For the first Thanksgiving my husband and I hosted after we got married, we had big plans. We invited both sides of our family to our new place for the holiday meal. We went to a cooking class beforehand. We picked out wines, broke out the china, and sharpened our new German knives. We made a timetable for when everything needed to go into and out of the oven.
On the actual day of Thanksgiving, the time table became spattered with sweet potato and was swiftly forgotten. The turkey, which my husband had so carefully brined, took longer in the deep fryer than expected. While waiting for the turkey, my nieces and nephews tore around our condo, which at the time was outfitted with all sorts of early marriage/pre-children Crate & Barrel breakables. And then, as the pièce de résistance, I nearly chopped off my finger with one of our sharpened knives and bled all over the sage stuffing.
We ate, eventually. But not until after both my father, a retired surgeon, and my brother-in-law, a chef, had inspected my wound. Dad said, “It might need stitches if it doesn’t stop bleeding.” Brother-in-law said, “I’ve seen worse. At least you still have most of the nail.” Gauze and butterfly bandages were produced and, by some miracle involving my mother and mother-in-law, dinner was put on the table. No stuffing, but also no stitches.
It’s a good lesson, really, about expectations versus reality. My fellow debs and I all had dreams of being published novelists. Not one of us can say that it happened in exactly the way we pictured, and only time will tell if the reality of our first-book experience will meet, fall short of, or exceed our expectations. But we’re all here. And as long as nobody loses any fingers, I think we’ll be okay.
Image credit: startwoodworking.com