There are still deadlines and books to read and emails to answer. And I’m sorry if I haven’t yet returned your email just yet, but I hope to get back to you well after the gorging. I’m stepping away from this crazy little thing called the Internet for some much-needed Thanksgiving R&R, only to return to work not long thereafter, although well away from these electronic backwoods.
Have a fantastic Thanksgiving. If you’re on KP duty, take deep breaths and realize that there is an end in sight and that the guests you are hosting will be especially appreciative of your efforts. If the immense intake of food is overwhelming, take deep breaths and realize that the postprandial floor plop is likewise an end of sorts — the kind of physical maneuver that offers an entirely unexpected form of gratitude and that doesn’t even involve a deity. And if the five pounds you’ve gained is enough to make you shed more tears than a casual viewing of Terms of Endearment, reject the consumerist impulses on Friday and go for a long walk instead.
Alas, many turkeys have been massacred for this holiday. But, it’s a hard and cruel world. And you can justify the bloodshed with the fact that turkey is pretty tasty.
Thanksgiving also presents us with the beginning of the Oscar movie season. There will be many long and ostensibly meaningful movies for you to enjoy in theaters. If the messages often come across as heavy-handed, cut Hollywood some slack. This is the best they can do.
More important than any of this, be kind to your family and friends. Even the ones who annoy the hell out of you and who you only see once or twice a year. They are often misunderstood and probably aren’t nearly as bad as you think. Take this opportunity to try and understand them, even if it means sitting through the conversational equivalent of a long and boring slideshow. You may be surprised by what you find out.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Great advice. I particularly enjoyed the description of the post meal ritual–don’t even try denying it; we all gorge ourselves, only to collapse on the floor (as you said) and regard our families with bemusement. Although I might find some fault in your omission of a description of all of the discomforts involved with shuffling 30 or so individuals into a 1500 sq ft house, wailing infants and out of control toddlers included, my mouth was watering while reading your nod to the gobblers that make this feast possible. Yum! Yum! I’ve got plans of my own: rest and relaxation; I’ll try to fit in some long overdue reading, of course; a nap or two; and I’ll try to catch a movie. As I write this, I find the bitter pessimist in me grinning. “Yeah right,” It says. “When are you going to fit that in, between the 2 Thanksgiving feasts you’re oblligated to attend on Thursday, work on Friday, the usual errands involved with parenthood? Oh well. Can you believe that after all that I’ll be having the time of my life? Have a great Thanksgiving!
By far among the finest pieces I’ve read about this holiday. It’s a perspective I was seriously missing as an exhausted cook and anxious hostess. For too long, I’ve harbored suspicions that the tradition was another way to hobble women: “Make ’em prepare an honored and extravagant meal on a Thursday, end of November! That’ll set them back, I bet!” Now, thanks to you, I may even suffer my inebriated relatives more kindly.
P.S. While I have only recently discovered your writing and interviews and wonderful blog, Ed, you amaze me: predictable you are not.