The Worst Thanksgiving Ever

Unlike New England or even Jolly Old England, here in California we generally have two seasons: Green and Brown. Right now we’re between the two. Cold, dry days but not enough rain for our season of green to commence.

Last night my husband said to me “this was the worst Thanksgiving ever.” Considering that he generally has to be dragged to holiday celebrations and makes faces when I invite guests over to share “his” turkey, it provoked a sharp response from me. “You bloody hypocrite!” But in truth I’ve always known he doth protest too much. If he doesn’t get at least five requests for his famed Mac and Cheese recipe at holiday events, his year is ruined. Last year my best friend’s children fought over the leftovers and he spent the whole next day typing meticulous instructions (three pages long) to email to them all. He was a happy man.

Joel’s pumpkin pie – he makes three of them at Thanksgiving.

This year, although he wasn’t “forced” to share his pumpkin pie, he realized maybe it’s not so much fun to eat it all by himself. A good lesson as that’s what the holiday is supposed to represent. Not the massive gathering of family during which deep seated resentments are bound to leave at least one family member hurt. Or hosting large gatherings that leave you cleaning the house for days afterward. But just simply sharing.

Speaking of families, the “children” of my Red Squill (seen above at its most glorious) continue to sprout at her withered base.

The eldest is above and below the youngest.

I know it’s greedy but I’m hoping she will have many more children who will somehow survive the coming winter and rise again in late August 2021.

24 thoughts on “The Worst Thanksgiving Ever

  1. Feeling all of this, Jan. I just read your post while taking a break from an essay I’m writing about comparing this holiday season to the holidays in 2000 and 2001. In 2000, I did a *ton* of complaining about having to attend *so many* parties. All I wanted was peace. Then, in 2001–the year my dad died suddenly and 9/11 happened–I couldn’t believe what a whining brat I’d been in 2000. And now we have the pandemic. I hope your Red Squill produces beautiful children in 2021 and that you have a much better Thanksgiving too. xo

    1. I remember the days of endless holiday parties that must be attended. It’s perfectly okay to whine about them! I did too. Hopefully in the future we’ll return to the spirit of the holidays and celebrations will be less let’s eat and get drunk and more let’s quietly give thanks. I hope Joel’s learnt not to complain about sharing but we’ll see.

  2. Hi Jan,

    Nice post. I think I already told you this, but it’s worth repeating. My LA movie friend, the one who used to make all the CGI clouds, told me that the California dream was over. Maybe all the dreams are over, at least until we can figure stuff out and then, if lucky, maybe we’ll have a chance. Love. Duke

    1. Things are definitely going downhill fast in California. There’s a popular saying in Manhattan beach that you can’t be over 30 and own a library card. That’s the opposite of SF area but that is changing. Trump worship certainly hasn’t helped.

  3. It is the loneliness and isolation that makes this pandemic and the lockdowns so horrible. People are gregarious creatures and don’t like being alone, especially during periods of traditional gatherings. I hope Christmas won’t be like this.

  4. I feel compelled to write something about the plant – how there’s comfort and hope in witnessing the new growth. But I am aware of the discord in the background.

    be safe

  5. Nothing like a grumpy hubby that wants to bitch. LOL! I am familiar.

    I’ve read many articles, with great sadness, of the long lines of Americans needing food assistance for Thanksgiving. Curiously, I’ve also seen other reports of folks jumping on early Christmas sales. One would think that the first issue would be more important than the second issue but, maybe that’s just me.

    Your plant is becoming a metaphor for the human spirit.

    1. In SF Bay Area, we are seeing an increase in people needing the food banks. But not nearly the volume as some other areas. I think it’s because we don’t have a lot of manufacturing. Yes, my plant has been something which has given me hope.

      1. A good time to remind those who can to share (make a donation) to food banks. I agree other areas need it more. People can donate to “Feeding America” in WDC which divides to all the registered Food Banks in the USA.

  6. I agree with the point about “just simply sharing.” and sadly so many folks do end up hurt or have issues pre and post holiday.

    The pumpkin pie looks like it came out really good

  7. Really? Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. No shopping just a special meal together and my mother-in law always bought the pies at least.
    The main item missing from our menu Thursday were pies – big mistake! (Tell Joel I’ll order one next yr.)

    1. My mother was from New England where a traditional Thanksgiving always includes stuff like Ambrosia, Oyster stuffing and Mincemeat Pie. Oh and green bean casserole made with Campbell’s Mushroom soup. Not really heaven for a child. I’ll tell Joel to make a few extra pies for next year. Gods, I hope we’re not still in quarantine then!

  8. I so enjoy your writing, Jan. You have a way of getting quickly to the raw human element. I LOVED your dry-humor description of your husband’s joy in your best friend’s children’s enjoyment over the leftovers; the three-page email of instructions had me chuckling. Your first line is a zinger. As a Californian who loves California, it still struck me as true. Your point of sharing shines through beautifully. And clever and fun segue into the children of your Red Squill. A delight here, thank you.

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