Turkey Legs – A Collection of Holiday Quotes and Craziness, Thanksgiving, 2012

  • The Tuesday before we arrived home for the holiday, a noise scarily like the shot of a .22 rifle echoed through the Middle Tennessee Bone and Joint Clinic where the mother in law works. She screamed like a banshee. Half her office thought she had been shot. Panic ensued. What was it? A wheelchair blowout. That same night, a waitress dropped an entire stack of dishes right beside our table at The Cheesecake Factory. The mother in law jumped two feet in the air. So she is officially cancer-free (thus the fancy celebratory dinner), but now probably has post-traumatic stress disorder.*
  • While the mister and I were headed farther east on Friday, my aunt, cousin, brother and his girlfriend were driving through a safari adventure center and being half-eaten alive by cows and zebra (literally – the aunt’s happy to still have all her fingers!). Apparently you CAN fit an entire cow into an SUV!
  • Later that night, the aunt, cousin and I were prowling through her attic for extra decorations while the rest of the family assembled a nine-foot tree below us in the living room. Little did we know the two spaces would soon become one. “Oh, look at the mess,” were the aunt’s first words as she sat on the attic rafters and stared through her new living room skylight – a hole directly above the ceiling fan and the mister’s head. Yes folks, you see it on TV, you hear about it happening to other people, but you never truly expect to see a human leg appear through a 12-foot ceiling. The attic side of this event was rather anti-climactic, I must admit, since all I saw was my aunt suddenly get a foot or two shorter. However the living room angle was surely much better, as the mister noticed the falling insulation and wondered why it was snowing.**
  • At some point between our arrival at the grandparents’ house Friday and now, I have unfortunately realized my baby brother (he turned 19 this past summer) is interested in girls. I don’t know how far the interest goes and I never want to find out, but he, at any rate, has an official girlfriend. She’s a wonderfully sweet girl and spent several days here with the family over the holiday and I really do like her. But at the same time, it twists my brain into knots to think that the brother could have a real, growing-up relationship. It’s just not possible. In my mind my brother doesn’t know anything about girls and is not at all interested in ever finding out. It just isn’t going to happen. Period. The End. Yet, somehow, she was here, and they spent lots of time talking in a separate room from the family. I remember “talking” to the mister apart from the family, and I REFUSE to consider the brother being interested in anything remotely similar. (I can practically hear all four of our parents shuddering.) I suppose I’ll get used to this idea eventually (in, like, 30 years), but it’s made me realize that our house must be laid out so that all children must walk past our bedroom door to enter or leave their rooms. And that once they do start entering and leaving on their own, I’ll probably never sleep soundly again.
  • Also, the mister’s truck is so loud that two of my grandparents’ nosy neighbors called up the hill to the house to ask who had come to visit and why the vehicle made so much noise.

And now for a selection of memorable quotations:

  • “My GRE scores are going to take longer because of Thanksgiving. Thank you pilgrims and white people.” – the mister
    • “You’re going to be the big king daddy rabbit of vets and he still won’t listen to you.” – the mother in law
  • “He’s going to crap a whole busload of children.” – the mister
    • “There are holes out here we could throw you into and they’d never find you again.” – the mother in law
  • *strange noise comes from the kitchen at Chik-fil-a* “Are we ready to lea — I’m not entirely certain, but I’m pretty sure I just heard a goat.” – the mister
    • *Sunday night* “What do you want for dinner?” – me
    • “Nothing that clucks or gobbles. If it had wings at any point in time, I don’t want it.” – the mister

*I’m kidding. The mother in law is fine, I promise.

**The aunt is also fine. The ceiling is being repaired by a friend at no cost and the uncle finally remembered to ask if she was ok.


Tiny Pink Socks

It was an ordinary trip to the laundry room: wet clothes go into the dryer, dry clothes go into the basket. Fairly routine.

. . . until the mister held up the tiniest pink sock I’ve ever seen. Forgotten on the folding counter, this tiny sock somehow made me forget how to transfer clothes into a dryer. Instead, I stood there staring for several long moments.

It was white with pink at the toe and heel: a perfect little girl sock for perfect little girl feet. Of course I’ve seen toddlers socks before and held many a squirming child long enough to stuff his tiny toes into them, but never a sock this small. This was a newborn sock – a mere 3-4 inches long! Who knew feet could ever be that small?! (Seriously, you could have sucked it up with a vacuum cleaner!)

Of course my thoughts of the sock quickly led to thoughts of the foot it belongs on – a foot that would now be cold. And thoughts of the foot led to thoughts of the child, of the feeling of cuddling a warm, snuggly baby while she sleeps. And suddenly there I was, standing in the empty laundry room, reevaluating all the reasons we’ve given for why we can’t have children yet.

Amazing the crazy thoughts a tiny sock will bring you.

It certainly doesn’t help that it seems like every day I log into Facebook and see the posts of another young couple announcing the due date for their new bundle of joy. This summer, it seemed like everyone I knew was getting married; now, it seems like every couple I know is getting pregnant. To my expectant couple friends: I am happy for you all, I am excited to meet your babies, but PLEASE STOP! You’re really not helping those of us who have a firm 4-5 year policy.

It’s certainly not that the mister and I haven’t talked about babies; we talk about them all the time. These conversations somehow always include the mister’s worries that he knows nothing about babies and will probably end up carrying ours around by the ankles or something. I always laugh.

The mister will make a wonderful daddy someday; he really will. And he’ll be one of those fathers who are completely wrapped around their daughters’ pinky fingers and don’t even care. The mister was so melted just by a baby girl sock that I know any daughter we may ever have will be the most spoiled little daddy’s girl there ever was (except for maybe her mother, who was and still is a major daddy’s girl).

We both know we are not ready to be parents yet. We both know we would be in a lot of trouble if we got pregnant now. Yet somehow, still, I can’t help looking at tiny pink socks in the laundry room and wondering how long it will be until I’m washing tiny socks of my own (and trying not to suck them into the vacuum cleaner.)

It’s Actually Happening….

I think every daughter knows, somewhere in the back of her mind, that she is someday destined to turn into her mother. It’s a reality we all fight against with every breath in our bodies.

Yet, for whatever reason, I think God has seen to it that, in punishment for our previous sins and transgressions against good mothers, we inevitably end up writing a list much like this one:


Nine Ways I Might Be Turning Into My Mother


1. I’ve started freezing everything. And I mean everything. Our freezer is at maximum capacity plus 10% and I still wish we had room for a small ice chest. (My mother has two normal freezers, a large deep freezer and a small ice chest. Yes, really. And they are all full. See #2)

2. I have half a box of instant potatoes left and I feel the unshakable need to buy two more boxes just in case WalMart runs out and I can’t restock later.  (This habit of my mother’s, as far as I know, began in Panama when the PX literally might not restock something for weeks. We’ve been back in the states since 1998.)

3. I find myself wandering longingly through the Christmas section at WalMart, but I don’t buy anything because I know it will all be 80% off at Hobby Lobby the week after Christmas.

4. I have a large box under our bed (and three smaller ones in the closet) full of Christmas “supplies” that were 80% off at Hobby Lobby the week after LAST Christmas. (My mother, on the other hand, has an ENTIRE walk-in closet devoted to Christmas stuff. It’s like having your own personal department store right down the hall.)

5. I felt slightly guilty sneaking these boxes into our apartment, but I know I can convince the mister that it was necessary because “they were 80% off and someday we might host a party and I might need extra decorations or I might need to have a hostess present for someone or I might be called upon to decorate the Taj Mahal. . .”.

6. I’ve started to believe that if it can be cooked, it can somehow be cooked in a Crockpot.

7. I also believe I need several more crockpots (of various sizes). (I believe my mother has at least four, one of which could probably cook an entire Thanksgiving turkey.)

8. I drive the mister crazy about every faint, barely discernible but unexpected sound coming from my car.

9. I sleep in street clothes with a bag of essentials and my tennis shoes by the bed every night there is a tornado watch/warning in the area. (I am not overly afraid of storms, but this comes from a childhood of being woken, dressed and herded into the downstairs closet at the first mention of a tornado.)

But my brother, father and husband should take comfort in the fact that I do NOT put envelopes, receipts, directions, napkins, tickets or other mail of any sort above the visors in my car.

(I did this once unconsciously as I pulled out of the driveway back in high school. My brother gave me a look of complete horror and, after a few seconds to process my actions, I jerked the poor envelope down and flung it into the back seat in terror. I’ve never done it again.

My mother, on the other hand, creates an avalanche every time you want to block out the sun. I don’t know how she FITS so much paper up there!)

But, all joking aside, I do have a wonderful mother who has done her best (along with dad, of course) to raise me and my brother right, despite her little lovable quirks.

The Butterfly is Dead

The mister is convinced that, when I almost stepped on the beautiful butterfly on the sidewalk, it was merely cold and would be good as new after it warmed up. I am convinced it was already dead.

I have to admit, though, that it is rather strange for a fully-grown butterfly to be lying on its side on the concrete, in perfect condition, without any signs that it had fallen, been attacked, broken a wing or a leg or otherwise suffered any type of injury. It’s brilliantly colored wings were folded perfectly together and all six legs completely intact. Odd.

But I still think it was dead.

Regardless, it is dead now, as it’s been inside warming up for about a week with no independent movements.

It currently lives between two cotton makeup pads inside the plastic case for an old Gameboy game until the mister can decide whether or not (and figure out how) he wants to display it. It’s not every day you find a butterfly perfectly frozen and naturally preserved.

I, on the other hand, find this to be a perfect (albeit slightly morbid) example of mine and the mister’s attitudes about life.

To him, the butterfly was merely cold and would fly free and beautiful again after sitting in front of the heater for a while. To me, the butterfly was dead before it came in the door.

Even while I watched him try to revive the insect in front of our living room heater, he was saying, “I think he just moved his legs!” and I was saying, “Well it’s only going to live another few days anyway.”

The mister sees potential in all things and all people (most of the time). He believes diseases can be cured, accidents can be fixed and mistakes can be corrected. I, on the other hand, tend to believe that stains will never come out, injuries will always be excruciatingly painful and stupid people will always be stupid.

The mister has the patience of Jesus and I dissolve into uncontrollable panic at the smallest things. I have periods of ridiculous frustration and uncontrolled rage, while the mister sits on the couch and tells me to take a deep breath, Walmart will restock chicken broth soon.

And that’s the thing: what makes me angriest, the most upset and the most worried are smaller, typically insignificant things.

I freak out about whether or not Walmart has ingredients I think I need. I rant and rave about having to explain the same simple procedure to a classmate fifteen times in an hour. I am reduced to tears because I don’t have time to go play with the puppies at the companion animal lab.

I don’t worry about Tuesday’s election and the future of our country. I don’t spend time wondering if our children will be able to grow up with the same freedoms the mister and I have always enjoyed. I don’t even put much thought into what we would do if we were to have children too early (which is going to jinx me, I know). My problem-meter is completely screwed up!

But, regardless of whether or not I admit that I have a problem, the butterfly is still dead. The mister will graduate from vet school and spend his life trying to provide comfort to the injured and dying and save those that can be saved, and I will spend my life wondering why people put Chihuahuas on life support.

The mister knew all this about me before we got married and apparently thought this, like all other problems, could eventually be overcome. But, in the meantime, opposites balance each other out and maybe someday the butterfly will live again.

(But I doubt it.)