Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Last night when I was taking the dog for a walk, he stopped to take a crap on my neighbor's lawn---something he loves to do. It's his favorite spot.

Except they chose that moment to pull into their driveway. How embarrassing. At least it was dark. And I picked it up mind you, but still...

I swear my body is preparing for winter by trying to put on an extra layer of bulk. All I want to do is eat. Maybe it's just preparing for Thanksgiving by stretching out my tummy to be able to eat more. We are actually going out to a restaurant for dinner. (HA! I just accidentally typed "sinner". Freudian? You make the call.) It's an Italian restaurant. They will have turkey, but we can also order off the regular menu. My husband put it well when he called this a terrible dilemma. It's Thanksgiving for God's sake, you have to have turkey, right? But, a chance to eat Felice's fresh gnocchi in veal sauce, when you live four hours away and hardly have the chance?

Lil Sissy Poo-poo had the right idea: gnocchi for starters. My mother was neurotic about making sure they were having turkey. She has to turkey on Thanksgiving, like my sister reminded me she just has to eat a hot dog on Memorial Day no matter what. The whole thing kills me because my mother is the kind of mom who will cook and slave and stress over the meal, and then finally sit to not eat anything. (Though, she has her little ritual where she enjoys it all heated up later all by herself. And people wonder where I get my quirks for solitude from.)

God this post turned out way longer than I planned on.

So I am seriously stoked to hopefully meet up with the old homies for drinks after dinner. I also just found out MK is going to be in town, and I swear I haven't seen her since her wedding, and have never met her babies, so... SQUEE!

I leave you with an excerpt from this adorable op-ed piece from about holiday traditions and rituals, and their impact on marriage. It was written by Monique Doyle Spencer:

IT IS YOUR first Thanksgiving at your in-laws' house. Your spouse has been talking about Mother's turkey stuffing since you got married. You arrived here nervously, but everything is great so far. OK, maybe they use a little more green Jell-O than your family does. A few more marshmallows. But still, you feel at home. You take your first bite of your mother-in-law's famous stuffing.

Spitting food out at your in-laws' table is frowned upon in etiquette circles. You may not even spit it quietly onto a spoon, like you are allowed to do with an olive pit. No. You are a member of this family now and you are required by law to eat this stuffing and like it. Do not gag.
Nobody knows why stuffing is a sacred and genetic maternal bond, but only your own mother's stuffing is edible. Stuffing, you realize in one bite, contains the entire map of a family's genome. These people can't be serious! It's got oysters in it! Or it doesn't! It's got nuts! Or not! Chestnuts, pears, celery, all added, or omitted, nothing the same as your mom's. Wild rice? Why don't they just sprinkle on some pine needles?

You look at your spouse with a new eye, a critical eye. He or she is digging into some cranberry sauce that was cooked on the stove, instead of how your mother makes it, with a can opener.
You are suddenly having second thoughts about marriage. You wonder if those pre-wedding jitters were not jitters at all, but a warning from God.

"I tried to tell you," God says now. "You will beget children, and you will be forced to make this family's stuffing for them, and they will beget children, and this recipe will be visited upon you for 20 generations until a son-in-law in the year 2525 burns the house down to get rid of it."

You realize that you are in a mixed marriage. I'm in one, too. I come from a Macy's Parade/National Dog Show family, but I married into a Football family. My first Thanksgiving was filled with discovery. First, you must say good bye to the Dog Show. Your in-laws have never heard of it. Second, do not reach for the remote. If you do, and you turn on the dogs, it will be the most foolish thing you have done since the seating plan at your wedding. Your aunts met his aunts, causing the unfortunate mambo performance on the dance floor. Nobody can prove it caused Granny's shingles attack, but still.

Stuffing and football are the real reasons that newlyweds start alternating holidays from one family to the other. A bride can take just so much panko and bulgur until she'll snap and eat a bag of Stove Top, dry. And she needs to coo over the tiny dog category, not Tom Brady, who is coo-able, but still.

The whole story can be found here. (Though I pretty much pasted the bulk of it.)

Drive safe if you're traveling. Go stuff yourselves silly!



Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving, my American friend! :) Enjoy all the food. I can't wait for Christmas turkey!

D_Man said...

I would so love to catch just one of the 12 cats that use my back lawn as their litter box...

Anonymous said...

So fun to see you enjoyed the stuffing piece! Hope you had a wonderful and peacfeul Thanksgiving.
(Monique Doyle Spencer)