The Gravy Train

Even before birth, I knew that I was going to hate cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Therefore, I requested to be born into a family with a grandma who loved cooking as much as she loved spoiling me. My request was granted. For 25 years, my only job on Thanksgiving was to set the table at my gram’s house.


I knew that this gravy train couldn’t go on forever though. If I wanted to continue avoiding the actual making of the gravy, I would need to find someone else who was talented at cooking and spoiling me. I searched far and wide for this special person and finally found him in Pittsburgh. My gravy train rolled on and I continued to have no part in cooking on Thanksgiving.

Then, to my absolute disgust, a few years ago my husband mentioned something along the lines of me learning how to cook a turkey. It was very hurtful, but I assumed that he meant well and forgave him. At that point though, I knew that I needed to get creative in my turkey dinner avoidance.

First, I played the pregnancy card. As my daughter was due to arrive three weeks after Thanksgiving, it was completely believable that I would be too tired, too sore, too miserable and too huge to cook. Never mind the fact that I was still waitressing every day with no problems.

The next year, I was pregnant again, but we hadn’t told anyone in the family yet (and hosted them all at our house). The pregnancy card couldn’t be used. I decided to go in another direction and worked late the night before. “Honey, I can’t get up early and cook with you after working so late. I might have a seizure.”

Now, a word on the subject of the seizure card; I have never and will never fake seizures or incorrectly use them as an excuse. I feel that doing so is just asking for very bad ju-ju. That being said, if the risk of having a seizure is real, I will milk that cow if need be. There has to be some benefit to having the disorder.

Anyway, the late night shift avoidance technique worked so well that I intended on using it again this year. Unfortunately, I ended up being out of work due to an injury. I adjusted my plan accordingly and told my husband, “Looks like I’ll be on crutches this year. I’m sorry that I can’t help!”

And I would’ve gotten away with it too … if it weren’t for that meddling doctor. He put my broken foot into a broken foot boot thingy … which allowed me to walk a little. I had a good run, but after 30 years of avoiding it, I finally had to cook dinner this year.

As it turns out, it is easier than I thought … catching the oven on fire I mean. Yes, I accidentally (seriously!) caught the oven on fire, filled the entire house with smoke, and almost ruined the whole meal. The good news is that I unintentionally received a lifetime ban on cooking for Turkey Day.

For questions, comments, or more tips on (avoiding) cooking on Thanksgiving, e-mail me at [email protected]