Thanks Giving Play
Although I had to work on Thanksgiving, which I’m pretty sure means the terrorists are winning, my friend Danna was kind enough to invite me and fellow copy editor Ted (aka MirtoP) to her family’s gathering at her new home in Lexington, where we popped over for a quick bite before heading to the newspaper.
Before dinner, Danna’s tweenage nieces and cousins put on an adorable play about the history of the holiday. Pre-show, the little actors, dressed as Native Americans and pilgrims, passed out tickets they’d designed and printed. “ADMIT ONE TICKET FOR THANKS GIVING PLAY,” they read.
Putting on my grammar-snob hat a few hours too soon, I turned to Ted when I spotted a typo. “Are we thanking the Giving Play?” I asked facetiously. He told me to “stop it.” Later that evening, he sidled up to me and snickered, “I cannot believe you copy-edited a child’s homemade theater ticket.” How else will they learn?
As the big bird made its grand entrance out of the oven and onto the island in the kitchen, Danna and her mother, a tightly wound Israeli, almost immediately began bickering about the temperature of the turkey, how to carve the turkey and on what size platter to put the turkey. As Mom, Danna and older sister Sharone – armed with a knife – encircled the main course, unsure of where to slice first, Mom grew more and more adamant that the serving dish would be inadequate. “You need a bigger plate,” she asserted. And Danna was all, “Well, this is all I have.” And Mom was like, “Oy, I should have brought one of mine.” Uncomfortable silence.
“This isn’t big enough,” Mom said again with a heavy sigh, looking as if she were a doctor in the middle of cardiac surgery and had just realized the donor heart wasn’t a match. If this were “Grey’s Anatomy,” she’d tear off her surgical mask, storm out of the OR and shove her tongue down a nurse’s throat in the scrub room before confronting the grieving survivors and telling them she’d done all she could. “This will not work, Danna.”
“I don’t have anything else. It’s fine,” Danna seethed as her toddler son, Oren – whom she and I once plotted to sedate for trans-Atlantic air travel – weaved figure-eights between her legs.
Mom briefly changed course and turned her attention to another crusade – Danna’s second stove, which may or may not have a malfunctioning thermometer. As she began prepping to reheat the numerous side dishes, she firmly instructed her youngest daughter, “It still isn’t warm enough. Turn up the temperature to 425. I need a hot oven.”
I whispered to Ted, “I need a hot oven.” He told me to “shut up.”
Sharone tugged at the honeyed drumsticks and wings, bracing herself on the counter and cautioning those nearby to step back. Then she started to make headway in the breast. The white meat soon was stacked high on the platter, which was, indeed, too small.
Shaking her head in disappointment, Mom said, “If only I’d known.”
“I DON’T EVEN LIKE TURKEY!” blurted out Danna, letting slip a Thanksgiving truth, her patience having finally expired.
Assuming I’m invited again next year, I plan on hawking tickets for testy turkey theatrics with Danna’s family. Mine will be spelled correctly and properly punctuated, though. Unlike some people’s.