THE MAYBE CHRONICLES
The 32-pound turkey fit into the upper wall oven, no minor feat considering I had to heave it up there myself along with the weighted Calphalon pan. Now that my husband Rob is working, and has a three-hour round-trip commute, it just doesn't seem fair to ask for his help. Domesticity has become my realm, squarely, so when he arrives home after 8 p.m., all rumpled clothes and cheerful facade, the dinner dishes are cleaned, the pots done, and I rouse to his entrance with the energy of a full-out catatonic.
We had 26 people, 28 counting two who came just for dessert. It was a real mix, twins and triplets from Rob's side, nieces and nephews from mine. And of course, our son Ben and his cousins. The young adults stayed firmly on their own sides like spectators at a stadium football game. I can't blame them; I host Thanksgiving every other year, so the last time they'd seen each other they were in high school, or college, or grad-school bound. Now some are working in real jobs, with boyfriends or girlfriends, and they're slouched deep into the couch like middle-aged adults. I used to try hard in the commingling department, like the chain dances in the ‘70s when the music would stop and you'd turn to the person next to you and dance with a stranger. "Did you know the two of you went to the University of Maryland, three years apart?" I‘d say things like that. But now I just let it be. I do try and lower the lights. Put on relaxing music. Classical can be way too heart-thumping, Sinatra too overdone. Pete Seeger would be my choice, some "Guantanamera" to get the crowd going. Silly, I know; eventually the football game takes over anyway.