Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Friday, November 26, 2004

My Odd Day in Review

Yesterday was a most delightful Thanksgiving… but it was not without event or witnessing the absurd because after all, we are talking about me!

I got dressed and made my way out to the Jewish deli to pick up my Kosher Turkey. The people were wonderful and it was extraordinarily festive as I waited in line to get my bird. As I pick it up and I ask about heating instructions, I am told 1 hour, with a wet towel over it to keep it from drying out, at 300 degrees. Hmm. I’m in a bit of a panic as I have this timeline in my head as to when each dish goes into my oven and I had yet to plan for this 18 pound turkey. Fortunately for me, VW called me in my drive and the conversation went something like this… keep in mind, I keep my blog clean, but I do curse, more than I should. No, it is not ladylike. Yes, I realize it is a bad habit, and I am trying to curb it, really I am. But when I get stressed it is worse and VW is good about tolerating it and saying nothing.

Me: Can you efing believe it? I’ve got to find an hour in my timeline for this GD bird at 300 degrees. It’s not there. I swear, the time is not there!

VW: You need to put it in your grill. Warm it in your grill.

Me: What? My grill? There’s no way! This is a BIG damn bird. There is no efing way my grill is going to hold this turkey. NO.WAY!

VW: I promise you, use your grill.

So I did! And she was right! It worked. Of course I had to engineer it some, the pan was still too close to the flames and my bird and the juices were starting to cook as in Saute, not cook as in heat. I brought out my muffin tins, put them upside down to create a shelf, put a thermometer in there to keep track of the heat (I know, I know… I have number issues) and poured water on the towels every 10 minutes to keep it moist and it was the best turkey I have had in a long time.

However, in between this, I realized after I got home with said bird that I had forgotten… the gravy! Can you believe it? How many people forget GRAVY?! But I did and realizing I bought I precooked bird, it is not as if I could make my own with turkey drippings. Keys in hand and cursing under my breath, I trekked to Winn Dixie as Publix is closed on Thanksgiving. I believe I have said in the past, I live in the country. They built a Publix near me, but Winn Dixie is a haul. I had successfully just eliminated 1 hour of my preparation time, an hour I did not believe I had to spare.

I was wondering if Winn Dixie would even be open. Open? It.was.packed. I just assumed it was full of bone headed people like me who had forgotten a significant item. I decided to watch and see what types of things people had forgotten, to see if was anything was as stupid as forgetting gravy. The woman in front of me bought two items: flowers and dish washing soap. Phht. Talk about important. Can you imagine feeding the masses only to realize you didn’t have anything to clean your dishes? Another guy forgot dinner rolls. I could see that.

But overall, much to my surprise, Winn Dixie was NOT filled with absent minded professors! It was, in fact, filled with people doing their ENTIRE Thanksgiving Day shopping. It was filled with Procrastinators! Upon telling this story to someone, they said to me, “Well maybe they were just too busy working throughout the week…” No. We know in advance when T-day is… Now I fully realize that some people didn’t shop because they did not have the money until that day to do so, but I assure you, that was not the average person in that store. I was very surprised and then quietly patted myself on the back that even though I didn’t have my table set 2 weeks in advance like many of my girlfriends or my Mother, the fact I had shopped, created a time line and started preparing in advance, even if it was just the night before, was still far better than some.

So here I am in panic mode as dinner is to start at 1:30 per my request and I'm running a bit behind. What was I thinking? My husband’s family has issues with ‘timeliness’, as in they have a difficult time arriving to family functions on time. They manage to make it to work. They manage to make it to church. But when it comes to family dinners, 30 minutes to an hour late is the norm. And quite frankly, I find it offensive and insulting. By being that late, consistently, sends the message to me that my time is not as important as theirs. That coming to my home and having dinner is low priority to what they are doing. I find it irritating and yesterday it happened again. And yesterday, I vented horribly about it before they arrived. I was the picture of cool civility when they did waltz through my door… something very obvious so they stayed away until I could find it in my heart to be warm and festive to the boorish clods.

I said to my husband after he hung up from the phone call informing us they would be at least 30 minutes late, “Do I not have a right to be angry over this? For 16 years they arrive late. I am so sick of it.”

He replied, “I’m not saying you do or do not have a right, only that is it really that big a deal in the big scheme of things?”

My retort was, “It is if they ruin my potatoes and stuffing!!!!”

Yes, my dinner was ready on time... even though they were not here and even though I lost an hour going to get gravy.

I could not figure out why I do not plan for their socially unacceptable tardiness. After overanalyzing it for hours yesterday it finally occurred to me. It is not that I am the eternal optimist (far from it) expecting that, ‘YES, THIS will be the day they FINALLY show up on time’, but rather, it is ingrained in me to be punctual, it is a part of my being, so I cannot plan for someone’s vast inconsiderate nature when it is not something I could fathom in myself. One day they will push too far, but for now I keep it in check as it is my husband’s brother. (His sister is worse. Figure no less than an hour late. It is truly appalling.)

After dinner, when family had finally left, my boys were outside playing baseball with their father when my neighbor’s daughters came over to play too. I just looked at the Mom and said, “Would you like to go for a walk?” and next thing I knew, we had running shoes on and were walking a good clip for 5 miles. What a great end to a big meal! So I promptly sat down after our walk and ate 2 more pieces of pumpkin pie!

It was a great day!


Blogger Jody said...

Have you ever tried telling them a time half an hour earlier than you actually want them there? Of course you have. Next time just plan for an hour late, or better yet 2 hours late, and make them wait for the dinner to be done. Then, if they say something, quietly reply, "I thought you might enjoy eating (insert food here) fresh and hot." Will they get your jab? Maybe not, but you might feel really good. :)

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People who are continually late are should be retroactively aborted. Why let such clods foul up your dinner?
Next time, everyone who's there at the appointed time should sit down to eat.
When the latecomers finally make their entrance, explain that their food is keeping warm in the oven and "sorry you were late, but I'm sure you wouldn't have wanted us to have to eat overcooked XXX and YYY."
I guarantee they'll be on time on their next visit.

(When I got my first car, I was hijacked into dropping my time-impaired sister off at her school on the way to mine. She was ALWAYS running late. I finally got fed up and left her at the house one day. My Dad was angry because HE got stuck taking her to school, but she was never late again).

I'm glad your bird came out OK. And VW is right: You can cook a bird on the grill with no rotisserie, if you have the right kind of grill and the appropriate size bird. Turn on one burner. Put the turkey in a heavy foil pan over the burners that are OFF. Close the hatch and forget about it until the bird's done. Bonus is you can use the drippings from the pan for stock or gravy.
-- George

1:24 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

"....I didn’t have my table set 2 weeks in advance like many of my girlfriends or my Mother..."

WTF? (sorry, I swear sometimes too!)
Are you being sarcastic, or do they really have the table set 2 weeks in advance?!?
I am having Christmas dinner at my place, and I will be lucky to have it set half an hour before they arrive!

5:47 PM  

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