When Hubby and I were young and stupid (read: poor and stupid), we used to day dream about having big family holidays in the new home we didn’t yet own. Visions of snowy windows, crackling fireplaces and family with rosy cheeks at our door used to dance in our heads. We used to get positively giddy at the thought of our family gathered around our hearth and home, all of them swooning at the perfection that we’d created.
Let me tell you about Thanksgiving 2005.
Or, as I like to call it: The Great Frozen Turkey Incident of 2005.
In September 2005, our youngest Fruit Loop joined the 2 1/2 year old Fruit Loop in our cereal bowl. For reasons still not clear to us, we thought that fall would a GREAT time to do the following:
1). Establish a new routine with a newborn and a toddler.
2). Sell our house.
3). Buy a new house.
4). Invite 22 people over to our house for the Hap, Hap, Happiest Frigging Thanksgiving you ever did see.
I already called us stupid in the first paragraph so you don’t get to say it now.
As you well know, a newborn in the house equates to constant laundry, cracked nipples, sibling rivalry and sleep deprivation. Oh, the sleep deprivation. The “I’m so tired I don’t think I’m actually sleeping when I’m sleeping” tired. The “How did I drive here and not hit 17 cars?” tired. The “I will cut you if I don’t get some sleep” tired. And, about 8 weeks in, you are fairly certain that you will Never. Sleep. Again and that your toddler needs to go live with the gypsies.
Eight weeks in brings us smack dab to Thanksgiving 2005. You can see where I’m going here….
When you invite 22 people to your home for Thanksgiving sup, it is usually a bonus to have a place to actually put all of them. Our first home was by no means small, however, we had long outgrown putting a couple of tables in the family room to house everyone. So, this particular year, my Hubby convinced me that our guests would be most comfortable in our garage. In. Our. Garage. Next to the motor oil and fertilizer. Can someone pass the potatoes and the air compressor hose? We did, however, hang black tarps on the walls to block out the garage decor which was a classy touch. All we needed was a disco ball and a blue light for later that night and we could have turned it into a rave at Club Turkey. But, I digress….
Upon waking up that morning (read: realizing I was sleep drooling on the nursery floor), I set about tackling the tasks of the day. Gravy supplies? Check! 15 lbs of potatoes peeled? Check, check! Cranberry sauce made from scratch? Bitch, check that, yo! Turkey defrosted?
Houston, we have a problem. A big, 22lb FROZEN problem.
22 people coming to my house in 5 hours and we have a 22lb frozen bird sitting on my counter.
I haven’t slept in 56 days and I have 22 people coming for dinner and my frigging turkey is frozen.
Those who were present for these 15 minutes in time have described the moment I found out about the frozen turkey as epic. My parents and Hubby simply stood out of harm’s way as I completely, epically and categorically lost my marbles right there in my kitchen. I felt like I was having an out of body experience and I was scary enough that when my brother and sister in law arrived from their hotel in the middle of my meltdown, they simply turned around and left for an hour.
I have heard reports that when my Dad asked what they could do to help, I yelled, in a primal manner, “You people need to find me a frigging turkey”. I do remember guttural screaming and I do remember the mixture of horror and amusement my Hubby had as he watched his normally sane wife come unglued over frozen fowl. In that moment, I understood what it meant to be 100% batshit crazy. When my Dad asked if turkey cutlets would do in a pinch (I still marvel at the bravery of that man to even ask that question), reports are that I rounded on him, eyes bulging and yelled, “Get me a turkey with bones or don’t come home”. (My dad, God rest his soul, is most certainly becoming a saint soon).
And then my Hubby suggested that we try to defrost the turkey IN. THE. BATHTUB.
That *might* have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Garage. Frozen. Bathtub. 56 days with no sleep. You people.
It was all too much.
I just wanted to have the Hap, Hap, Happiest Thanksgiving EVUUUR and now we were officially throwing the White Trash Hillbilly Holiday. The dining room smelled like grease, there was a turkey wrapped in a garbage bag defrosting in the guest bathroom and my dad just came home with a fresh $75 free range turkey because he was too afraid to show his face empty handed.
Much of the rest of the day passed in a blur of Chardonnay and post ictal confusion. The meal was cooked, the space heaters crackled and there was frost on the garage windows. Our families sat in my garage and ate that free range turkey gleefully. There were no worries about children spilling juice, parents and in-laws quietly chuckled at how the mighty Martha Stewart had fallen to a new hillbilly low and the children had plenty of space to run like lunatics. I consumed my body weight in Chardonnay that day and I can report that I slept like a baby for the first time in 56 days. I believe it was my mother in law who whispered in my ear, “Honey, now THAT’S how you throw a Thanksgiving to remember”.
Maybe sometime I’ll tell you about the Thanksgiving of 2009. Or as I call it: The Thanksgiving The Lights Went Out On The Turkey…..
|White Trash Hillbilly Holiday 2006|