The big news this week was Thanksgiving. I love holidays for many reasons — food, presents, more food — but mostly I love holidays because they give me a legitimate excuse to drink before 9 am, an opportunity I seized yesterday with both hands…firmly on a bottle of champagne as I indulged in a round of early morning mimosas. In our house if you do the cooking, you do the drinking.
So cook I do. Or did, rather. A twenty-five pound turkey, homemade stuffing, homemade mac-n-cheese, fresh cranberries, broccoli, a pumpkin pie and apple-cranberry cobbler. And yes, Todd cooked too: homemade mashed potatoes and a to-die-for carrot soufflé.
Despite the mountain of food that we prepared (and for three people, no less), I’ve still never understood the fuss around cooking Thanksgiving dinner. It really is the easiest meal to prepare; mostly idiot proof, provided you can follow directions. Essentially you turn on the oven and then pop the turkey in for 3-5 hours depending on how big a bird you bought. If you have any self-respect you baste it every 30 minutes. (Note: Those of you lacking dignity may skip that step and jump to the part where you serve your guests a dry turkey carcass.)
As for the sides…seriously, how hard is it to prepare a few vegetables? Wash, peel, cut, cook. Voila. I suspect the idea of Thanksgiving dinner being this laborious, back-breaking task was a myth created by our grandmothers and then perfected by our mothers; a scheme designed to allow them a few peaceful hours — free from husband and children — to sit in the kitchen getting hammered and melancholy on cheap wine and regret.
Well I’ve been making Thanksgiving dinners for nearly two decades now and the jig is up. You ain’t fooling anyone, Nana.
This week, like a dead fish left to bake out in the hot Florida sun, you could smell the stink steaming off Facebook. People took to their iPhones and laptops to “express themselves” with a wailing and a gnashing of teeth I haven’t seen since, well, three months ago when everyone was wailing and gnashing their teeth over dead celebrities and mental illness.
Suddenly everyone was my eight-year-old son, tears streaming down his face after losing a round of Clue, screaming, “I have feelings.”
Full disclosure: I wrote a lot of other stuff here but Todd said it was too angry. And no matter how strongly I may feel — not about the events in Missouri, but the reaction of the public to those events — I don’t want to offend good people, who I otherwise respect, simply because I disagree with their opinions.
So I’ll just say this: if you have an overwhelming need to be a part of something, keep it simple and be a part of your life. By which I mean, clean your own house. Because all this noise disguised as discourse is just you distracting yourself from the business of living your life. It changes nothing.
This instafacegram tweeting cyberbullshit — this isn’t real. Your life is real.
And speaking of real, it’s time for me to unplug. I’m off to cut down a Christmas tree with my husband and son. It may not be some grand act of passive protest, but it is living.