Do you ever have those days when you’re so exhausted that you’re kind of slap-happy? Though I didn’t cook for Thanksgiving, we traveled to two states, celebrated multiple birthdays and also delivered Christmas presents. Unfortunately, I didn’t really calculate any of this until two days prior to our departure.
I started making my various lists. Shopping would need to be done for hostess gifts, dessert ingredients, appetizers, beverages, three birthday gifts, and two Christmas gifts (which would all need wrapping). Packing would need to be done for me and my husband (no, he does not pack for himself, with good reason. Please reference this past blog for the full story.) Both children would need to pack, with some supervision. I needed to find a dog/cat/chicken sitter, which is not as easy as it sounds. I know— weird, right? So, it seemed a perfect night to try a new recipe that required eight hours of cooking, three pots, ingredients I didn’t have and the juicing of 15 pieces of fruit.
As the night wore on, I realized that no matter how tasty the meal was, I would never make it again because it was tainted with the flavor of exhaustion. Initially, the family loved the meal. But when I explained that each would be responsible for some aspect of cleanup, they quickly decided it was not worth the effort: “It was good and all, but let’s never do this again.”
Because we were all so tired. So tired that all filters were shut off and there were some truly odd (even for us) conversations throughout the course of dinner and dinner cleanup.
Me: Can you grab me a ripe avocado?
Husband: In Spanish, the A in avocado makes a Y sound. Yavocado.
Me: There should be one in the bowl on the table.
Child 2: Do we need plates or bowls?
Child 1: Do we have any seltzer?
Me: It’s great how the entire family just disregards you.
Husband: It’s awesome.
Once we actually made it to the table, the comments did not stop.
Me: Who wants the avocado?
Husband: You mean yavocado?
Me: No. I will never mean that.
Husband: Say it. Say yavocado.
Me: Who wants sour cream?
After dinner, the thought of cleanup was daunting so we lingered a bit around the table. The conversation moved to things that needed doing prior to our departure. I suggested to the husband that he try again to deodorize his car. A few days prior, he discovered that some of the bait that he stores in the back (because doesn’t everyone keep jars of fish bait in their vehicle, just in case?) had leaked. Or opened. Or exploded. It doesn’t really matter what happened because the end result was the same. It smelled like a sewer. Other suggestions included a barroom on a Sunday morning and fish pee (defined as the smell of urine combined with the smell of fish.) So, in any words, generally unpleasant.
Since it is not my car and not my mess, I had not partaken in the cleanup effort. The husband was voicing his dismay that there was still a bad smell. I started to suspect that his effort may have been lackluster and began grilling him on procedure.
Me: I’m really surprised that the rag I coated in Citra-Solv didn’t take care of it. You did wipe up the area, right?
Husband: (exasperated) Yes. I wiped it up. And I even left the rag there so the citrus smell would take over.
Me: So, you left a nasty, fishy rag in your car?
Husband: No, I had sprayed the area prior.
Me: Then you left a befouled rag in the car. And you are surprised it still smells? It’s like cleaning up dog crap with a paper towel then leaving the paper towel in the trash and wondering why the kitchen smells like dog crap.
Child 1: You really are a dipshite.
I had hoped, when we went to bed, that this would all be forgotten. I was optimistic that the next day would be fresh and new, untainted with half-baked ideas, peculiar family dynamics, and the making up of words that border on racist. I should have known better. The family group text began at 6:43 a.m.
Child 1: I hope you cut your hands off in an enclosure.
Me: Don’t wish injury on your father. There will be no more food if he cuts off his hands. Plus, he’s your dad.
Child 2: You two are insane (father and brother)
Me: I fear we may be slightly dysfunctional.
Child 2: Yep.
Husband: (sends image of severed hand)
Child 2: OMG stop I’m at school.
We’re not a proud people, but at least we get our share of laughter. And I decided that’s what I was thankful for this year: for the people in my life who bring a smile to my face, who deliver laughter to my heart, and who keep me in a constant state of exasperated disbelief.
I hope you and yours had a peaceful and joyous Thanksgiving and that the feeling lasts throughout the entire holiday season. From our insane asylum to yours, good luck!
And if you find yourself with a few (like, nine) extra hours to make a meal, try this amazing recipe for pork carnitas.
Laurie Nigro, is the mother of two biological children and one husband. She also takes care of a menagerie of animals that leave throw-up around for her to step in in the middle of the night. Laurie’s passionate about frugal, natural living, which is a nice way of saying she’s a kombucha-brewing, incense-burning, foodie freak who tries really hard not to spend money on crap made by child laborers. You can hear her rant about her muse (aka husband) and other things that have no bearing on your life, in this space each Sunday.
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