The modern version of the enemy of my enemy is my friend — when you meet someone new and discover you are both annoyed by the same things (read: people) on Facebook. For me, more annoying than the endless holiday shots (one should always be enough), the house remodels, the things you’ve just acquired that you can’t wait so show off to hundreds of people, or the posts you’ve cribbed from other people that’ll you’ll never give them credit for, are the food shots. Not just what you’re eating in restaurants, but all the food you’re making and consuming at home. It especially gets me this time of year, when food is front and center. (I’m about to get annoying, but keep reading because I think it pays off.) When I see all your cookie sheets lined up, or your turkey trussed and ready to go, I can’t help but think of people who don’t have enough to eat on Thanksgiving, or any day of the year; the ones who won’t be so stuffed by the end of the meal that they fall asleep wherever they are, even if that’s the living room floor.
But you see, I always get preachy and annoying around Thanksgiving.
When I was about eleven, I remember my mother making a turkey for Thanksgiving. I think it may have been the first one she ever made. I came home from school and found the bird defrosting on the kitchen counter. It was so large and so bird-like, so real, that I named it Othello (I’m embarrassed to say that I think it was because the best part of the turkey for me, was always the dark meat.) The next day the bird was out again getting herbed and trussed. Othello may have had a long, painful day, but he was happy to listen to the intimate details of middle school life and he did so without a single eye roll. The next day was oven day and I panicked. I knew that if he had a mouth, he’d open it right up and beg me to save him. True, he was already dead. But did I really want to add insult to injury?
It’s unclear what happened next. All I remember is that the turkey disappeared. It’s possible that I hid it in my bathrobe, stuffed it under my bed, and left it there, only to be discovered by Chester, our long suffering cocker spaniel. I just remember getting into some trouble. I’m not sure I was even at Thanksgiving dinner. (I do know that a few years later I became a vegetarian, the height of annoyance (I didn’t know about veganism back then, but if I did, I’d have jumped right on that annoying bandwagon.) I stayed a vegetarian for seven years, until I left the house and couldn’t annoy anyone anymore.)
I was at Thanksgiving dinner the following year. I believe that was the year I treated everyone to my graphic retelling of the Thanksgiving tale, complete with the spreading of white man’s disease and the rape of the Indian land.
Don’t worry. I’m getting paid back for my middle school behavior.