Turkey for Elephants

Erich Finch Every year on the penultimate Thursday, millions of Americans stuff themselves with turkey, potatoes, and family. ‘Tis a time where we can step back from reality, school, and Mr. Fript’s accents, and just enjoy some good food, right? I used to love this holiday more than any other. You get to see family you didn’t know existed from states miles away and you get to enjoy a nice hot meal. Now it makes me want to rip my hair out. My family goes all out for Thanksgiving. This year we invited everybody from my dad’s side, and that came out to be 30 people. Usually when we have parties this big we have a buffet-style party with paper plates. However, since this holiday is supposed to be a formal occasion, we have a sit-down dinner using the china. And our dining room table does not come close to fitting everyone. So my family asks everyone we know for card tables and folding chairs. This creates a classic feud: who is going to sit at the kids’ table? The depressing truth is I will probably never get to sit at the dining room table as long as my parents are alive. I like sitting with people my own age but the actual dinner and sitting down time is very short. Half an hour is the longest time we have gotten to sit down before we are called to clean up the kitchen. After 5 hours of turkey basting, potato mashing, and stuffing crushing, my kitchen looks like someone dusted the room for fingerprints. We do not have a dishwasher and we always have way more leftovers than expected. Half of the kitchen is arm-deep in soapy water and drying. The other half is covered with greasy hands putting turkey in ziploc bags. All this preparing and cleaning is hardly worth the short dinner that comes with this. Not to mention it is the one time of year when all political spectrums of the family get to debate over dessert. You have the Boston Liberal uncle, and the ex-nun Wyoming Republican.  Politics always manages to rear its ugly head into the discussion even though we all try to avoid it. So while all of us younger cousins are entrenched in clean-up labor, our beloved parents are yelling at each other for destroying America with their votes. In conclusion, Thanksgiving is no longer a fun holiday when you have to take the responsibilities of hosting. I barely got to talk to my cousins because I was getting people drinks or doing dishes. And at the end of the night, we were all at the kid’s table. Even the cousins who have kids of their own. I hope that future Thanksgivings will be less stressful. Or maybe someone could just have me over at their house.]]>