As we enter this Thanksgiving holiday week, it is natural that we reflect on thanksgivings past. Before the lull of sleep caused by an overindulgence in turkey, butter laden potatoes, and endless supply of stuffing, or if you're from somewhere stupid, "dressing", and the sweet sweet promise of all things pie, let us reflect back on earlier times.
My earliest Thanksgiving memory is from kindergarten. Nothing really surrounding the holiday or food, but it was the day before Thanksgiving, and both classrooms, with a removable wall were combined with a big Jesus' last supper feast like table in the middle of the room. Before the food came out to feed our 5 year old appetites, we participated in the age old KG activity of coloring. The theme was "Turkey". The lights, a bit dimmed. Children, hungrily attacking a box of 64 crayolas. Yeah that's right, I was born after the classic 8 boxes. Those were for suckers and people with no imagination. I wonder how many are in a box now. Actually, what I really wonder is if any colors have since been rescinded? Like is there a council at the Crayola corporation that thinks about whether puce is really a color, or can everybody agree it's just peach or vomit. And can we all agree that Magenta is really just Purple retiring in Florida?
Anyways, this day before Thanksgiving activity was a classic Elementary Public School program, and it was the first time that I ever got out of doing a class activity. My excuse was having fallen into an ant hill by my driveway the day before, and having a crushing number of ant bites on my primary coloring hand. (See what I did there with "primary colors"? It was subtle.) The result of this ant aggression was an inability to close my hand around the narrow crayon and therefore not participate in the coloring. Luckily, I am ambidextrous when it comes to eating, so this physical handicap did not affect my ability to eat. If it had, I may never have celebrated another Thanksgiving.
In my house, there has always been an interesting mix of carnivores, vegetarians, and people who eat chicken (but not turkey for some reason.) That being said, the only food that everybody craved equally was the stuffing. It was important that an exorbitant amount of stuffing was made each year. But I considered myself the only one truly dedicated to the religion of Stouffer's Stovetop. Late at night, I would force myself awake, sneak to the kitchen and fill up on extra stuffing before the morning crowd of family could get their paws on it. Of course, this may have made me a bit of social pariah around the holidays, but sometimes you do what you have to do to survive. If Thanksgiving wasn't about being a disgusting glutton, then I just don't get holidays at all.
I also just remembered this stupid song we had to sing in "Music" class. Our music class in elementary school was taught by this witch of a woman named Ms. Stewart, and twice I remember by her even more terrible daughter. Ms. Stewart was one of those people that didn't actually sing the songs she made us sing. She yelled them at us, waving her arms like a maniac, and then would give you the most terrible, soul piercing stink eye if you were off key. Looking back now as an adult, I can see that she was actually just a sociopath let into a failing Florida public school system because who cares about arts and music? Think i'm being dramatic? Look at these lyrics, (and imagine her rocking back and forth in a dark room holding a butcher's knife while she wrote this.)
Turkey, trot trot trot
Across the lot lot lot (already have issues with this supposed parking lot turkey)
Feeling fine fine fine
Until Thanksgiving time (first sign fear-mongering in the song.)
a bunch of words i don't remember but end in trouble.
Actually that's all I remember, but I know there was more. I imagine the rest of the song had to do with a farmer, who had fallen in love with the turkey he raised from egg, having to decide whether to mutilate and kill the proud beast in order to feed his family, who decidedly needed to eat a disproportionate amount of meat that night.
This year, I am going to celebrate thanksgiving at my brother's house. They're ordering the entire meal from the greatest mecca of grocery that exists in these United States, Publix Supermarkets, where shopping IS a pleasure. I have to cook nothing. I just show up, eat food and sit on the couch watching football ignoring my family, the way every white person has celebrated the holiday since the first television set. On the big list of things I won't be doing, is teaching my neice that retched turkey trot song. One thing I WILL be doing? Examining her box of crayons to find out what the kids know in terms of color these days.