I know that it’s early November, but it’s never too early to talk about Thanksgiving. Especially when I’m giving you a piece of advice about something that you may have to pre-order. And I’m not talking about the turkey.
Let’s talk about last year for a minute.
It’s not my favorite characteristic, but my husband is exceptionally good at getting sick on major holidays.
Although technically it’s not his fault, he has a tendency to eat suspicious mayonnaise-based products the morning of a major event. Several years ago he ate a greenish chicken salad from a local deli and was violently ill during Thanksgiving dinner. Years before it was funky sushi the day of his birthday party.
I should have prepared for another Thanksgiving disaster last year, brought in special backup teams or outsourced the meal preparation. In my world, heading into Thanksgiving without a backup plan is like hosting an outdoor wedding in May.
Thanksgiving morning I rolled out of bed, the world my oyster, the dishes that I’d lovingly cook for our family and friends sketched out on a piece of paper. Rodney had graciously offered to take care of the kids to give me some much-needed space in the kitchen.
I walked out of our bedroom and found Rodney hunched over the toilet.
Rodney: “I feel sick. My stomach hurts.”
Me: “Ha, that’s a good one.”
Rodney: “I’m serious, I feel really sick.”
Me: “You can’t be sick today, not allowed. Sorry.”
Rodney: “I feel like I’m going to throw up. I literally can’t move.”
Me: “Oh, my, God. Every year. Ev-ver-ry year. Why do I do this to myself. What did you eat last night?”
Rodney: “A burrito.”
Me: “From where?”
Rodney: “Duane Reade.”
Apparently in a fit of hunger, instead of reaching into our perfectly stocked fridge for dinner, he panicked and bought himself a pork burrito from our local drugstore’s freezer case.
So rather than watching him get ready to take the kids to the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, our first time buying tickets, the tickets we’d gotten so that the kids could be out my hair while I cooked dinner for 16 people – rather than watching him do that……I now had to witness him crawl over to the couch and lie down in the fetal position with a bucket wedged next to his head.
Missing the parade was not an option at this point. The kids had been talking about it for weeks. Tears would be shed. Hearts would be broken.
So I did what any calm and collected Thanksgiving hostess would do in this situation. I swore like a sailor and stopped breathing for a solid minute, just until I became faint-headed enough to believe that this was actually a cruel joke and not my reality. As I regained consciousness, I figured out my plan.
We’d switch places, I’d take the kids to the parade. He would cook. Terrifying, all of it, but it was the only option.