Thanksgiving is next week, which probably isn’t news to you.
But it was to me.
I thought I had two weeks. Kim broke the news to me last night, right before she started game planning how we were going to cook and deliver food to our family during our non-family-gathering Thanksgiving.
Then she started crying.
So now, dearest 2020, you’ve made it personal.
It’s bad enough that we’ve had multiple — and I mean dozens — of friends and family members get sick, some who won’t recover.
It’s bad enough that we haven’t seen our son but once since March.
It’s bad enough that we’ve eaten in at exactly one restaurant since you cast this stupid eternal virus on us.
But now, you’ve crossed the line.
You’ve taken away Thanksgiving as we know it, meaning my wife cannot work herself to death cooking for the annual gathering of our preciously small family — which is her favorite thing to do.
For the record, I work myself to death too. And while it’s not my favorite thing to do, I do it without complaining because she enjoys it so much.
If I thought I could hit you, dearest 2020, I would take the squirrel gun out in the yard and shoot it in the air.
But that would only result in my brief incarceration, which I am not inclined to endure.
I remember the first time we cooked a Thanksgiving meal. It was the first year in our first house, which we moved into about a year after we were married.
The day before Thanksgiving, the oven thermostat stopped working. The oven would heat, but it wouldn’t hold a constant temperature.
Have you ever tried to find an appliance repairman on the day before Thanksgiving?
So I bought a thermometer to put in the oven. It became my job to watch the thermometer and turn the oven off and back on to keep it around 325 for the duration of the cook.
That was the year she unveiled her now-famous dressing recipe. A woman she worked with gave it to her. It came out of “Southern Living,” I believe.
I never really liked dressing until then.
She’s made it every Thanksgiving.
Every year, she says she is going to cook fewer dishes. And every year she cooks more.
I’m pretty sure the only reason we bought our current house is because it has a double oven.
She has the meal planning down to a science. It’s pretty impressive to watch it play out, all the chopping, dicing, mixing and cooking for casseroles on top of casseroles.
But this year, dearest 2020, you’ve reduced the number of dishes to the “greatest hits,” which we will cook this weekend. Then we will traverse half the state delivering them.
That’s pretty crummy of you, dearest 2020, and I’ll never forgive you.
That is the end of my pity party.
In spite of your best efforts, dearest 2020, we all still have plenty to be thankful for. Although those who have been affected directly by your foolishness may have to try harder to see it.
That’s because we’re bigger than you, dearest 2020, even if our gatherings this Thanksgiving are smaller.
(About the writer: Barry Currin is founder and President of White Oak Advertising and Public Relations, based in Cleveland, Tennessee. “Stories of a World Gone Mad” is published weekly. Email him at email@example.com.)