Archive for the 'The late/early trick' Category

Thanksgiving at home

November 26, 2010

Andrew Hicks

When my wife’s sister got married in April of ’08, Tiffany and I were told the wedding would start at 11 am. Neither of us was actually in the wedding, and we didn’t have babies back then. All Tiffany and I had to do was to drive the 100+ miles and, somewhere along the way, buy some kind of card or present. I think Tiffany also needed a new shirt, and I needed a belt. We left home late, did some stress-speeding down the highway, and did our best to zoom through Gordman’s or wherever.

We arrived at the wedding at like 11:35, already self-conscious before we had to change our clothes in the parking lot. A few other people were trickling into the church, none of them apparently as worried about being more than a half-hour late. We filled out the card and walked into the building sheepishly, and we soon learned the wedding was actually going to start at noon. Tiffany’s sister and parents had told us the wrong time on purpose so we’d do that last-minute Procrastination Shuffle straight into actually somehow being early. It was a shrewd little trick that, in the end, worked out in everyone’s favor. For once, Tiffany and I didn’t have to be Photoshopped into the family pictures after the fact.

This Thanksgiving reminded me a lot of the morning of Tiffany’s sister’s wedding. We weren’t up and moving in time, and we had twice as many bodies to get dressed and pack for. It was a no-win scenario that had our scheduled departure time arriving and vanishing with us still nowhere near ready to go. And we were still looking ahead at the process of wrestling everyone into the car and driving almost two hours while the rest of the family waited for us to arrive so they could finally eat. The mood in our house was one of terse, annoyed futility and led to a few rare moments of marital discord. That idealized list of things I was thankful for got shoved way onto the back burner, obscured by a raging grease fire.

Somewhere between us being half-packed and all the way pissed, Tiffany somehow earned us a reprieve. It was decided that the family dinner in the next state over would proceed without us, and we would come into town on Saturday so everyone could still see everyone. Suddenly, our holiday seemed like a holiday again. We got Sarah and Silas both down for naps, we cleaned the kitchen and started some Crock Pot barbecue, and we had some relaxing moments of togetherness with the Wii. It was uneventful and imminently memorable all at once.

So now it’s past sundown on Black Friday*, and I still have yet to take a bite of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, et al. Today, though, is shaping up to be like yesterday. I got up, made breakfast for me and Sarah, fed and held Silas, took an epic nap, took my little girl outside, cleaned up some, wrote some emails, wrote this blog and still have many good domestic hours ahead of me. In a year when I am more grateful than ever for my family and friends and have assumed the duties of being home instead of at work all the time, this housebound Thanksgiving break seems more than appropriate. And the grandparents still get their hug time and photo shoots tomorrow, and Tiffany and I will get some baby-free time to meet up with friends. Win, win, win.

Getting married and having kids has given me more to enjoy and be proud of in life, but it seems like my actual appreciation level for the large and small things has climbed over the past year. I also, as of today, have gone longer without having a drink than any time since 1997. I don’t think quitting drinking is something I could or would have done on my own. My mom would refer to it as a God thing, and I think she’s right. Even more to be thankful for.

*I was up with Silas from 3:15 to 5:30 this morning, and I managed to convince a couple of Facebook rubes** that I’d been camped out in front of Dollar Tree since 7 pm in the hopes of saving up to 27 cents per item on selected doorbusters. Then, off to Shop-N-Save to fight for one of a dozen Black Friday 30-cent loaves of wheat sandwich bread.

**I don’t think anyone bought my assertion that, every year on the day after Thanksgiving, my wife breaks out her special VHS collection of “Saved By the Bell” episodes with everyone but Mark Paul Gosselaar edited out. She refers to the entire affair as ZACH FRIDAY.