This is the week before Mocksgiving. Unusually for me, I got the invitations out pretty early this year… Septembrish. I was proud of myself for not procrastinating.
Now, a week away, I’m ready to start my annual, pre-Mocksgiving panicking. Mostly, this has to do with physics. After years of panicking about cooking, I’m now confident that a) there will be enough food b) I know how to cook a turkey. Of course, this hubris means that we’ll get a half-scorched/half-raw Thomas this year, but hey. Once every ten years is totally forgivable.
But there are a few things that make Mocksgiving what it is, to me. First, I invite people to my house. I host them. We do not go to a hall or a restaurant. I welcome people into my home. Somehow, this is important. Second, we all sit down together and eat a meal together. It’s not a buffet. There are tablecloths and silverware.
Um, actually that’s pretty much it. The rest happens by magic — the conversations and pot luck dishes and hot beef injections (love ya Ben). The friends and walks and board games. It’s a pretty awesome thing.
But. Right now my RSVPs for Mocksgiving have us somewhere between, oh, 27 and 35 people. I have enough plates and cups and silverware. There will be a gracious plenty of food (although I always end up buying the very largest turkey I can lay my hands on, which regardless of how long it’s been thawing in my ‘fridge and whether I bought it fresh or frozen WILL be frozen solid when I go to try to remove the giblets). But seating? How do you get 32 people to simultaneously sit down in your reasonably-sized house? Do I set the top of the piano? Do I lay a board on top of the couch? It’s a good thing the fire department doesn’t come to visit on Mocksgiving, letmetellyou.
And all this brings me to the only part of Mocksgiving I really actively dislike. I really hate excluding people. I would like to be able to invite everyone I know and like to come sit at table and dine with me. I used to be able to, back when I had fewer friends. But whew. Man. I can’t do more than 30. I just don’t think it’s possible, without renting a hall. I often turn down people’s requests to bring guests, many of whom are people I also know and like. So basically, if you’ve come before you get grandfathered. After two or so years of not making it, you may not get another invite. I may really like you and not invite you. I probably wish I could. One of these days, I might try renting a hall and seeing if I can pull off that collegial feeling. It just somehow doesn’t seem right.
So please? If you get an invitation, come and celebrate and be prepared dine on the piano. I want you to come very much. But if you DON’T get an invitation, don’t read it as a statement on our relationship or think it’s because I don’t like you. And if you really wish that you could do Mocksgiving? I hereby authorize you to do your OWN Mocksgiving (as though you need my permission). If you do, I’d love to get pictures of your celebration.
Ok, so I’ll need a 30 pound turkey, 5 loaves of bread, 5 pies, 15 pounds of potatoes….