Posted in Mama, Writer

The Commandments of the Southern Thanksgiving Gathering

The Commandments of the Southern Thanksgiving Gathering

  • Thou shalt bring something.
  • Thou shalt obligingly laugh while everyone teases what thou brought. Ice? Who raised thou?
  • Thou shalt not partake of more alcohol than that which makes thee a more pleasant companion.
  • Thou shalt not eat for a goodly number of hours before feast-time. All tasting/picking/thieving fingers shall be smote.
  • Thou shalt put a little bit of what everyone brought on thy plate (and discretely place thy paper plate with thine uneaten portions upside down in the trash to avoid hurting feelings.)
  • Thou shalt write thy name on thy solo cup with a sharpie. Thou shalt keep thy solo cup.
  • Thou shalt ring thy hands in mourning for those working on this day- and run to the store for just one more thing.
  • Thou shalt slow thy roll and let the elderly and kiddos get food first. Thou art a grown-up.
  • Thou shalt free thy brother and neighbor by obligingly jumping up and moving thy car from the parking fiasco that is the front yard.
  • Thou shalt not eat until everyone is seated and the agreed upon terms of pre-eating have come to pass (e.g. praying, going around and sharing gratitude, etc.).
  • Thou shalt make a wish on the wishbone- even if it is most gross.
  • Thou shalt compliment everything. EVERYTHING.
  • Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s last roll.
  • Thy pie consumption shall not exceed thy elastic function.
  • Thou shalt chase thy host/hostess away from the sinkload of dishes with the nearest long-handled cleaning utensil.
  • Thou shalt not politic to the point of hurt feelings. Remember why thou came and partook of turkey in the first place.
  • Thou shalt not take a plate, if thou didst not bring a dish. 
  • Thou shalt not covet thy sister-in-law’s casserole dish. Even if she did “leave it behind.”


Posted in Mama, Writer

Turkey Disguise 101: a Life or Death Kindergarten Homework Assignment

                I had other plans for blogs this morning, but my son has left his class project out. One thing led to another, and, long story short, I have been mentoring a helpless, reluctant-to-be-eaten turkey in the art of disguise.

                Here’s Ed’s (the turkey’s) backstory.


                So, somebody is after the poor guy. He’s dinner otherwise. Got it.

                After wishing Ed luck, I went about my business. When I got back to the kitchen, I found this:

First Hershey

                “Are you kidding me, Ed? That’s a terrible disguise.”


second hershey

“Did you just…? Cut it out. I can still see you. And hiding in a layer of chocolates? You might as well be hiding under beef jerky and a stack of Cabela’s catalogues.”

Shaking my head, I went back to cleaning up the kitchen. When I went in the living room, I found this:


“It’s a classic, Ed, but I think you’re going to need something that covers the whole butt of protruding feathers issue. Keep trying, buddy.”

Five minutes later, I checked back in and found:


“Oh, I see- pretending you’re already dead. But, sorry to say this Ed, this kind of dead won’t keep you from getting eaten.”

Ed was horrified. After a round of therapy, I found him in the kitchen again.


“I see what you did there! Well, it did work for that other guy. I’m just not sure if you really want to risk hiding in plain sight like that. Waldo has a lot of white, human privilege that lets him blend in unharrassed. I’m not sure if that would work for a turkey in a turtleneck.  

I know, I know. This is hard. You’ve got to stop thinking like a turkey, Ed. Get with the human program, and find yourself a safe zone.”

I left Ed feeling discouraged. I made tea and went to start laundry. I found this:


I could have cried.

Ed had done it. He’d finally found a place that’s a total human turnoff. He was a safe turkey at last.

I wiped away a tear and made a note to call Bojangles and reserve my deep fried Thanksgiving dinner. For Ed’s sake, I prayed they hadn’t already sold out.