First, a few caveats.
A. I am not looking for a lifelong invitation to your Thanksgiving Table.
B. Nor to invite you to our small but fierce Thanksgiving gathering.
Okay, phew. Glad I got that off my chest. Now, on the eve of Thanksgiving, one of the most important American holidays ever, these are the embarrassing admissions of one who claims to live her life with intentionality.
I have not invited anyone to dinner tomorrow. It will be my husband and me.
We are not invited to anyone’s home for dinner tomorrow.
Our son, the commercial fisherman, is off on Thanksgiving, but is in San Francisco, about 7 hours away with a work start time of Thursday evening at 10PM. They call it Black Friday Crab Fishing. So he will not be coming. Can you blame him? He doesn’t even like turkey.
I am a vegetarian, though I will use this forum to out myself. NEWS FLASH!!!!
Last night, hungry and tired after a long day at work, I came home and reheated the stuffed green peppers I had made for my husband on Sunday and we ate them. Yes, beef and rice and tomato sauce. I was not happy, but I was less happy about eating a lean cuisine from the freezer. It’s all about choices, people.
Monday night, after dinner, I determined two things with intentionality.
1. That we would be home and eating food on Thanksgiving Day.
2. That I would choose to create a memorable meal for us both. That I would honor my husband’s carnivorous inclinations and would make a turkey. My path to pure vegetarianism is already splattered with the carcasses of chickens and green peppers stuffed with beef, and of course, bacon, the condiment. So, I figured one more day this week of eating turkey flesh wouldn’t kill me.
I picked up my plastic shopping bags and crossed the street to Ralph’s and in about 15 minutes, acquired all the things that every good red-blooded carnivore grabs at the grocery store in the week leading up to Thanksgiving:
An 8 lb. fresh turkey – (it felt amazingly like the frozen bird in the next case, but hey, I had three days to thaw it out)
A Pumpkin pie to bake in the oven that day
A can of Cranberry relish
An appealing box of generic cube stuffing
Fresh herbs – tarragon, Thyme, Sage and something else seasonably appropriate
1 large white onion
I was feeling pretty smug as I crossed back to the apartment and loaded the makings into the fridge and pantry. I calmly folded the bags and put them in the closet, returning to the couch where Jimmie sat watching the Lakers lose. Again.
Yesterday, I talked with friends at work about what their plans would be and everyone seemed to have managed in spite of their work load, to cough up a festive holiday plan or at least one that sounded much less lame than my own.
And, to add insult to injury, this morning, I picked up the New York Times Food section and found two articles to make me feel even worse about my planning skills:
Funny stuff, right? So here’s the thing. It is highly unlikely that I am going to spend a lot of time making the table look like the one depicted in the NY times. I do not have a prop stylist to make the organic brussel sprouts and adorable little pumpkinettes cavort up and down the table runner. For crying out loud, I don’t even have an appropriate Thanksgiving table runner. I feel like we will be lucky to have the living room vacuumed and the turkey cooked to the appropriate temperature. My yams will be orange and hot and steaming. The green beans will be cooked, and buttered, and probably not in some delicious green bean casserole, but some way which my subpar internet connection will elicit from the unending recipes available online. And you know what? It will be all right anyway. Because it is about giving thanks, right? Not about whether my napkins match my tablecloth – which they will by the way, just because they generally do every day. My mother raised me right. And besides, white paper napkins go with just about anything.
So, here’s the important message I take away even if I’m a loser party planner. Tomorrow, on Thanksgiving, I will be with my husband whom I adore and who adores me. Thank you. I am in good health and so is he. Thank you. Our son is gainfully employed and loves us and we love him and give thanks for him every day. Thank you. I am gainfully employed in a job and occupation which feeds me every day. Thank you. My husband has worked his whole life to do the work of an actor and has supported us with his work both now and in semi-retirement. Thank you. We both have loving families with whom we happen not to be celebrating Thanksgiving this year, but with whom we have in the past and will in the future. Thank you.
I hope your Thanksgivings are rich and as full of thanks as ours will be.