Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Talking Turkey (or: Why I'm Glad Every Day is Thanksgiving)

In the words of one of my clients, “Thanksgiving is EVERY DAY.” When his wife told him that was corny, he simply told her that’s how he feels. I think he’s right – mostly because it makes this year's Thanksgiving celebration a little less noticeable.

In the grand scheme of things, I had an okay day – It was really important to me this year to spend the day with Dave. I didn’t have much of an agenda. (Yet.) To that end, I kind of forced him into making a decision, and it became a big deal. We actually had a slight series of arguments about it. They went something like this:

Kelly: Can you just tell me what you’re doing for Thanksgiving?
Dave: I have to wait and find out what my Dad’s doing.
Kelly: Can you call him? Would he like to have dinner with my family? Do you think he’d like my Dad? (Followed by a thousand other annoying questions)
Dave: Kelly*I’ll*let*you*know.

Two days later:

Kelly: Did you call your Dad?
Dave: No, but I’ll call him today.

Two days later:

Kelly: Did you call your Daaa…..
Dave: I’ll call him today.
Kelly: What’s the big deal about making plans for Thanksgiving?
Dave: I just have to wait and see what he’s doing.
Kelly: But will you call him?
Dave: I’ll call; I’ll call (mentally, I think Dave hit me on the head at this point)
Kelly (to herself): What are the odds?!

Two days later:

Dave: I called my Dad. He says he wants to go to the Old Country Buffet for Thanksgiving. Do you want to come with us?

Remembering that the primary goal was to have Thanksgiving dinner with Dave, I agreed to go. The little issue surrounding the chosen venue was quite another matter. For those of you who aren’t graced with an Old Country Buffet franchise in your area, allow me to fill you in. It’s a large room with a large buffet full of green jell-o, ham, fruit salad, fish, cole slaw... whatever. The customer base is typically old people and their grandchildren. Peppered among the crowd, you might find a few teenagers, who reportedly go there when they get the stoned munchies. You Pay One Price when you enter the room, then help yourself to the buffet items – whenever you want, as much as you want, for as long as you want.

It’s not great food – there’s just a lot of it, and seniors, either high school or elder statesmen, seem to gravitate there.

I have memories of several ideal Thanksgivings. When I was young, we’d pile into my family’s purple Scout Jeep and drive over the river (The Delaware) and through the woods (Delaware Water Gap) to Grandmother’s House in New Jersey. Something about a long table in the living room filled with cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents was more fun than anything I could imagine. More recently, I loved the Turkey Days spent in New York City with friends, freezing at the Parade, and then eating at Fresco. The night before, we ordered drinks according to their color, and met several New York Bartenders - all of whom were from other countries. We had fun at the parade, where I photographed and met members of the NYPD (who were all from New York), and ate until our stomachs begged for mercy.

Another memorable Thanksgiving worth mentioning was the year following, when I stayed home and invited a few single friends over for dinner. It was providential because my landlord left a candle burning in his downstairs office the night before (he lived off-site, but his office was in the building). When the smoke detector went off, we were very grateful we were there to extinguish the fire and save an old building… We sacrificed an old chair, but we thought we were very fortunate.

What was interesting about that day was my call to 911. I figured it was an old house, so even though the fire was out, I asked if someone might come over and check for residual sparks (I don’t know… made sense at the time) – Over two dozen bored volunteer firemen from three counties showed up – just in time for turkey. It was a real crowd. Also interesting: My landlord was so embarrassed by the entire incident that it took him weeks to say thanks for putting the fire out.

Gracious eh?

Back to the Chain Gang at the Old Country Buffet. Remember, the goal was to spend time with Dave. However, the OCB was not my idea of a nice Thanksgiving. As long as turkey is turkey, I figured I could be a good sport.

The problem was – the turkey was not turkey. It was lunchmeat. It was processed turkey-paste molded into a turkey breast shape and sliced on a carving board by friendly Old Country Buffet servers channeling Oscar Mayer.

Do you pity me yet? Honestly, it wasn’t what I had hoped for, but it wasn’t all that bad (outside the turkey). I enjoyed the company, thought about how much fun it would be to cook Thanksgiving dinner next year, and settled down to the truly important Thanksgiving activities – namely, watching football.

My client was right – I have a lot to be thankful for… And wherever I end up, and whichever chain I end up eating at, I’m guess I'm grateful... (I'm grateful also, to Pam, who fed me leftover turkey on Friday... Thanks, baby!)



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