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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Perfect Thanksgiving

My wife hasn't decided what she wants me to be in charge of this year for Our Very Wonderful Family Thanksgiving Meal.

Usually I get to set up the table and do something fancy for the centerpiece which immediately gets moved off to the side, or regulated onto a chair in the corner because said arrangement is too tall, or too wide, or too fancy. This begs the question: Just what is too fancy? If the assignment I have duely been trusted with is for something “fancy” and I comply -if not succeed outright with glee - then why is the centerpiece tossed aside like so many moldy potato peelings that have been hiding in the fridge for a week.

“Make a fancy centerpiece!” they say. So I do and it is regulated to the kids card table to be slowly picked apart by Mikey, the angry preteen and then used as a depot for the vegetables he has vowed not to eat. This year I am going to spread paint on my palm and press kindergarten hand turkeys into the tablecloth at each table setting. Let them try to move that aside!

Lets see, palm paint, kids table, centerpiece... oh yes, I'm waiting on my wife's decision. I hope she lets me do potatoes this year. I want to show everybody that there is too much time wasted on potato peeling and carving. I just throw them all into the boiling water. I don't even cut them up into smaller pieces. Just cook them longer and there is no cutting involved. Then, I add two pounds of butter. Simple as pie – which she definitely shouldn't assign to me because my crusts are like corrugated aluminum and were instrumental, they say, in breaking her sisters insicers two years ago.

Punch! She could give me the punch. I like to experiment with different flavors of cool-aid. Mixing kiwi passion fruit with berry-blue raspberry and outstanding orange makes for a delightfully fresh and original taste that cant be matched at a fine restaurant. And the brown color is perfect for thanksgiving.

I asked her several hours ago about what she wants to assign me, but she is dragging her feet. I'm getting all excited about what I'm gonna do to help and she is still in the bathroom talking to her mother on the phone about just how she is going to tell sombody something without hurting the poor sap's feelings. All she has to do is pick something from the aray and I am willing to bring my remarkable skill to the table, like I did the year I actually brought my skill-saw to the table and cut us out a bigger table top.

While it's true that the big ticket items had to be placed near the center of the newly expanded table, and it's true that at one point we all had to hold it up with our knees, it's like I still tell my wife - a little bit of helping from all seated in the spirit of cooperation and overcoming gravity was perfectly appropriate for the holiday.

Several of my aunts ripped their nylons on the screws sticking out from underneath the table, but for pets sake! The pilgrims didn't even have nylons, so I don't know what they were complaining about.

My wife wants to make a good impression this year. She has invited a whole gaggle of her relatives over, and apparently the first thing they asked was if I was helping with the meal. They get it, at least – even if my wife doesn't ; That I really do have a significant contribution, and it makes Thanksgiving at our house what it is.

Okay, she is coming out of the bathroom now. Shes gonna let me know how I can be of service this year.

Hey, good news! Most of the main dishes are being brought by her family, and she already started on the potatoes so she wants me to man the football games! We always watch football with her dad who is losing his hearing, and I have been assigned to yell the score at him – an important job indeed.

I knew Thanksgiving would be a time when my contributions to the family would really be apperent to all. Now, where is that remote?

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