Friday, November 25, 2011

And Then

And then it got crazy.

This is what we had yesterday for Thanksgiving Dinner:

Turkey, with cornbread stuffing
Turkey, smoked
Oysters, raw
Pickles and olives and cheese and crackers guava paste and cream cheese and 
Deviled eggs
Green bean casserole
Spinach and artichoke heart casserole
Norwegian hot dish casserole
Broccoli casserole
Corn casserole
Sweet potato casserole 
German cabbage
Vegetarian stuffing
Cranberry relish
Cranberry sauce
Pecan pie
Chocolate pecan pie
Apple pie
Pumpkin pie
Real whipped cream

We were ten for supper, including Owen. Who took one bite of a turkey leg and pronounced it nasty.

Do you see the problem here?

By the time we sat down to eat, I had been on my feet since eight, mostly. May had been on her feet since the moment she got here. Everyone else had made and helped with things all day.

I went to bed before the cleaning up was done. DO YOU HEAR ME? I WENT TO BED BEFORE THE CLEANING UP WAS DONE!

Because I pretty much thought I was going to die and being in bed would be the appropriate place to do that. Take that whole day, add in the day and days before for the party and getting ready for the party and Owen-care and shopping and the broken washing machine and, and, and...

I just slept for eleven hours.

And the worst? I feel SO guilty that I went to bed before the cleaning up was done and everyone left. May and Matt were still in the kitchen and so was Mr. Moon when I went to bed.

They were cleaning up. They were figuring out how to put the leftovers away and washing dishes. I would have just thrown all the pots and pans and food in the yard. I would have let the wild animals come and eat all of it.

I washed my face. I brushed my teeth. I put on my nightgown. I tried to read for a little while. I couldn't. I turned out the light.

I slept for eleven hours. In a row. Waking up only to feel guilty and then go back to sleep.

Let me remember this next year. Let me put my foot down and say that if people want casseroles, they should make them and enjoy them in July.

I haven't gone to bed before the cleaning up was done since 1988 when I was pregnant with Jessie and went to bed before the EATING was done. I seem to recall that I just laid down under the table and fell asleep but I am pretty sure I didn't actually do it.
Pretty sure.

I am too old for all of this. Even if the children do more than half of it. I cannot deal with the guilt.
Which is stupid.
But it's the way it is.

The hell to you, you Pilgrims. Coming to this country and making up to the Indians so they'd take pity on your poor little white souls and teach you how to survive and than making a dinner and inviting a few Indians and then stealing all of their land and the hell to you with your Great Feast idea.

The hell to you with your little buckled shoes and your stupid hats and your religious freedom and your sucking up to Squanto and your Plymouth Rock and your Great Feast and your ideas of original sin and GUILT!

And the hell to whoever invented the casserole, too, if you want to know the truth.

Eleven hours of sleep. And Owen's coming soon and boy, do I hope he wants a nap today.

Your faithful correspondent...Ms. Moon


  1. I bet everyone was happy you went to bed before clean up was over. I'd say they were as delighted by your 11 hours of sleep as you were.

    I don't think martyr-mothers are so much fun to have - your guilt must make everyone feel awful too, no? And guilty.

    Release the guilt! Enjoy the company and face feeding. I know I'm a total hypocrite, but I'm also a powerful underachiever and I never clean up til whenever the next party is. Which has its pros and cons, yes.

    Seriously. It's ok. Put it down and walk away! Leave the guilt in the yard for the animals to come take care of.

  2. Sounds like a lot of food. But am glad that you took care of yourself. Sleep is a really good thing! I got home around 10 PM after two meals. I was too tired to read.

  3. Well, it seems to me that at this point in your life, the children should do most of the work. That's the way of life and families. That's the reward. No need to feel guilty about it. Instead you should be sitting back are marveling at how good a job you did with your family.

  4. I banished everyone from the house before the clean up was done so that I could go to bed. I'm cleaning up today. I like your way better.

  5. i admit i chuckled at the difference between this post and the previous one. i went to bed before the cleanup was done, too, just disappeared from the proceedings, closed my bedroom door, and climbed into bed. my husband did the honors, the broad strokes, and this morning, refreshed and not the least bit guilty, I did the fine tuning, the restoring of order, and that's how it works for us i guess. no guilt, ms. moon. it's a overwhelming, overstimulating day. by evening i was completely overstimulated, a jarring nerve, so i did everyone a favor, and me too, and went to bed. i do wish i had a yard to throw the pots and pans in tho. i love the sound of that!

  6. I'm with you. I dreaded the whole Thanksgiving thing this year and felt guilty in my dread all the way up to finally dragging myself and my children to someone else's house, watching Sophie have two seizures despite all the jollity in the room and then making the decision to take her home to my blessedly quite, leftover free house. I hate leftovers, too, so I'm happy. And I am just not going to feel guilty next year when I drive to Palm Springs with my boys, check into a retro motel and sit by a hotel or stand out in the desert and look at the stars.

    So there.

  7. This is one of the things I have no problem with whatsoever. Cleanup can always wait until the next day or the kids can always do it and usually feel good about doing it. However, I do have guilt about other things where I should have no guilt. It just is until I change my way of thinking.

    Happy Day After!

  8. That is a lot of food... Enough to feed half an army I would say. It looks delicious on your table. Even if I can only see a little bit of it.

  9. Sounds like Thanksgiving went from laid back to mayhem pretty quick like.

    Good for you for sleeping it off and let others take care of things. When you feel guilty, just remember that if you always do the work, you are depriving others of the distinct honor of giving you a break. :-) I know, I'm full of shit, right?~ heheh!


  10. I cooked all day Wednesday and half the day Thursday but only for four people. AND I WENT TO BED BEFORE CLEANING UP! Actually my son always cleans up after holiday meals. BUT! And here's the kicker. Everything on the table at exactly 3 steaming hot ready to eat including things like hollandaise sauce and gravy you know things that congeal oh and my son left at 2:30 to pick up The Girl and they didn't come back until 4. So my brother and I finally just said what the hell and began without them. There are stories about what happened. I don't believe any of them. I was a wee bit pissy but I contained myself. I know my brother reads my blog though. He asked if we could have Christmas dinner at his house. YAY! I'm rambling here dear Mary. I remember a family dinner like yours which sounds spectacular. Not my family but I remember. You are something else you are. I love you to pieces!

    ps. The most fun I had last night was I accidentally froze a bottle of sparkling cider and I took it out of the freezer and popped the cork and there was a weird covering of opaque white ice and I stabbed it with my knife and it started bubbling out like Old Faithful and it bubbled out for an hour and my brother and I stood in the kitchen giggling because the kids had already left because of course the girl had another Thanksgiving dinner to go to.

  11. ps. Sorry for the long rambling comment I think it should have been a blog post. Or a fucking novella or something.

  12. Don't feel guilty. cook less next year so you can enjoy the day.


    Throw those fucking pots and pans out in the yard and wait for the fucking PILGRIM bastards to come clean them up.

    That's my thought.

  14. Ohgawd, I love this post, Mary, except for the mention of Guilt....NO GUILT, ya hear.

    But the pots and pans tossed into the yard for the critters to clean that is a brilliant thought.

    11 hours....not time try for 12.

  15. Wow, went from "the most laid back Thanksgiving of my life that I can remember" to today's post very quickly. What a roller coaster ride of a day, it must have been. Your family was probably happy that you went to rest and sleep, and they are wonderful to do the clean up for you. You're not too old--I'm just as old and I have a few more Thanksgiving feasts left in me, as do you. Those grandchildren of yours, Owen and future are counting on it.

    We did a reasonably small dinner this time. Just the bird and stuffing, baked potatoes, two veggie dishes- non casserole, just fresh and natural, steamed with a drizzle of olive oil. Cranberry and artichoke sides, again done simply. Not even a salad this year.

    We had a huge desert table due to company joining us that evening, but I relied heavily on Costco and pre made stuff. Also, lot of different ice creams. But all very simple to set up.

    I've done the gourmet feasts too, and decided that when Thanksgiving is the day with so many loved ones coming to visit, better to enjoy the company than slaving over the food. I'll cook an elaborate dinner another time.

    I have a pot with burned cranberries/sugar charred to the bottom behind my little secret.

  16. I think I am happy to admit that maybe I do prefer smaller Thanksgiving dinners. There is less to do with the cooking and the cleanup. I had 18 here. Yes, we did all help but I couldn't wait to get everyone out the door by 8:30. Then there is the cleanup of the house the next day...which I am still doing.

    Yes, a small party. Large parties for summer because it's outside instead of inside and BBQing is way easier with salads and such. But all the work, yes WORK, of preparing food and setting tables...oh Lord it is a lot.

    Glad you did go to did the right thing Mary. Tired is tired.

  17. we took mac n cheese with us in a crock pot to t's parents place- ours was a feast even with only half of what you listed! to save time and cleanup we used leftover paper plate's from his sister's wedding in oct. that certainly made the clean up quicker! the highlight was when our almost two year old niece pointed to her disney princess sippy cup and said 'johnny' like 8 times (tony and his other siblings call their baby brother a sister for some reason i dont quite comprehend) and it was really funnier than it seems as i am describing it.

    in other updates i moved to a new url-come visit soon for more hijinks and shenanigans!


  18. Jo- Really? I don't think my guilt worried anyone too much. But I did put some leftovers in the yard for the animals to eat, for sure, and I did not feel guilty about THAT and I thought about leaving my guilt there too.

    Syd- It's all very tiring, isn't it?

    Lisa- I have an almost neurological need not to wake up to last night's mess. And bless May and Matt and Mr. Moon who dealt with it with such grace.

    Angella- Vast contrast! And yes, TOO MUCH STIMULATION!

    Elizabeth- That Palm Springs idea is the best one I've heard since I planned Christmas in Mexico. Do it, girl! Make your reservations now.

    Rubye Jack- And may we all change our way of thinking about the guilt we carry but do not own.

    Photocat- TOO MUCH goodness!

    Ms. Fleur- Well, it's a very good theory.

    Madame Radish King- I love the idea of a tiny geyser of sparkling cider. Did you lick it up? I would have. I have no couth. I love whatever you write, whatever words you bless me with. Honest and always. Love...M

    Kristin- That is totally my plan. Thanks!

    Akannie- I'd be waiting a long damn time. Damn pilgrims.

    Lo- I LOVE YOU! Maybe tonight I'll go for the twelve.

    Catherine- Yep. Next year I'm keeping it simple. I am going to stick by that one! I MEAN IT! I won't tell anyone about the pot. Promise.

    Ellen- Amen. Tired IS tired.

  19. Mrs. A- Have noted your new address in my reader. Thanks, love. Now- will there be mac'n'cheese when I get there?

  20. O My! I didn't have a bellyache from eating, but now I have one from laughing. Throwing the pots and pans into the yard and letting the wild animals have at them is an amazing idea.

  21. Denise- The idea has never occurred to you?

  22. Guilt is a counter-productive emotion.

    Nasty! Bwhahahahahahaha!

  23. Everything on that list of dishes looks wonderful. Especially the casserole.

    When we need to sleep, we need to sleep.

  24. That is a whole lot of food for 10 people! I'm glad you went to bed before the cleaning up was done. I would have too.


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