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So now that it is over, can we admit a few truths about Thanksgiving? I hear a lot of people say that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday. When you peel away all the layers of butter and get to the core intention of gratitude, I understand the appeal of the holiday. However in my practical experience, Thanksgiving celebrations rarely reflect that core intention.One of the most annoying aspects of Thanksgiving is the collective white-washing we find so comforting with regard to the historical facts surrounding early settlers’ contact with native people. Why are we still spewing this happy pilgrim / helpful native bullshit? Not to get all preachy, but how ’bout we use Thanksgiving to highlight other examples of neo-colonialist exploitation happening right now? Or better yet, take a trip to a Reservation and show the kiddies how great it worked out for those helpful “Indians.” Even though this isn’t a new criticism, there’s still no new narrative. Thanksgiving has become more a celebration of gluttony than gratitude. Now I’m going in on the food – which if you actually think about it is really disgusting. The traditional Thanksgiving spread is a depressing two note tune. SWEET or SAVORY. There is usually nothing raw, scant spice, and little in the way of contrast. Veggies drown in heavy sauces or casseroles. Fruits slug through sugary syrups. Almost everything else is brown or white. Every year experts hotly debate the best way to prepare a moist turkey. Brine?! Parchment?! Deep fry?! Newsflash. Any which way you prepare the turkey it will be dry and gross. That’s because turkey is innately dry and gross. No amount of submerging, poking, or braising the bird will change this eternal truth. I watch people saw away at dry turkey every year. No one ever compliments the turkey. They compliment everything but the turkey.
The art of conversation is apparently lost. People truly don’t know how to communicate with one another anymore. A series of rapid-fire questions isn’t a conversation; it’s an interrogation. Don’t force me talk about being a vegetarian when everyone at the table is eating meat. Don’t ask about work. This isn’t a job interview. I hate small talk. There is an art to finding interesting and inclusive topics of conversation. Engaging the group requires social tactical skill. Cultivate it. Myself included.
…to spend the day with kind, welcoming, and gracious people.…even though I’m working today; it’s a blessing because I love my job. …for access to abundant fresh foods to prepare and share.…most of all for you! Happy Thanksgiving! ♥ DC
As far-flung relatives fling themselves back to wherever they came from, the horror stories of bad manners, ungrateful behavior, and petty criticisms have begun to trickle in from weary hosts. Since apparently many of us are totally lacking in self-awareness, here are a few examples of how we drive our thankless hosts to the brink.
Even though curious and tempted, don’t snoop. Most obviously, it is rude and invasive. When you go where you aren’t supposed to, you may not like what you find. Even though I’m a big proponent of honesty, guests should compliment and not criticize. Not feeling flush with praise? Then just shut the fuck up. Don’t feel the need to fill the silence with negative picky noise. Arrive and depart in a timely fashion. When a person prepares an elaborate sit down meal, timing matters. Your tardiness fucks up the delicate order. On the flip side, hosts please plan your meal with room to spare. Nobody really enjoys waiting four hours to eat. A substantial wait guarantees that guests will get hungry, cranky and bitchy.
Is it me, or did the Black Friday propaganda machine work overtime this year? The more hysterical and bombastic the marketing campaigns became, the more I dug into my commitment to buy absolutely nothing on the national day of accumulation. Here are a few more productive ways to spend your day then beating a bitch over a HDTV at Best Buy. Since you ate 3 days worth of food in one sitting yesterday, why don’t you move your ass? Hike, bike, skip, or strut in the opposite direction of the mall. Show visiting guests your neighborhood by foot. Walk the dog. Collect firewood. Rollerskate. Catch up on new music as you clean your house. Stow the remnants of fall and prepare for winter. Declutter and donate. Rotate the wardrobe.Marathon a show you’ve been meaning to watch. Homeland. American Horror Story. Downton Abbey. Or my personal favorite as of late, Made in Chelsea. Many of you work hard and actually deserve several hours of lazying about without judgment. Enjoy a day making homemade gifts for the holidays as a healthy “fuck you” to consumerism. Rather than spending, can you repurpose and improve shit into something you want to keep or give?
Read a beautiful book from cover to cover.
Last week I went to Costco on a Sunday. As I entered the store, I heard this woman in her late sixties muttering complaints ferociously under breath. It was too crowded. There were no carts. She was bitching to herself out loud. I wanted to turn to her and say, bitch it is Sunday at the Costco, what did you expect?One of my shopping companions always starts an irrational rant before we even enter the threshold of the store. How long is this going to take? Do you have a list? Can we be out of here in 20 minutes? After vigorously wiping the cart down with an anti-bacterial wipe, he death grips the cart handle and aggressively plunges forward. Elderly, children, and pregnant women be damned.If a trip to the store is on your to do list this week, please save yourself the frustration and accept a few realities. First, it will be crowded. Second, certain popular items may not be in stock. Third, it will be the most exhausting and unpleasant experience. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are virtually unnavigable on a good day; rolling into a holiday weekend it’s beyond bananas. Surviving the parking lot is an achievement. If crowds conjure anxiety, go at an off-peak time – like an hour before closing. Eat before so you don’t get stuck in the free sample gridlock. Have patience. Be Kind. Say excuse me. Leave plenty of time. Don’t ram the elderly. An enterprising SuperTarget employee will upload the security camera footage on YouTube, and then you’ll be the asshole that assaulted grandma. It’s a cruel world. Happy Holidays.
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