Archive for November, 2013

THE LAST THURSDAY OF NOVEMBER

Monday, November 25th, 2013

 

THE LAST THURSDAY IN NOVEMBER…

 Thanksgiving.  A national holiday.  No religious undertones.  Non-sectarian.  No presents to buy.  Time to gather with family.  Time to give thanks.  Many people say it’s their favorite holiday. Maybe worth re-thinking that…

MYTH

 A four-day weekend, at last!

 FACT

  Fabulous if you’ve got the house in the Hamptons, or the chalet in Jackson Hole and pay other people to do what the rest of us have do. You is spoiled, you is rich, you is entitled.

 

MYTH

  There’s nothing like actually going to the Macy’s Day Parade.

 FACT

 Yes, there is – being locked in a meat freezer for half a day.  But at least in a meat freezer, no one’s wearing a hat-scarf-mitten set.  You see, one of the prime advantages of living in New York City and raising your children here is that there are no high school marching bands.  Really –  if you grew up on 3rd Street in the East Village, you’ve made it through life thus far without ever knowing– you don’t know a tuba player, baton twirler or basoonist.  Why you would want to see 47 marching bands, one after the other, after the other? You can’t like felt that much. There’s nothing like going to the Macy’s Day Parade if you don’t mind being squished together with a group of total strangers like cans of smoked mackerel, being goosed either by accident or deliberately, getting kicked in the head by a five-year old behind you sitting on Daddy’s shoulder, whining,  “Puleeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzeeeeee!  Can we take Woody and Buzz Lightyear home, Daddy? Buy them for me!  Puleeeeeezzzzeeeeee!  Now!”

 The likelihood of the wind being strong  enough to push the Snoopy float into a traffic light that falls on your head and knocks you into a coma isn’t great. I suppose if you woke up at 4 am and drove your family in from North Brunswick, New Jersey to get a good spot on the parade route, it’s a chance worth taking.   Waking up at 4 am back in college, standing on line with hallucinogenically impaired friends, waiting to buy Grateful Dead tickets, was a pain in the ass and I was 19 and we were indoors.  But okay – you know better and it’s going to be the experience of a lifetime for your kids.  They won’t remember it and if they do, they’ll blame you for the chapped lips the hypothermia and the lifelong nightmares from a 40-foot floating Ronald McDonald.

 

MYTH

 I love the bargains on Black Friday!

 FACT

 It’s like running with the bulls in Pamplona, only you’re running toward 500-count Egyptian cotton sheets, espresso makers and dress-shirts.

 

  MYTH

 It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

 FACT

 It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas before Halloween.  Say nothing and those huge fake velvet red ribbons and toxic poinsettia will be assaulting your eyes before Labor Day.  Here’s a secret – the only difference between Hershey’s Halloween Chocolate Kisses and Hershey’s Christmas Chocolate Kisses is orange foil vs. red and green foil.  If only they can come up with a foil color that says “Pumpkin Pie” or “Fried Turkey,”—oops, now I’m responsible for that..   

 The Hallmark Channel, i.e., the channel where everyone falls in love or loves their family, or is estranged from their family at the beginning of the film but reunites in a meaningful way in 90 minutes, really ramps it up this time of year.  Prepare yourself for, “A Hallmark Christmas,” “Holly’s in Love,” “A Very Special Christmas,” “It’s Christmas Somewhere,” “Grandpa’s Home for Christmas,” “All I Want for Christmas Is Love, Love, Love,” “Love and the Christmas Spirit,” “Spirit and the Christmas Love,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Will You Be Home for Christmas?”  “If We’re Both Home for Christmas, We’ll Both Be Home for Christmas – Yippee!,”Kisses Under the Mistletoe,” and my personal favorite, “A Christmas Carole Brady.”

 MYTH

 There’s so much football.

 FACT

 There’s so much football.

 

MYTH

  I have so much to be thankful for!

 FACT

No you don’t.  If you did, I wouldn’t hear you whining all the time about how you hate your job and want to fricassee your co-workers, or wondering how your brother, the asshole, makes more money than you, or complaining about how you got your mom’s “fat thigh” gene.  That’s why no one wants to be friends with you.  Including me.  Yay!  At last, Something to be thankful for.

MYTH

  I love starting to think about what to wear at Christmas

FACT

 At least there aren’t any whimsical “Thanksgiving” sweaters.  Yet.

 

 MYTH

  I can’t wait to see all of my family!

 

 FACT

  Really? Is your family “The Cosbys”?  That creepy Camden family from “Seventh Heaven”?  The Kennedys before we found out about Jack and his girlfriends, Teddy and his drinking and Chappaquiddick, and dear old anti-Semitic bootlegger Poppa Joe?  You’re not going to play touch football. You don’t have a “compound.”  You’re not sailing on your ketch or your yawl.  But look on the bright side – you’re probably not going to ski into a tree or get dead people to vote for your son or date Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” wife as your recently divorced, broke, isolated and depressed wife hangs herself in the barn. See – being a Kennedy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Another thing to be thankful for. 

 You are going to be sitting around a large wood-like particle board table surrounded, perhaps, by a grandma wearing several rubber bands around her wrist for no reason at all, a grandpa in Depends, telling stories about vaudeville, the Great War and how when he was a kid, they paid 50 cents to get into the movies and that was for the main feature and the “B” movie; an aunt who has to be watched because she steals silverware, a cousin who has to show his other cousins how to make milk come out of his nose, the “new parent” couple who think their meatloaf-like three-month old understands String Theory; the “foodie” relative who will make comments like “excellent food profile – a nice balance of sweet and savory, and the bacon crumblings are done to perfection!”

 Everyone, except maybe your anorexic sister-in-law, will stuff himself on turkey and at least one or two relatives will tell you, like they do every year, “You know why you get so tired after eating turkey? Tryptophan!”  You like pretending sweet potato is a pie ingredient?  The baby marshmallows around the circumference still don’t make that “thing” a dessert.  You’ll pretend you prefer the homemade cranberry sauce that’s sour and indigestible to the OceanSpray canned cranberry sauce, that you kind of have to wiggle out of the can and comes out with the can-markings stenciled into it.  I can’t even define “mulled cider,” but if it’s so special, you can drink it the rest of the year too.  Just saying.