Monday, November 27, 2006

A Thanksgiving Conversation

KR: For something entirely different and because of various circumstances--including but not limited to: money, travel distance, personalities and laziness--James and I have decided to stay home on our own for Thanksgiving this year. At first this seemed like a giving up, a sacrifice, a last alternative. But as we stood at the Wal-Mart neighborhood market in the heart of white trash land (more on that later) in front of the rack of spices, trying to remember the four spices we needed for stuffing and pumpkin pie and hadn’t written down, calling out possibilities to the other to jog memory, I was overwhelmed by how great this was. How until this point we had just been playing at being grown up, tagging along to other peoples traditional meals and gatherings that reminded us of the many years before where we had been too little to be of use or too teenage to want to be. Now, as we prepare our own meal, and only now, we have arrived. And I am so glad we have decided to stay home and make this our own. We have four whole days to be at home, to hang out and drink beer and make food and watch movies and see people if we want to. And the great thing is, if anything ends up scorched or underdone or just generally not good, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just us. And that’s great.

To chronicle this day, our first grown up holiday, the practice for the many that are to come, we thought we would offer a log, in conversation style to get at this day. Sound good to you babe?

JR: Sounds great beautiful! Where shall we start?

KR: How about laying in bed this morning?

JR: As good a place as any to start. Finn woke up for good at about 8:00 and Kate asked if I wanted to get up and start the holiday preparations. “Do I WANT to?” You mean as opposed to staying in this warm bed for an hour or so? Sure, I would love to get up honey.

KR: That’s not what you said though.

JR: What did I say.

KR: You said “No not really, how about you wake me up after your done feeding Finn” (v. romantic).

JR: Yes I do have a silky smooth way about me don’t I. Well I got up before you were finished feeding Finn anyway and had a look at the recipe for stuffing. Noticed we were missing a couple of key ingredients like bread, sage, and Thyme leaves. You were also missing some ingredients for your pumpkin pie and Finn had one of the last three diapers in the house on. A trip to the store might be in order. Before we could get a list going the phone rang and we were soon getting ready to meet the Goshows for what may soon be a tradition: Thanksgiving day Breakfast at Pepppy’s!

KR: Peppy’s (despite its 24 hour/7 days a week signage) was not open so we tried His and Hers, a greasy spoon diner that looks the same as it has for probably the last 50 years, including the sign on the door that enigmatically says “no shirt, no shoves, microwave oven.” It wasn’t open either. We then opted for the American classic Denny’s. It was open. We went in and I don’t know about you but I felt a wave of pity for the hostess and the cook looking through the cooking window, working on Thanksgiving morning, watching families enter in waves, making us eggs and pancakes. That was a theme that continued through the morning. Feeling bad for people working, not pancakes and eggs.

JR: You mean Debbie Downer at the grocery store? Yeah she was a holiday treat wasn’t she? For about 5 minutes my favorite guy of the day was 300 lbs. young black man who, seeing my confusion in front of the spices, asked what I was making and then told me I needed Sage not Cumin. He was replaced though by the 70 year old check out lady with bad cleavage, a well worn in frown, and a disposition that makes the soup nazi seem like 13 year old cheer leader. Even when she looked over at Finn sleeping in his car seat with his space boy hat and hand against his forehead there was no reaction.

KR: Yeah and then what did she say when I asked her if she was working all day? Something about not having any family, how she doesn’t matter to anyone anyway?

JR: No I think she said she would be better off if she didn’t have any family, like they are all hooligan ne’er do wells.

KR: Oh, ok well that seems a little less sad, so we’ll go with that. Anyway. She was depressing and you said how whoever the shift manager was should maybe switch her out of the check out line before we have a grinch thanksgiving situation. That Wal-Mart really was smack dab in the middle of that sketchy part of Raymond and Keystone. It showed too. The girl with the skanky tank top and butt-tight jeans walking in when it was about 4 degrees out and the ISUZU truck with the gun shot holes rusted into polkadots parked in that blue diagonal space that isn’t a spot next to the handicap spots at the wrong angle from the rest of the parking spots. You were a little yuppy in your tweed coat and brown glasses.

JR: I was just trying to class up the place a little, bring a little west coast style to the Heartland.

KR: What’s that noise, Did you just let Molly in?

JR: Yeah I let her in.

KR: So that’s not Finn out of his crib walking around?

JR: Could be the mice playing checker.

KR: Go check on Finn anyway, just to make sure he’s OK.

JR: I’ll make the stuffing and get the turkey ready, you make the bread, the pumkin pie, the potatoes (sweet and mashed), and the green beans. That sounds like a fair division of labor.

KR: Is this where you insert some horribly offensive and categorically untrue comment about women and their responsibilities in the kitchen?

JR: Hey honey, if the apron fits!

KR: How did I seriously end up with you? I had such great feminist potential. So now we are mostly caught up to now. We put the turkey in the oven after calling your mom and getting the info on covering vs. not covering and basting (v. confusing) controversy. Judge for yourself but we put it in, breast up, covered in foil for the first hour and then basted every hour after that, uncovered. We’ll see how it works. What is this crap psycho techno music we are listening to? Not very thanksgiving-ey. Makes me want to poke my eye out while lurching awkwardly below strobe light-type flashing.

JR: Time to skip ahead, how about Nickel Creek “Long Time Coming”

KR: Better

JR: I don’t think I told you but my mom gave us some advice when I talked to her. She said not to get drunk and fight this time.

KR: When did we get drunk and fight?

JR: I think it was an autobiographical piece of advice more then anything.

KR: Oh Yeah your uncle Skeeter is not invited!

This is where the pace picked up and potatoes needed mashing and green beans flashing. conversations continued but where not recorded. TheWe had an amazing meal and a such a great weekend, it was the best Thanksgiving that either of us could remember having.


Linsey Savage said...

And Kate cut her hair... and James grew more??? How did I get so out of the loop??!!!

(Great log, guys. I enjoyed it to the max... laughed out loud, too!)

jamie said...

Thank you both for inviting us all to your first Thanksgiving. I know I enjoyed myself!!!

Anonymous said...

Kate and James,

Loved your first real Thanksgiving together at home. What a hoot! I was sad that I didn't get to see you two and finally meet Finn, but I think staying home was definitely the right thing for you to do. :o ) It turned out so well!

I've been enjoying all the pictures of your new family on your web site, and I've really been enjoying being able to watch Finn grow. Isn't technology great?

Aunt Deb (and Uncle Tim)

Anonymous said...

very nice my loves, i cant wait to start the tradition of playing ping pong with our respective states and watching our kids grow up every thanksgiving/christmas. now if i only had kids. (hey babe?)