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Friday, October 10, 2014

Turkey Gobble-degook

Before I get into today's edition of the blog, I have some extremely good news to share.  Although she still has to take it easy for the next few days, I'm happy to report that my mother is now out of the hospital and back home.  This is awesome news indeed, and I once again want to sincerely thank those of you who were there for me and my family during this time.  You guys have no idea how much you mean to me.  Seriously.

Anyway, since I kind of skipped out on the FOODIE FRIDAY post last week, I thought that I would do one this week - even though this week's entry only really surrounds one type of food.


Yeah, Canadian Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and although my own holiday plans are kind of still up in the air at the moment (I think we're postponing our own dinner because of everything that has happened over the last few days, which is a decision that we all agreed on), I'm sure most of you out there from the shores of British Columbia to the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador are busy making last minute preparations for their Thanksgiving tables.

And the clear cut winning main course of most people's Thanksgiving dinners is the turkey.  Some may choose ham.  Some might choose chicken.  A couple of people I know skip meat altogether and instead choose six different types of pasta.  But I would say that turkey ultimately takes the top prize for the star of the Thanksgiving feast.

And, why not?  There's just something about turkey that makes it the perfect holiday food.  I don't know whether it's the flavour of the stuffing that seeps into the bird to give it that wonderful taste, or whether it's the way the spices blend together in perfect harmony, or whether it's the fact that as soon as you eat it, you fall asleep two hours later.  I honestly couldn't imagine my Thanksgiving without a turkey being present - however, if no turkey was available, I'd gladly take one of those spiral hams with a honey glaze. 

Heck, I would gladly take any sort of food that is available for Thanksgiving.  After all, Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for the fact that we do have a lot of food to keep our stomachs full.  And, sadly, some people seem to have forgotten what the real meaning of Thanksgiving really is.

I mean, I am so grateful that my mom is out of the hospital for Thanksgiving and is able to spend the holiday with us.  She still has a lot of recovery time left in her, but she is back home at least which is all that any of us really wanted.  This year, having a turkey for Thanksgiving seems less important than ever.

I sort of am reminded of the very first holiday show that the television sitcom "Full House" ever did.  Interestingly enough, it was a Thanksgiving episode.  Actually, if I remember correctly, it was the only Thanksgiving episode that "Full House" ever aired.  And what a disaster of a Thanksgiving it was too!  D.J. forgot to defrost the turkey and it came out frozen.  Then when Joey tried to reheat the turkey, he accidentally set it on fire and blackened it.  And to cap it all off, Stephanie accidentally dropped her "Mom's Picture-Perfect Pumpkin Pie" all over the kitchen floor.  This was one Thanksgiving in which nothing went right.

But while the episode's shenanigans were fun to laugh at, there was a rather serious tone to the episode.  After all, it was the first Thanksgiving without the matriarch of the family.  Danny's wife Pam had been involved in a car accident with a drunk driver and died a few months before the first episode aired and Danny asked his best friend, Joey and Pam's brother, Jesse to move in with him and his three daughters.  And while the family all mourned the loss of Pam at separate points in the show, they were all thankful that they were together and celebrating Thanksgiving together as the brand new family that was formed - even if the turkey looked more like a gigantic charcoal briquette.

The point I'm trying to make is that Thanksgiving should be about the time you spend with your loved ones, and while having a turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie are nice things to have, they should not be the things that make a perfect Thanksgiving.

Honestly, I think too many people put too much emphasis on the things that don't matter instead of the things that do matter.  And, unfortunately, I've seen the ugliness that can come out of a person when they don't get their way.

I've worked in the retail business for nearly a decade.  Seven of those ten years were spent on the grocery side of the operation.  I know first hand how testy some people can be when it comes to not being able to get all of the things that they need for their holiday dinners.  I think in those seven years that I worked in grocery, I've ruined sixty-six Thanksgivings, forty-one Easter Sundays, and nearly three hundred Christmases simply because we ran out of some key ingredients for holiday feasts.

But, whatever.  That was the past.  Now I sell televisions, XBOX consoles, and Blu-Ray players, and I no longer ruin people's Thanksgiving celebrations.  The amount of Christmases I've wrecked has now doubled though.

But I know how incredibly frustrating it was to work on holiday weekends, and I know how much abuse that I took from people because we ran out of turkeys.  I've been yelled at, screamed at, had shopping carts tossed at me, and that was on a good day!  It just absolutely boggled my mind that grown adults would act in such a boorish fashion just to get their hands on discounted poultry.  I mean, sure, I would find it frustrating not to get a turkey for Thanksgiving, but you improvise.  You buy a ham instead.  You buy a chicken instead.  You buy turkey lunchables and serve those instead, while saving the mini Kit Kat bars for Halloween to hand out to the trick-or-treaters.

(Well, okay, maybe I wouldn't recommend that last suggestion.  That is tacky even by anyone's standards.)

The point is that I don't think not being able to get a turkey is a make it or break it moment.

I especially don't think that it is right for anyone to do the following in their quest to grab the perfect turkey for Thanksgiving.

- push someone out of the way
- push someone on the floor
- trample over someone who has fallen
- yelling at the sales staff because there are no turkeys
- making rude phone calls to sales staff because there are no turkeys
- trying to barge into the meat department doors to get their hands on a turkey
- calling a sales floor associate a few choice words because they don't like the answers that they are given.


Have people seriously lost their marbles?  Is this what Thanksgiving has come to?  Trying to hurt and destroy other people around you just so you can prove to everyone that you're the most self-centered person in the world?  How dare they?!?

I'm sort of glad that I don't work on the food side anymore.  Truth is that had I stayed, I would have been fired by now because I would find it really hard to stare at an angry person who is demanding to see a turkey in their hands, and me grabbing a mirror, showing it to them, and tell them that their turkey is right in front of them.

Gobble, gobble, fool.

I think it's time that people took a step back and realized that it's not cool to be selfish on Thanksgiving.  If I found out that any of my family members belittled and hurt someone else's feelings because of a turkey, I would feel so incredibly disappointed and embarrassed because there is no need for that. 

I guess this year more than ever, I know what the meaning of Thanksgiving is all about.  It's not about hate.  It's not about hurt.  It's not even about turkey.

It's about sharing.  Giving.  Kindness.  Togetherness.

I just wish others saw Thanksgiving the same way that I do.

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