|No, sorry, we can't have this.|
1. You're required to spend time with your family. Actually, that's not so hard because Thanksgiving is a low-pressure holiday. If you know someone alone, this is obviously a very good time to invite him or her to the festivities. I'm very grateful to friends who hung out with me on Thanksgiving when I was single and divorced. (Okay, we cheated and went to a buffet.) The problem with family holidays: there is a lot of football and that can be irritating. Men tend to sprawl in front of the TV; women to cook and clean. Cards can trump football after awhile if you're lucky. Take a walk if it's possible. It's very important to get the men away from the football or your Thanksgiving can be RUINED.
2. You're required to cook a lot. Fortunately it's all very easy. You can use Pepperidge Farm stuffing, bags of salad, Ocean Spray cranberries, and various other cheating. It's the one time of year when we buy name-brands. As for me, I'm wondering whether to buy the turkey at Trader Joe's--I got the leaflet in the mail and want the organic turkey and am inspired by the ads to make my own garlic mashed potatoes and cranberry-apple pie--or at the supermarket? It's much, much better to buy organic, but Trader Joe's is way out in the suburbs. We can't buy Butterball--I've heard very, very bad things. This is an occasion when you have to take charge and make decisions about your family's nutrition.
3. You have to eat a lot. I've already had one Thanksgiving dinner. Many of us attend more than one. I've already put on some of those pounds I lost last summer. Yesterday I had turkey, stuffing, and pie. On Thursday the same thing...
4. Personally I plan to read a lot Thursday. I'll read between basting the turkey, and I've got my reading lined up. I'm in the mood to read Grace Metallious's Peyton Place or maybe The Thorn Birds. Fast-moving sagas. Yes. My mother and I used to watch Peyton Place on TV. I've never seen The Thorn Birds but maybe that's the kind of thing for women to curl up in front of on the holidays.