With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, I have been contemplating my table setting. Some of the usual adornments shall remain the same. I will order a lovely floral centerpiece. I also plan on bringing out the special china reserved for such holidays, as well as the party silverware, even though the pieces require hand washing. Nothing’s too good for this lavish family occasion.
And around the table I shall set three place settings: one for my honey, one for me, and one for my iPad, upon which we shall connect, in two dimensions, instead of three, with the rest of our family.
It pains me to think that my granddaughter who’s in college might be a spreader, or, for other family members, it might be dangerous to travel. Therefore, there will be no “Over the river and through the woods” this year, because grandmother is vulnerable and her house is off limits!
Yes, it’s Thanksgiving in the time of COVID. And this year it behooves us to follow CDC suggestions to avoid generating more cases. It’s recommended that the holiday feast participants “should be limited to those who currently reside in the housing unit.” And our housing unit includes just the two of us and Sam the Dog, whose place setting is typically under the table.
Cooking Thanksgiving dinner for two does indeed create some challenges if you are a traditionalist. I love the idea of turkey, but even a small 8 to 10 -pound bird means a lot of turkey sandwiches. Perhaps I should encourage Sam to invite some friends, even if we can’t.
I’m rather surprised that in light of the current circumstance, Agribusiness hasn’t created a designer turkey especially suited for low-occupancy housing units. For years, breeders have been doing this with dogs. Mate a large dog with a small dog and get a smaller version of the original. Tag the new version with the label “doodle” or “poo.” Mostly it’s some breed or other with a poodle. Why is it always a poodle? I’m starting to wonder about the morals of poodles!
In an effort to down-size the turkey, how about mating a Tom with, let’s say, a sparrow? And even when COVID is behind us, I’m sure there will continue to be smaller households who would be delighted to be roasting a “turkow” and a lot less stuffing.
I wonder what Norman Rockwell would make of Thanksgiving 2020? His representation of a beaming, multigenerational family around a table while grandma and grandpa proudly present the turkey, just doesn’t cut it this year. Could he have ever imagined a digital American tradition? And if so, how would he have painted it?
Things are far from ideal this year but we are resilient. Fortunately, there are iPads, iPhones, laptops, Zoom, and the rest of its ilk. So we will have our first course with the Boston clan, turkey and trimmings with the Connecticut group, and pumpkin pie with the dears in New York.
And Sam? Maybe this year you get a place at the table after all.
About the Author
Susan is the author of two award-winning collections of humorous personal essays: “How Old Am I in Dog Years?” and “How to Complain When There’s Nothing to Complain About.” Check out her Author Page HERE.