Top 3 Moments of Panic from Thanksgivings Past (Part 3)

November 28, 2010 at 9:49 pm Leave a comment

Three days after Thanksgiving, and they’re still here.

I know they’re lurking behind that unassuming door. As soon as I open it, that stark light will switch on and I’ll see them, staring back at me, taunting me.

Thanksgiving leftovers.

Now, if you’ve been following this series, you know that I once made mashed potatoes for two people using a recipe that called for seven pounds of potatoes. We’ve also established that math is not my strong suit. So it’s not surprising that I manage to end up with a few leftovers. But still…

No matter how much I make or how many guests we have over, I still seem to end up with a LOT of leftovers.

Atomic leftovers.

Leftovers that seem to know how to reproduce on their own so that even though I force takeout containers on all the guests, and despite Gibson the dog’s best efforts at hunting down every last morsel he can find, the leftovers just grow and grow until, by Sunday, we clearly have twice the amount of potatoes we started with on Thursday.

Gibson the dog

The image quality is crappy, but the moment had to be preserved. I don't know where Gibson learned to behave like this.

I’ve decided that there needs to be a leftovers version of the Kubler-Ross model, the Five Stages of Grief. Let’s call it the Casser-Role Model.

1. Denial: Typically occurs in the final week before Thanksgiving. Look for phrases like:

“Are you sure a 14-pound turkey will be big enough for the two of us?”

“The bigger the better! Leftovers are always the best part!”

“Make extra gravy. I’ll definitely want that for my leftover turkey sandwiches.”

2. Anger: To quote the Kubler-Ross model, “Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue.” Anger in the Casser-Role model can be represented in a variety of ways, including shouts of:

“Why do we have all these storage containers and lids and yet none of them actually fit together?”

“Who is going to eat all this? Why did you convince me to buy a 26-pound turkey?”

“Where are YOU going, Mr. and Mrs. Guest? No one leaves without a two-ton takeout container of rapidly congealing stuffing and some of the delicious homemade cranberry butter that seemed like such a great idea at the time, but oh no, no one wants to eat homemade cranberry butter; they want processed goo from a can.” (I’m paraphrasing.)

3. Bargaining: Bargaining can take many forms. For example, as one begins to realize how many calories one has already ingested in just one meal:

“I swear I’ll work out for five hours tomorrow if I can just have one more piece of leftover pie, and really, I’m just taking a sliver. I need to even out the slices.”

Or when the host is “encouraging” guests to take a doggy bag, you might hear, “I promise to never invite you to anything again. Just please take it. Take it out of here!”

4. Depression: Just reading the recipes for using up Thanksgiving leftovers can be depressing. Typically they’re some variation of layering your entire Thanksgiving meal in a 9×11 dish, pouring some canned soup or cheese or eggs or all three on top and calling it Turkey “Pot Pie” a la Leftovers, but a more accurate title would be As If Your Thanksgiving Meal Wasn’t Fattening Enough: Voila! Common phrases include (again, taken directly from the Kubler-Ross model):

“I’m going to die…What’s the point?”

5. Acceptance: Once one comes to terms with eating a bowl of cornbread dressing for breakfast, one can learn to enjoy, or at the every least, accept it:

“It’s OK. I’m going to overeat all through December, so I might as well get my practice in now.”


Entry filed under: Don't Try This At Home, Useful Information.

Thanksgiving Panics – Bonus Post Adjusting Your Sails: What Elizabeth Edwards Taught Me

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