A couple of years ago when we signed up Michael for a running program, we quickly realized that our 3-year-old would likely become the next Michael Johnson.
At the end of this program when he was participating in the local 5k road race, we realized as we walked towards the starting line-up that one of us would have to actually run with the kid.
We couldn’t very well let a small child run through the streets by himself.
We stared at each other with our cigarettes hanging out of our mouths and like any intelligent, forward-thinking adults, we played “Rock, paper, scissors” to see who would run with him.
I lost and I could barely jog a mile. After that – I realized that we needed to put out the cigarettes and at least be able to run a mile for god sakes.
The following Thanksgiving I ran the Manchester Road Race which is 4.7 miles in 49 minutes. I had come a long way. This race is very fun, but it is a huge endeavor with 15,000 runners and 35000 spectators!!
Last year, I just didn’t feel like the headache of all of that. I couldn’t deal with the waking up at 6:30 am and finding somewhere to park, standing in the freezing cold waiting to start and then after the race, heading back to your car and sitting in traffic for hours.
I decided to just do a 5k on my own in my neighborhood, so I could feel good about exercising but not waste too much time. I casually mentioned this to a few people and it snowballed.
This was the group of 43 runners at my house at 9 am this Thanksgiving.
I had to organize maps, and registration forms and serve bagels, fruits and snacks, drinks and coffee for everyone, as well as be sure to have medals and trophies ready….
Mr. Gaga’s sister helped me tremendously with all of the little crafty details. The night before we realized we had nothing to give the runners-up or the children that were participating. She ran to the store and created the most amazing gold medals ever!!!! Pin that you Pinteresters…..
I gave strict instructions to my sister-in-law and Mr. Gaga about registration, times, waivers, playing Rocky music and Chariots of Fire….etc. and it was a great success!!
By 11 am I had to wrap it up and completely switch gears. I had to be ready for 26 people to arrive at 12:30 for Thanksgiving dinner.
So as soon as I got inside I started running around like a maniac, throwing kids into showers, basting turkeys, lighting candles, etc.
I am capable of getting a lot done, but two things have to happen in order for me to do what needs to be done.
#1 – I need to delegate.
#2 – I need to yell at everyone.
There’s usually a lot of dramatics leading up to any big event.
I am not being mean, I just yell. I am dramatic. This is how I grew up.
We raise our voices.
My brother and I would walk into my house and call “MA!!” as loud as we could until she answered. We all yell at each other all the time and think nothing of it.
My in-laws aren’t like this. They are very even-keeled and quiet people. There’s no yelling. There’s actually no voice inflection at all. They don’t rush. They don’t show emotion. To give you an idea, while I was running around like a maniac my father-in-law actually sat at the kitchen table playing some sort of “Vegas slots” game on the Ipad.
I just continued doing what I had to do, yelling at the kids to get dressed, and yelling at Mr. Gaga to get in the shower.
Then I yelled at my Dad because he forgot the gravy boats that I told him I wanted to borrow, and then he yelled back at me “You know what….your mother was saying something about that, but I wasn’t listening…. I have too much going on to find goddamned gravy boats…I’ll just go buy some %&#$ing gravy boats if you need them so badly.” (See – this is how we talk.)
Then later I took a minute to take a picture of the kids for Thanksgiving to capture all of the love and thankfulness and they wouldn’t sit still. Obviously, in order to get a good picture of this important day, I told them I would “beat them senseless and lock them in their room for the rest of the day if they didn’t smile.”
Apparently that was the last straw. When I looked at my in-laws, they were aghast.
“Why don’t you have some wine?” my sister-in-law suggested with horror.
“What? How else do you get children to sit still and smile??” I asked.
My in-laws think that I should just host 43 people in the morning and 26 people for dinner and not raise my voice once??
SIDENOTE: I have to give them props because even though they are horrified by me and think I am crazy, they were extremely helpful with cleaning, setting up, entertaining the children all while searching for the best “Black Friday” deals on their ipads.
Everyone was responsible for bringing a side or a dessert which was life-saving.
Last year – I had leftovers at my aunt’s house and tasted the most amazing green bean casserole in the world, so I hunted her down for the recipe and asked my cousin Emily to make it this year.
Now let me be clear on a few things. Just so you can know how important it is for you all to make this recipe next year.
A – Growing up we never had green bean casserole.
B – I think all casseroles are vile and disgusting as a rule.
C – I don’t really like green beans all that much.
D – I think green bean casserole actually looks utterly repulsive.
THIS RECIPE IS DIFFERENT!! It is all FRESH!!!!
I don’t know what genius came up with this but they deserve an award…
This dish is AMAZING.
It is made WITHOUT cans of weird condensed “soups.”
It is made with FRESH GREEN BEANS AND MUSHROOMS.
IT IS THE BOMB.
I HAVE DREAMT OF IT SINCE LAST NOVEMBER.
So imagine what happened when my phone rang at 11:45 from my aunt (WHO LIVES ONE HOUR AWAY) saying that “Emily is missing and she didn’t make the green bean casserole, but send us the recipe and we will try to make it.” (Did I mention arrival time was 12:30?)
“Um…I don’t think you will have time to make it….and where is she?” I answered.
“We don’t know…she’s not answering her phone, she went out last night and now she’s not communicating with us. There’s a guy that she’s been hanging out with and maybe that’s why…we are just so upset…..” my aunt said, almost in tears, “Maybe she ran away with him….I just don’t know.”
Meanwhile, smoke was coming out of my ears.
“I am hosting 70 people today, and these $#@ers can’t even cook one @#@%$ing $##@ing casserole one day a year??!! THEY ARE DISINVITED FROM NOW ON!! THANKSGIVING IS RUINED!!!” I screamed to anyone who came through the kitchen as I chopped and cleaned and organized with my dreams of a glorious green bean casserole up in smoke.
At one point my calm, cool and collected sister-in-law said quietly, “Is there anything I can do?” and I stared at her and said “No- I just have to send death threats to my cousin and pour water in the water glasses,” and she didn’t even bat an eyelash.
I sent this:
Thank God – they all arrived with tons of green bean casserole!!
At 2 PM.
There was no new boyfriend or scheme to elope….Emily’s car and phone had died simultaneously…so she was running late.
We hugged and laughed when they arrived.
All was well.
Dramatics run in the family.
HAPPY BELATED THANKSGIVING TO ALL!! PLEASE CLICK THE BANNER BELOW TO VOTE FOR ME FOR FUNNIEST MOM IN AMERICA!!!!