2013 Post-script below.
You all know that this coming Thursday, November 22, 2012 is Thanksgiving day here in the United States, right? Two friends (admittedly, both not from the United States) miscalculated and thought it was on Thursday, November 29th. It does seem to have sneaked up on us awfully fast this year. That is because November 22nd is actually the earliest Thanksgiving can ever be given that Thanksgiving is officially celebrated on the fourth Thursday (not the last Thursday) in November and November 1st was a Thursday. Diabolically, November has five Thursdays this year.
This means that I am trying to plan for Thanksgiving while still recovering from my face plant of last weekend. Last month, I not so obliquely cast about for some other family member to volunteer to host Thanksgiving dinner. No one leaped forward to volunteer. I guess our younger son, Jeremy, was right when he gravely informed me that our downsize to an apartment in 2010 still had to have a dedicated guest room because “You’re the matriarch of the family now.” Apparently, along with matriarchy comes the duty to host Thanksgiving dinner. Indeed, if this is the true test of the mantle of matriarchy, I assumed it at least 28 years ago. (My younger sisters inform me that I should see a therapist because I have been “parentified” since age five and need to get in touch with my feelings. Personally, I am quite satisfied to keep my feelings at arm’s length—thank you very much.)
Actually, I don’t mind having the family and assorted others gather at our abode to celebrate our thankfulness. I’m happy to set the table with a lace tablecloth and my grandmother’s china. I’m an expert at conjuring up mashed sweet potatoes, Stove Top stuffing and string beans. My nemesis is THE TURKEY. Here it is November 16th and I still have not procured the beast.
A few years ago, I documented my “issues” with the Thanksgiving turkey in an essay published in an anthology. I have secured permission from the publisher to link to my essay here. I hope it will resonate for you.
Many people in the United States are still trying to recover from Hurricane Sandy and much of the news from around the world is frightening and heartbreaking. On November 22nd, here in the United States, we will gather together with family and friends, grateful for our blessings, and with those less fortunate in our thoughts and prayers.
2013 Update: After all that angst, my 2012 turkey didn’t kill anyone. However, sadly, many people in the United States are still trying to recover from Hurricane Sandy—and we can add a list of other natural and man-made disasters that have occurred all over the world since last Thanksgiving. But, we are a strange species—the most brutal and the most compassionate, the most creative and the most destructive, the most avaricious and the most generous, the most in despair and the most hopeful/thankful.