Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Today I feel wise and on top of things. The shopping for Thursday's Thanksgiving dinner is complete, the menu is written and it's all over but the cooking, the belt loosening, food coma and the dishes. Some people are preparing for Thursday in other ways. For instance, my daughter has rented The Ref to get some pointers.
After yesterday's post, I started rereading some of the items in my insane asylum, including the Easter post about the lovely time we had with my father in law. You see, the heat is on and some people, OK, one person, is starting to ramp up about what he can bring for dinner. After the Easter offerings, I've been telling my husband and my son that he can bring nothing to the table. Nada. Zilch. Please, please, his company is enough! Of course, this is going over like a lead balloon because it's removing control and MLTL, not content with just being a guest, is starting to write his own menu. For instance, how about ordering turkey and all the fixings from a local catering company and eating at his house? No. I don't want to chase Rachel all over his house to keep her out of trouble. I want to be comfortable with her. Well then, he'd like to buy the ham we'll eat. Ham? He wants me to cook a fresh ham for Thanksgiving dinner. For my entire life, it's always been turkey and I'm not about to change that. I don't know what it is about ham, but he always talks about this meat. It has to be served at every single holiday meal for him, or the meal is incomplete.
About 20 years ago, a little after the birth of my son, I took it upon myself to host a gigantic family meal on Christmas Eve. I invited my in laws and their assorted relatives, including THE aunts. After slaving all day at the stove to make everything perfect, we all sat down to the table and my father in law said, "where's the ham I bought?" He had left it at his house 3 miles away. Making such a fuss that he had to have that ham, my husband left to go fetch it. By the time he returned, everyone else, including my father in law, had eaten what I'd prepared. Dinner was over and some tempers were simmering just below the boiling point. MLTL was angry because his wife (not him) had forgotten his ham and during dinner, we got to listen to him chastise her for her lapse of memory. My husband was royally pissed that he had to go fetch a ham that nobody else wanted. I was furious that this man had disrupted the dinner I'd prepared for days for something only he wanted. MLTL had ruined dinner, which was his subconscious plan all along, but he got his ham. I never said a word to him about that ham that nobody ate, but I will say, it was the last time I cooked a meal for 30 people.
This time, I'd finally like to tell MLTL what to do with that ham he wants me to cook on Thursday, but because it's a no win situation, I won't. But neither will I cook it for him. If he wants it, he can babysit a fresh ham in the oven all by himself. Instead, I'm going to practice the sage advice of Distracted by Shiny Objects:
"Have you ever tried the trick of mentally going through the grocery store and putting items in your cart alphabetically?? apples, bananas, cherries, doughnuts, etc...makes you look like you're listening to a conversation but allows you to be a bit removed. I've found it helpful a time or two."
If that doesn't work, I've stocked up on wine...