Fall is one of my favorite times of year. The days get shorter, the beers get darker, and you can basically eat whatever you want for the next 2 months and call it “bulking.”It’s also a time when people get together and fight seasonal depression by reflecting on what they’re thankful for.
Joyous friends, family, and food await you on 11/26, but just like how you had a year to forget how god-awful candy corn is (but immediately remembered at the first willfully naive bite), the overlooked perils of the holidays are upon us. It’s easy to get caught up in the egg nog, festive lights, and satanic red cups of the season while ignoring the nagging, bickering, and the left over passive aggressive conversations from the last time everyone saw each other are reignited.
Here’s how I see Thanksgiving playing out for most of us:
Thursday November 26th
7:00am – Alarm goes off because in all of your excitement about having the day off, you forgot to turn off your alarm for work. Kill alarm. Roll over. Let’s try this again.
9:00am – Finally get out of bed after one hour of trying to fall back asleep, and another hour scrolling through Facebook all the way back until you see this post again.
9:30am – Showered, packed up, and ready to head over to the folks’ place
9:36am – Traffic.
9:58am – Send off a frantic group text trying to subtly bring up the fact that you don’t remember what you were supposed to bring for a dish. Cut across four lanes of traffic, like Jason Bourne in a Toyota Corolla, to the next exit.
10:16am – After 10 minutes of filing around the Safeway parking lot, you give up and park in another timezone. You shuffle into the store, not making eye contact with the herd of people who are doing the same thing.
10:21am – No responses on your not-so-subtle text message. You look up to empty aisles, staring back at you like your disappointed mother is about to be. You get desperate and head to the ethnic food section.
10:22am – Stop by the beer aisle along the way. Grab Mocha Death, Cozy Sweater, and cider for your mom. Points to you for being thoughtful.
10:23am – Land like a ton of bricks in aisle 18 to ribbons of salsa, hot sauce, rice, and enchilada sauce lining the shelves. Let out a sigh. Grab a random smattering of goods hoping that you can make a case for a “non-traditional Thanksgiving” later.
10:24am – Some little shit runs over your feet with his cart while his mom is having an argument about cranberry sauce on the phone.
10:24.5am – Back to the beer aisle.
10:25am – Three bottles of Irish Death clang into your cart.
10:26am – You head to the checkout, not daring to look down at the haphazard mosaic of food that someone shouldn’t be buying during the holidays. You just try to justify to yourself that chips, salsa, and ice cream are totally acceptable for Thanksgiving. Also, you’re bringing beer so people can’t complain that much.
10:28am – Traffic.
11:00am – Land at the folks’ place with 18 grocery bags in each hand, because making two trips to the car is for pussies. You almost fall over ringing the doorbell with your foot.
11:15am – Greeted by hugs, smiles, cheers, and one ripped grocery bag (don’t panic, it wasn’t the beer). You make your way through the crowded kitchen searching for a sliver of real estate on a couch.
**PRO TIP: acting very interested in whatever football game or pre-game show is on and being silent can get you out of preparing anything that has to do with the noise in the kitchen. You don’t actually have to be interested in the game, just be ready to yell out who is winning or what the score is if someone from the kitchen asks. **
11:25am – Crack a Mocha Death and revel in the satisfaction of your chips and salsa paying off as people begin snacking.
12:54pm – Get up to pee, triggering the kitchen boss to assign you tasks upon your return. It was inevitable.
12:55pm – Meander through your kitchen duties until someone takes pity on the mess you’re making.
1:29pm – Crack a beer and catch the second football game of the day.
1:30pm – Realize that you don’t have anyone on your fantasy football team playing. Instantly lose interest.
2:05pm – Ease into a halftime nap after the Panthers go up on the Cowboys 24 – 0.
5:00pm – Wake up to the fire alarm going off. Dinner is ready.
5:01pm – Grandma says grace, immediately followed by leading questions about grandchildren.
5:02pm – Mom takes grandmother’s side. You deflect the question to siblings.
5:03pm – Awkward silence and chewing noises fill the air.
**an eternity later
5:04pm – Everyone starts to go around the table saying what they’re thankful for, just as you crack the first Irish Death.
5:06pm – The conversation abruptly diverts into politics. It turns out surprisingly pleasant, because everyone is too full of food and holiday cheer to really argue. You take solace in the fact that at the very least, your family all hates the same things. It’s the little things that bring people together.
5:14pm – Dessert.
5:18pm – Sweatpants.
5:19pm – You try to keep everything down while you start the dishes, despite feeling like Violet from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
5:30pm – Even with everyone being twice their normal size, you all squeeze together on the couch to watch the Packers decimate the Bears.
8:00pm – On the verge of a food coma, everyone still has enough gusto to argue about what movie to watch. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles it is.
8:03pm – Everyone is asleep.
At least there is almost a month before you have to do it again for Christmas.