Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It’s the compulsive eaters day to come out of the closet and be “normal”. We can eat until our bodies shut down in front of the people who love us with no cause for concern. Even today when I’m sitting at a big holiday dinner, I have to stop myself from saying “ SO, this is holiday eating for you huh? Not for me. This is what I do every day. Every day is a holiday for this girl, can you pass the butter? And the mashed potatoes? Fuck it, just push it all my way will ya” I never understood why we had to wait to take the desert out. Why can’t everything be on the table at once? I’m very visual. I want to see EVERYTHING. If the pecan pie looks particularly glazed, I might just skip another hot buttered roll.
What? I said MIGHT.
Since my sister and I moved to New York, my mother comes to us and we go out to dinner. Our all -you -can -eat holiday spreads are put on hold until we head back to Boston for Christmas. Thanksgiving pictures for the last few years are just the three of us posing with glasses of red wine at a funky restaurant. We can only tell what year it is based on visual clues like hair color or emotional state, sometimes it’s a combination of both “ Was that 2006? It must be. Remember you were crying because none of your clothes fit you? Look – you’re in a Red Sox sweatshirt with your hair in a French twist.”
“ That’s gotta be 2009, remember you tried to color your hair red and people kept asking if it was wig? You were so mad. Look at you. ” .
Mad at Thanksgiving caught on film.
As a kid I got in trouble at the Thanksgiving table for mushing all my food together like a big turkey pot pie without the crust. Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, cole slaw, green bean casserole, all mashed up in an ugly epicurean delight. My father would get mad. He thought I was doing it for the “that’s gross” attention but I honestly liked it. Mostly because I could never decide what to eat first. I was too anxious to have a bite of turkey chew it and swallow it BEFORE I went on to taste the green bean casserole. It was all too exciting. Putting it together in a big plate of slop was the best solution I could think of. It wasn’t until later in life that I learned about Shepherd’s Pie, goulash and entire meals that were prepared in one big pot. I wasn’t so strange after all. There were actual recipes for the shit I was into.
One year my father brought a recovering alcoholic to Thanksgiving dinner. Nobody had ever met this man before and quite frankly, the only person buying the fact that he was in “recovery” was my father who did not drink at all and never had. The rest of us suspected the stranger was pretty lit up when he arrived. He also appeared homeless and come to find out, very hungry. I watched him piling more than one serving on his plate, a portion I would have gotten in trouble for but he’s the guest of honor soooooooooo. He then started mixing things together. I looked at my father who was suggesting we say grace despite the fact he hadn’t been to church since my confirmation when he stood in the back of the church chewing gum feverishly with a disapproving look on his face. When dinner was over, I pointed out his friend’s affinity for mixing his rations into one. He said “Kendra, he probably learned that in prison”
I’m not allowed to play with my food but he’s allowed to bring ex cons to Thanksgiving dinner.
Happy Thanksgiving from the Cunningham Household
Stop by and watch Kendra and a real live ex con turn a Thanksgiving spread into prison slop in 3 minutes or less.
Kendra is a stand up comic living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable bed. She spends most of her time wondering where the hell her sugar daddy is and hoping he didn’t settle.