Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like the Same Old Thanksgiving Blitz

So, Dad got a divorce. This happened a while back; I can't remember if it was after Thanksgiving last year or the year before, though I tend to think it was last year. My parents divorced a long time ago, so for the last 20-something years I've been one of those people that has at least two of every major holiday. Two Thanksgiving dinners, two Christmasses. Then, oh about eleven years ago, I got married. Bang! THREE holidays. Mom's house, Dad's house, T's parents.

It's exhausting.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining that there are so many people who want to see us on the Holidays. It's nice to be in demand, even if it's just a couple of days a year. But the divorce did lead me to trick myself. I thought to myself, "OK, back down to two holidays. Two is do-able."

Friday Dad and Maria (his girlfriend, who is a lovely woman who talks and smiles and does everything else that a nice, normal person does) came to dinner at our house. I asked what his Thanksgiving plans were, thinking he'd say something about ordering a pizza and watching football. To my surprise (I almost said "Horror" instead of "surprise", but really that would be a vast exaggeration) he drops the bomb.

"We're having a ham and a turkey. Are you going to come by?" Dad asks.

Hell's Bells and cockleshells. I say yes.

So, now we are at two dinners, minimum. My Aunt Donna will be at my mom's place. I don't know what's going down there on Thursday, but I imagine that we'll be expected to put in an appearance. I didn't have the mental fortitude to find out for sure. This was a mistake, because now it's looming on the horizon like a tropical storm. Hurricane Third Dinner.

The only real problem with a three-dinner run is that you have to seriously pace yourself. At dinner numero uno, you have one plate piled low. This is vital to the mission if you don't want to end up in the hospital tent with army doctors hovering over you at the end of the night, shaking their heads and muttering how you are the worst case of exploding stomach that they've ever seen. Even if you do manage to pull this tricky balancing act off, you endure a dinner of "you-barely-eat-anythings" and "that's-why-you're-so-skinnys". This usually takes place at the first house. At Dinner Two, the Plan dictates that you eat a bit of the food left out for people to graze on. If you're lucky, which means getting there after everyone has already eaten. If you get there on time, it's another uncomfortable round of "is-that-all-you're-going-t0-eats". Dinner three is too much for most humans. I generally fold and just have a cup of coffee, enduring the dirty looks of whoever spent all day in the kitchen.

I'm ready for it. I can take it.

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