Saturday, November 7, 2009

The up side is that at least I'm not a pilgrim

My best Thanksgiving ever, no offense to my family intended, was last year. Philsgirl, Phil and I spent the day together. We all fixed a little something...okay that was a lie- we all fixed a LOT of somethings. Phil did the turkey deep fried and Philsgirl and I made a whole host of other yummies. I even made twice baked potatoes just for Philsgirl, and if I do say so, they were freakin' kickass yummy!

Now I'm back in Civilization and... Thanksgiving is going to be 'strange'. Is that a better word than problematic?

When my mom was alive and before the Grandparent Shrews were super hideous, we had a totally WASP-y Thanksgivings: good china and crystal and silver, linen tablecloths, dress up, sit at the table and pass everything in the right direction type of Thanksgivings. (This was the only WASPy thing about us, by the way!) When my grandmother was well she cooked and we went there and endured a meal. When she got on in years my mother started cooking. We're also a small family: dad and mom, me and Mac and whomever I was dating at the time (if I was), my bro and his current squeeze, and then my grandparents. That was it.

Mom died and Daddy-O went to his distant cousin's home for the feast, and Guard and Booknut went to her family. I was in the Wild West so it didn't matter. Now, this year I'm home and for awhile I thought I would cook a big Thanksgiving dinner here; I've done this before and it wouldn't be a problem for me. However, my sis-in-law, Booknut, had other plans. And just told us what she was going to do.

I don't have a problem with the fact that she arbitrarily decided she was going to host Thanksgiving at her house, without discussing it with any of us. I honestly don't care, even though I do have a tendency to lean toward the control freak.

She invited her whole family and again, I still don't have a problem with that; I think that is completely awesome. She SHOULD invite her whole family and they're coming from all over the place. Her sisters and their families are even coming, and that'll be the first time in years they'll all be together on a holiday. She has cousins and aunts and uncles who are coming as well. She asked her dad, my dad, me, Mac, some friends, and the Grandmother Shrew. She said there's gonna be about 50 people in all. Again, that's pretty cool, actually.


She and my brother live in a tiny little house, like 500 square feet. And they're pack rats so space is practically non-existent. Where are they gonna put 50 people? When the Divine Ms K turned 1 year old, there were 11 of us CRAMMED into their living room, and that was only 11 people! So I asked Booknut and she said she "didn't know." And she's never cooked Thanksgiving dinner, doesn't have enough tables or seats, and isn't sure if they're even going to use paper plates or what... I'm sure it'll all come out in the end, and I'm sure she'll do a good job with the meal (and according to my bro, her aunt makes the best chicken-n-dumplings in the world and she's helping cook, too!).

While I usually spend my life flying by the seat of my pants, I am an event planner at heart. If there's an event to occur, I'm your woman to organize it down to the last detail. The fact that there are no details being planned, and that no one really cares, is driving me crazy!

I also have a weirder problem than an unorganized dinner. I don't want to go. I don't know any of her family and I'm just not good at small talk these days. I'm really not. It makes me feel stressed and angry and self loathsome and depressed and inadequate. And of late, I don't want to make small talk with people I don't know and will never see again. And I'm not being a snot about her family; I don't want to go to my dad's distant cousin's either. I don't know them, either, and it will all be just small talk there as well.

I'd rather stay at home and cook a small meal here and then go see a movie or two. XRayGirl invited me to her place and I know some of her people and I think that would be fun, but I can't snub family to spend it with friends, can I? I wish my RetiredFBI cousin would host Thanksgiving and I could go there.

Maybe I'm just depressed, thus being a butthead.

At least I'm not the turkey,


Bragger said...

I am of the firm belief that when you get to a certain age, you don't have to do holiday things you don't want to do. Go do what makes you happy. Hubby and I are taking the motorhome to a state park on Thanksgiving, and we'll probably have ham sandwiches. If the family wants to have a big meal.......let them!

Hecate said...

I don't blame you one bit. I would hate to be crammed into a small house with a ton of people I don't know.

I honestly don't think Booknut has a fricken clue what she has gotten herself into.

One year we had 20 people at our dinner and you could cut the stress with a knife. I realize Thanksgiving is about family and such, but there is such a thing as too much.

I say, do what's best for you!

Gulo said...

This year it's just the two of us becuase my family has other plans and I refuse to drive...and i only have thanksgiving day itself off... but 2 of us and I imaging a WHOLE LOT of FOOD!! I love thanksgiving! You should make a huge feast just for you at home! That's what I'd do!...but then again, I am a little food obsessed and anti-social :)

Wiley said...

Go where your heart takes you. As long as it's not into too much trouble...

But can we just back up the truck a wee bit? "(Small talk) makes me feel stressed and angry and self loathsome and depressed and inadequate" Whoa, whoa, whoa, WHOA. Girl, go march yourself in front of your bathroom mirror and take a long look at the amazing woman staring back at you.
I can understand hating to make small talk, but if anything, it should make you feel far superior, and definitely not inadequate. So what if they ask you where you work. Tell them you're taking a sabbatical to write the great American novel (you don't have to mention all the chapters are in your blog and it doesn't have a cogent theme yet...) I am all for lying if it makes you feel good (there's one not to teach the kiddos).

Here, we'll try:
Smalltalker: "Hi, I'm ____! How do you know Booknut?"
You: Oh, I rescued Booknut from a burning building, wearing only my nightgown, and well after fiery embers had burnt off my eyebrows.

Then just keep going. Until you finally break the truth - but only after you've had everyone laughing.

Maggie said...

Bragger- I want to do what makes me happy but not piss off anyone at the same time... hope I can figure that out. And I hope you have a super trip; it sounds like a great way to spend the day, nice and relaxing!

Hecate- good food for thought- thank you!

Gulo- it sounds WONDERFUL and I hope you 2 have a super good day. (and I never thought you were anti-social, just smarter than the rest of us!)

Wiley- oh thank you! you are so dang nice; I appreciate your kind words and the much needed pep talk. You have a point!