One year, while unfortunately still married to Cranky Jim- a man with whom I served a 13 year sentence that I am forever thankful for finishing- we had a very cold winter. Our washer was in the garage and it had frozen up, so it was definitely cold that Thanksgiving week. I had gone to the local store and bought a nice turkey, which I thought could certainly defrost in said garage, and so I placed it out there in its blue and white enamel baking pan, which I still have to this day.
Well let’s just say it was not the best of holidays. First, Jim was mad because of the washer, then he was mad because somehow I had managed to break the transmission in my car whilst rocking in reverse and back over and over, trying to get it out of the driveway in the snow to go to the store. I think the power had also gone out and I am pretty darned sure that was also the year that our neighbor came over to inform us that my son had sold his 9 year old some illegal smoking material… Jim was not a happy camper and soon I was to be an unhappy camper as well.
I went out to the garage to check on the turkey and somehow the neighbor cat had gotten in and eaten most of one of the breasts off of the bird! Oh No! Oh No! Jim, being from Florida, had an unnatural aversion to vermin, of which he considered cat to certainly be. I, cheery try- to- make-the-best-of-it-type, volunteered to wash the bird, cut out the jagged areas and go ahead and bake it. The heat would kill any germs, right? Oh hell no- this was not to be! He not only wouldn’t let me bake it, and he wouldn’t even let me throw it out in the woods for the beasties! How cruel! No, instead he drove poor mutilated Tom up to Thriftway where he threw it into the Dumpster. I was mad for a very long time that he did that. I can’t remember what we ended up having for Thanksgiving but I can tell you it was most likely unpleasant. Even Jim’s awesome album collection would not prevent me from eventually walking away. Note to Self: A sweet temperment in a husband is a wonderful thing.
Speaking of sweet temperments, my dad certainly, positively did not have one. My sisters will correct me, but the year that our German Shephard Rex stole the turkey from the top of the portable dishwasher stands out in my mind as another Thanksgiving disaster. Do I remember Dad freaking out? Or was that the time that he had thrown the box of puppies off of the deck? Seems to me we were listening to the Beatles White Album at the time so I probably have my timelines all mixed up. In any case, at our house, holidays usually also coincided with lots of yelling and septic tank problems, which made Dad mad too… “Doris! Jesus Christ almighty! Tell the kids to stop flushing!”
Then there was the year in the early 70’s that our friend Guy had just purchased a microwave oven and I remember standing in his kitchen, marveling at it with 20 or so assorted pals. “Hey! This thing will be done in 13 minutes! It’s like magic, man!” Too bad that the bird had to be shoved into the Amana Radar Range so hard that the door barely shut, and by the time it was “finished”, if that’s the right word for it, the majority of his guests had wandered off. The poor bird was as white as a ghost and not even Guy’s packaged gravy could save the beastie. Not a memorable dinner as far as taste but we had some awesome tunes going so it was cool.
Here’s to memorable Thanksgivings. Amen and good night.