Oh, Thanksgiving

I went to two thanksgiving dinners this weekend, and I have a luncheon with my grandparents this Wednesday, which means that I’m not eating anything for the next 48 hours. This is because my grandparents are the only people in the world who think that I am ‘too thin’ and also ‘have a lovely singing voice’, and if I get through the lunch without them mentioning both, 2014 will be ruined.

Thanksgiving is a relatively new phenomena (for me. I am aware, hazily, that it’s been a longer-term thing for some other people), and as a newly-minted expert, here are the things one needs to do to enjoy it:

  1. Develop the sort of generous and reliable reputation that means when items are divided amongst the group (stuffing, vegetables, pies etc) you are asked to bring ‘some jars of cranberry jelly’, and then informed that this is because ‘you are the type of person who wouldn’t show up if given something difficult.’
  2. Arrive late.
  3. Make a huge fuss about the fact that you have remembered to bring your item.
  4. People love people who are good at conversation, so be able to talk on a wide variety of subjects: how long it took you to get there, where you went to buy the cranberry jelly, how vital cranberry jelly is to thanksgiving dinner.
  5. Find a chair and sit on it. As people walk past you, they will stop and chat; bring you beers; look enviously at your comfortable position. If you appear truly ensconced, other people will ‘make a plate’ for you, at which point you realise that the only person who has had it all figured out, all along, was your grandfather, and resolve to emulate him in all things from now on.

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