasts, the culmination of several days’ planning. If any holiday is about food, it is this one. Oh, and it’s about being thankful… for food. I don’t enjoy cooking. My time is better spent doing —anything. Internal monologue: ‘It’s not about you, Lydia.’ I was not the host this year, but I’m still complaining.
A week in advance, the host must consider their guest’s dietary needs: violently vegan, gluten avoidant, explosively lactose intolerant, insulin rationing diabetic, EpiPen wielding deathly allergic, etc. (Eli-Lilly and Pfizer are inhumane.)
The home is spotless. (Woe is me whom cannot afford a house cleaner.)
Once the menu is finalized, shopping, prepping, cleaning, rinsing, marinating, chopping, dropping (5-second rule,) shopping again, (because no one told me we needed that!) forgetting to turn on the oven, (🤭) possibly cooking, stirring, then burning and scraping, plating, garnishing, because presentation is everything, setting the table…
Guests arrive. The host is in the kitchen scrambling, not literally. Someone (inconsiderate) brings flowers that must be cut and arranged, but needs a vase: “it’s in one of those high cabinets.” The aforementioned person gets in the middle of it all to arrange flowers, while the chaos of meal prep ensues.
Think about the guests. We all have something in our lives we won’t share with the group assembled. There is an undercurrent of sadness, disconnect, pain, anxiety. Most of us will smile and engage in conversation.
Time to eat. Hmm, where to sit. Feuds of sorts exist in most families. Despite that, when the music stops, we each grab a seat, trying not to knock over the old lady. Eating commences. Cooking is a thankless nightmare, but not today. We are thankful today.
Within one or two hours, entrée and dessert have been consumed. Now it’s time to clear the table, wash everything again, and wrap leftovers, which are given to guests as they rush out the door because we all have something. The endeavor that encompassed several days is over, and the host barely had a chance to socialize.
This was not my year to host the meal, for that, I am most thankful. I was the vegan asshole who brought flowers and got in the way to arrange them while food prep had reached its zenith.
My lovely daughter has volunteered me to host Christmas dinner. Karma is heading my way.
Oh, wow. I’ve reached the ending and there is no happy. Hang on while I spin my joke Rolodex. You people are needy. Here we go—
2 thoughts on “Post Thanksgiving Reflections”
Lydia–you crack me up. Looking forward to your ‘after Christmas’ post.
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Thanks Lois. Hope you ate great food!
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