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26 November 2010 @ 09:21 am
Thanksgiving is good for one thing - the beginning of Christmas.  
I think I'm over Thanksgiving.

I mean, it was never my favorite holiday by a long-shot.  I mostly appreciated it as a break from school.  But the last few years I have become more and more disenchanted with the day.  I mean, is it really a holiday?  Is it?  Every other holiday, in addition to the big meal, has something else associated with it.  Christmas has presents!  Halloween has candy and ghosts!  Valentine's Day has flowers and chocolates and SadFM!  St. Patrick's Day has booze!  Hell, Arbor Day has trees.  But Thanksgiving?  Has a big meal and a contractually obligated sense of shame and guilt for not feeling more thankful the rest of the time, especially when you're sitting there trying to think of something you are actually thankful for and all you can come up with is your new pair of fluffy winter socks.

This year's Turkey Day was particularly doubleplusunfun.  We never go anywhere, and the only person who comes to our place is my Grandpa, except this year he was going to my uncle's.  So it was just us, and that exacerbates the sense that this is a sham holiday.  Everyone just sitting around in their pajamas, cooking, bitching because so-and-so doesn't like water chestnuts but everyone else loves water chestnuts and I guess we'll just make two stuffings then!  Speaking of which, does anyone actually like stuffing?  Stale bread, mixed up with eggs and broth and whatever shit your mom throws in, which is generally whatever shit her mom threw in, and then you bake it, and that's supposed to be good?  I know!  Slop some gravy on it.  Now it's ~delicious.

No.  Stuffing is not delicious.  No matter how you prepare the turkey, the white meat's a little dry and the dark meat's a little greasy.  The veg is just there, a sad, woebegone accompaniment that no one really cares about.  The jello salad always sits forgotten in the downstairs fridge.  And if anyone shows up all, oh, my stuffing is divine, and here's how I cook the turkey so it's always perfect, and I am also thankful for everything because I am a Good Person, I swear, I will shiv you with the wishbone.

I find it hard to enjoy eating the dinner even in the best of years.  The morning is spent cooking cooking cooking!  Then it's EAT EAT EAT ALL THE THINGS.  Then it's several hours of dishes.  (Remember - you're going to have to wash the stuffing pan.  Have fun!)  Yesterday I felt a bit like Sisyphus.  I thought I was done, and then I turned around, and behind me were vistas of dishes yet to be washed.  By the time I did actually finish, I was hunched over the sink like a legit old lady, cursing about how no meal is good enough to justify two days of cooking and more time washing up than was spent eating.

Next I had a lie-down.  I didn't actually sleep, just contemplated the ceiling for a bit.  At that point I felt bilious and over-stuffed, even though I had done my best to only get two or three bites of each thing, and I paced myself and sometimes even set my fork down while I chewed.  But I didn't know what was yet to come.

What was yet to come was INDIGESTION.  Ugh.  I mean, you cook forever, you don't really enjoy it when you eat it, you do dishes forever while the tryptophan is singing in your veins, and then your stomach naturally rises up in rebellion.  It asks, "What the hell just happened?  What did you just toss inside me?  Did you actually think that was going to fly?"  Now I really don't feel that awesome, and what is there to do?  You can't go shopping anywhere - the stores are already filled with crazies.  There's nothing on TV but sucky football and old movies you either don't care about or you've seen a million times.  So I sort of half-heartedly watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and wandered here and there and then it was time for pie.

Normally I am a fan of pie, and normally six hours after the big meal I'd be ready to eat some pie.  But not yesterday.  I ate pie anyway, which was a mistaaaaaaake.  Pumpkin pie, which was good; pecan pie, which was fantastic.  I love pecan pie.  We pretty much only have it on Thanksgiving.  It's a great, great pie.

But here's the thing.  When you're already fighting indigestion, sugar nut pie is really not the thing to layer on top.  In fact, that might be the definition of dumb.   By the time I finally toddled off to bed I was just like Blergh City.  But you never really know how bad indigestion is until you lie down.  OH GOD.  ALL THE ACIDS, BURNING.  I ended up having to prop myself up on pillows all night and get up and mainline Tums and it was just the perfect end to the day, really.  I'm glad that this year, my sister and I decided not to do any of the early morning sales, because it would not have happened.  She just left to go see if she could find some cheap DVDs, and I thought about going with her, but I was entirely too slow at the junction this morning and by the time she was ready to go, I was still huddled in front of my computer, hair wet, in my jim-jams, thinking dark, dark, murderous thoughts about the pilgrims. 
nhpw: brucetronnhpw on November 26th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
I do not love Thanksgiving, but for entirely different reasons than you just said. I think mine are +/- obvious.

I do like stuffing - when it is stuffing (cooked inside the bird, so it is not dried out) and not dressing (cooked in the pan.) But I don't like Turkey all that much.

I also love pumpkin pie (or pumpking ANYTHING, pretty much) - but this year we didn't eat any. We were too stuffed. Later we had birthday cake instead. Which is... well, I wanted chocolate things. There were chocolate things. The end.

The BEST BEST BEST part of Thanksgiving? There were two. And neither had anything to do with Thanksgiving:

1) Wednesday night, watching TV with mom, hubby and grandparents-who-live-in-the-50s-still, and the Tron: Legacy trailer came on TV. I WAS SO EXCITE. This is the first time I've seen on on actual real TV (because in general I don't watch any channel owned by Disney hardly ever) and I may have squeeeeeeed out loud and jumped off the couch. IDK if you've ever gone all SUPER EXCITE in front of an old person, but I think they thought I'd been possessed. I'm not sure which is more awesome, seeing the trailer or seeing their reaction to me seeing the trailer.


2) At my Thanksgiving, there were presents and cake. :)
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nhpw: brucetronnhpw on November 26th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
Awwwww! Yay for family pictures!

There is one that I've seen in a YouTube clip where she was talking about her book, this pic of them all wearing matching red jammies on Christmas morning one year. It broke me. So, so cute.

I, um, dunno if I'd seen most of that footage before on the interwebs or not. I was too busy freaking out.
enigmaticbluesenigmaticblues on November 26th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
I'm with you on the stuffing. The best kind of stuffing is the stuff that's moist and delicious from the inside of the bird. My in-laws...do not stuff the bird. The stuffing--well, dressing--was baked in a pan in the oven. I said nothing, because I was trying to get along with everyone, but I thought, "WTF? That's not stuffing!"

LOL! The Tron Legacy trailer is made of win. I'm looking forward to that movie in a really big way.
nhpw: brucetronnhpw on November 26th, 2010 05:31 pm (UTC)
Was this your first Thanksgiving with the in-laws? I remember how nerve-racking that was, and the whole time in your head you're going, "This is not how I'm used to Thanksgiving(/Christmas), but I'm new here and they're all judging me so I'm going to keep my mouth shut but, God, what are they DOING?"

It gets better with time - sort of.

RE: Tron. We plan to do Christmas with my fam the Saturday before Christmas, probably at our house. On the way home from my grandparents' house last night it occurred to me that the Saturday before Christmas is 12/18 - the day after Tron comes out. So we had to have a discussion about how having people over the next day was not not NOT going to interfere with any movie-going plans. We will go Friday night to see that movie and that's all there is to it. :)
enigmaticbluesenigmaticblues on November 26th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
Yep. First Thanksgiving that wasn't spent with my folks, too. At least I was able to bring the rolls and German chocolate pie, which are the best parts of T-Day for me.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 26th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
I didn't know people actually stuffed the bird anymore; I thought it was a health issue. Anyway, yeah, we just bake ours in the oven, so I guess it's technically ~dressing or whatever. Still gross. I don't know that it would be any better as stuffing; the only parts I like are the crusty bits around the edges, and I don't think cooking soggy bread inside a dead bird would give me crusty bits, LOL.
Cel: rivercelamity on November 27th, 2010 07:48 am (UTC)
My mother physically stuffs the turkey, and although the stuffing is moist, there is no sogginess involved (it's some bread-butter-onion-sage concoction with no extra liquid added). Oh, and it's Christmas/New Year's food; we're Norwegian/Australian. (My husband is American. I made him hastily-put-together pork tikka masala for thanksgiving :) )
Shannon: b5 logicallykungfuwaynewho on November 26th, 2010 08:04 pm (UTC)
IDK if you've ever gone all SUPER EXCITE in front of an old person, but I think they thought I'd been possessed.

Haha! Well...my Grandpa's pretty used to it. Every now and then I get a Look, but that's about it.

I saw a Legacy commercial yesterday, too! But by the time I dove for the remote to turn the volume back up, it was pretty much over. Grr.
nhpw: sheridanorly?nhpw on November 29th, 2010 01:40 am (UTC)
My grandparents don't see me enough, and it's been a very long time since I was crazy-obsessed about anything. And then we talked about who was IN Tron, and I was impressed we were not starting from square one, that they knew who Jeff Bridges is.

Then I spent a good ten minutes telling them - ILU guys, but NO NO NO I do not looooove Jeff Bridges.

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Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 26th, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
Normally I have a leftover turkey sandwich at night, too! On a roll with some cranberry sauce, and some cheese, mayhap. But I was entirely too urg to eat anything last night; it was a bummer.
enigmaticbluesenigmaticblues on November 26th, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
*pets you* As someone who used to suffer from frequent, debilitating indigestion, I totally know what you're talking about. I hate that "must sleep sitting up" thing. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt several times over. Ick.

OTOH, we're counting down to Christmas! Which means presents and cookies and the smell of evergreen, so yay for that.
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on November 26th, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
I normally don't have too many problems with indigestion, and I'm usually pretty good about not eating, especially sweets, late - yesterday just was a world of bad reactions to food, honestly. It's always worse when it falls on what is ostensibly a holiday and not just a regular day.
cath822cath822 on November 26th, 2010 09:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's better when you haven't seen your family in two months. (Even then, though, my mom's nagging and micromanaging gets to be a bit much.) I personally find turkey overrated, but mashed potatoes are one of my favorite foods EVAR, so it evens out.
Shannon: firefly paranoidkungfuwaynewho on November 26th, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
I really only like mashed potatoes with cream peppered gravy, usually alongside fried chicken. Though tomorrow I will be taking leftover mashed to make potato pancakes, which are delish.

Catherine, speaking of nagging, I thought I was going to bust a fuse yesterday. I'll go into it over on PFTT.