Sometime after the first week of November our Thanksgiving plans blew up in a strange way. I’d attempt to share the details, but judging by how the story has been received here, you’d only feel compelled to respond with information about the weather or maybe some interesting bits from the news (I had a focus group look into it). So, we’ll leave it at me feeling weird about the whole thing and the rest of the world finding the story of my plight about as interesting as the predictions about Black Friday sales, and only slightly more interesting in the states than say Egypt getting a new Prime Minister. If you were to map it out as an equation, it would look like this: Consumerism > Global Politics > What was that you were saying?
That left me with a couple of weeks to decide what Jay and I were going to do for this special day. The plans ran from “go to a local restaurant and pick-up a Thanksgiving to-go pack” to “I dunno, maybe blow it off”. Three days before Thanksgiving, I decided we were a-go for the holiday and I wrote out our menu: Turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes (with marshmallows of course, we’re not uncivilized), fresh green beans, salad and a potato concoction. Oh, and pumpkin pie. Nothing too fancy or exciting – just your basic Thanksgiving staples. Then I headed out to the store with my list in hand. If you haven’t visited your local grocery three days before a Thanksgiving, let me say that it’s usually the best time to make both menu decisions and to head off to the store. And by “best”, I mean “worst” unless you enjoy cuddling up to hundreds of grumpy strangers and being stuck in the baking aisle for hours on end. And by “hours” I mean “moments”, but still it’s longer than it usually takes me to make a hit-and-run on that aisle and emerge victorious on the other end. On that day it took me FOUR passes with the cart and I finally had to ditch it and dive in for a fifth run to finally find the pumpkin filling on the bottom shelf. I know on Thanksgiving, that’s where I’d put it if I ran a grocery store. I’d imagine my conversation with my hopeful underlings would go something like, “Pumpkin pie filling, Jimmy? Son, it’s Thanksgiving, we put that on the bottom shelf where it’s easy to see! Stick by me kid learning the tricks of the trade and one day you may make assistant manager.” And when I refer to “easy to see” I mean “are you kidding me”. Once I ditched the cart, I found the pumpkin filling by carefully observing everyone’s movements on the aisle. I became quite the baking aisle sleuth taking careful notes on the various suspicious activities. Finally someone went low, really low on the shelf, and I had my big “ah HAH!” moment. I pounced on the can and ran madly back to cart and had an overwhelming urge to spike the can on the floor and do a victory “funky chicken” around it. If only there had been room in the store to breathe, I could have had my dance.
Somewhere in the middle of one of my passes on that aisle, I had this great idea. I’d discreetly take a photo of the shopping cart mayhem around me on my iPhone and then I’d post about the rudeness of people who park their carts in the dead center of the aisle thus blocking the flow of traffic. I lined up the shot perfectly and in the split second it took me to hit the capture button, I thought “oh jeez, is the flash on? There’s someone’s kid in a cart. What if her father comes over and pops me in the face because he thinks I’m some crazy perv with a kid fetish and I’ve singled-out his daughter?” and then I hit the button and promptly freaked out. The flash popped, but in that split second where I imagined being arrested for being a pedophile and carrying the “sex offender” label for life, I unconsciously managed to get the iPhone down for this great shot of my sad groceries. If you look at the top of the photo, you can kind of make out the beginnings of the shopping cart barricade I was facing. I would have tried again, but because of the flash I didn’t want anyone to see me lift the iPhone up. Instead, I’m sure everyone on the aisle was thinking, “wow, the contents of that cart really aren’t anything to brag about, but if she wants a picture of it well good for her – Thanksgiving freak.”
One of the final items I managed to throw into the basket was the turkey. We didn’t want to do a whole bird and were thinking of getting just a breast. Well, I wasn’t at my usual store where I knew where they kept everything (like pumpkin filling) and so I paced the turkey section over and over again until I saw a small box that said “Turkey – white meat with gravy”. Perfect!! I imagined it contained the breast I was looking for and that it would have a lovely gravy to cook it in. What I got instead was some sort of bizarre pressed turkey meat that had the oddest texture. It was definitely turkey flavored, and it was digestible but ummm… it wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for in terms of turkey. I was thinking something with more of a turkey consistency. You know, like the bird instead of turkey tofu. I can report back that Sam enjoyed it; of course Sam eats her own poop so there you go. The beagle rating would be: Pressed Turkey thing as good as poop! I’ll have to take her word on that.
Overall though, Thanksgiving was a success. Food was made, dinner was had, pressed turkey thing was mocked and we gave our thanks that we were together to enjoy it.
I hope you each enjoyed your own special Thanksgivings. I am thankful for each of you.