No smoking and no football. Those were the ground rules I had laid down for my thanksgiving dinner in 1992. Everybody has a favorite thanksgiving memory, and a worst thanksgiving memory, but heres my most interesting one, and well, maybe the most fun.
Newly divorced, I decided to host a thanksgiving dinner for my single friends who had no other plans for the day. There were 11 of us that first year. No 2 people knew each other, because I invited friends from different parts of my life. One was a co-worker. One was a bicycling friend. One was my massage therapist. You get the idea. After each invitation, I asked, What is it that you have to have to make it a Thanksgiving dinner? Pumpkin pie? Good. You bring the pumpkin pie. Sweet potatoes? Okay. You bring the sweet potatoes. Collard greens? Seriously? Okay, then you bring the collard greens. I cooked the turkey. I am one of the very few Americans who doesnt like thanksgiving food. I can eat a little bit of turkey white meat on the day, but then thats it for a year. I have never learned to like sweet potatoes or pumpkin pie, so its not about the food for me. What I do like is gathering around a table with family and friends and spending the rest of the afternoon playing games, going for a walk, and playing music together. Notice I did not mention watching a football game on TV. I had had enough of scheduling dinner for half time, ever since I was a little girl, so the last thing I wanted was the background noise of men bashing into each other and beer commercials. Two of the people I invited were smokers, but they observed my no smoking rule by going outside to smoke. They only went out for a cigarette twice that day, because it happened to be extremely cold. I like to think I helped their lungs a little with my no smoking rule. After dinner, 4 or 5 of us went for a walk around the neighborhood while the rest of them cleaned up the kitchen. What a deal! We spent the rest of the day with 2 of my favorite games, Encore, a singing game, and Scrabble. A few days later, I received a thank-you note from one of the smokers. I wasnt sure about coming, since you said no smoking and no football, he wrote, because I didnt think I could get through the day without either one, but it was the nicest thanksgiving Ive ever had.