Tuesday, November 21, 2006

older, but no more sane; what I will cook for Thanksgiving

Another birthday is over, and I'm relieved. I always, since turning 16, plunge into a deep depression at the time of my birthday. In the worst years, it covered most of the month of November (indeed, the very worst year, I think it clicked in on Nov. 1 as soon as I woke up). One year when I was in college, I stopped eating in November, and one of my normally thoughtless friends went so far as to make a pan of brownies to try to lure me back out of the birthday funk (mind you, it wasn't even the day at that point).

Why? It's my personal version of what hits many people around Christmas or Valentine's Day. I had some traumatic birthdays when I was younger, and, irrational as it may seem, when my birthday comes around, I become convinced that not only does no one love me or even like me very much, I am fundamentally unlovable (like a harmless snail, unlovable through no fault of my own). I realize the rest of the year that this is Not Rational and that I am probably as or more loved than the average person (indeed, my whole life from age 17 to date, I've been uncommonly lucky in heterosexual love, and for the past 7 years, I've had the love of small children as well).

Of course, to put the cherry on the top of this sundae of depression, I never plan anything for my own birthday (other than to spend the day sulking and sobbing because no one has demonstrated sufficient unprompted love for me). Thankfully the Sober Husband has become sufficiently accustomed to this over the years to not ask questions and to just dole out presents throughout the day, a very kind strategy which gets us all through the wretched day the best we can. (On one milestone birthday, I was phenomenally depressed, but the undaunted man hauled me to a luxury hotel suite, which the bellman informed us had just been vacated by Kevin Costner. For our entire stay, we could not stop thinking of the bed as "Kevin Costner's bed", the couch as "Kevin Costner's couch", the remote as "Kevin Costner's remote", etc..).

This year, things were much better, and it didn't really hit until November 20th, my actual birthday, around 10:00 A.M Now, thankfully, that is all over. I got enough gifts to make any reasonable middle-aged person feel loved: the Leu serigraph I wanted of a beautiful woman holding a cocktail with an orange cat by her side, a pair of earrings, two Ry Cooder C.D.s, a gift massage from my favorite masseur, who incidentally just gave Martha Stewart a massage, all from the husband, plus a pair of skull and crossbone shoes, so cute, from Kim I. and incidentally, in a nod to this blog's readers, a bag of candy corn (previously I posted the Things We Hate lists created by Kim I for me and for herself, and various readers wanted to know, "Hey! How on earth can that Kim I person hate candy corn?"), and I'm informed that a bottle of Ketel One, as I had requested (okay, whined for) will be forthcoming from another friend. My mother sent me two shirts, which are great but which don't fit because (sigh) the Drunken Housewife has put on some weight lately which needs to be put back off. My mother-in-law sent me the last season of the Sopranos with a note that she knew I already owned bootleg copies of them all, but perhaps I'd like to watch the commentaries. (I was momentarily bemused by the thought that she'd given me copies when she knew I already owned them, but then I told myself, "This is not an offensive gift. She did not forget your birthday, and she did not give you anything offensive, so therefore this is completely fine, and be sure to send a thank you note soon").

As soon as that is over, we plunge into Thanksgiving. Every year, I am annoyed greatly by people hounding me, "What do you eat for Thanksgiving? Don't tell me you eat one of those gross fake turkeys." Well, actually, I do always get an Unturkey, and let me tell you, the Unturkey rocks (well, not the gravy; we throw that away). We never have leftovers. Even my non-vegetarian husband likes the Unturkey. I usually serve far too much food and cook myself into a frenzy.

This year, the more reasonable menu is

the Unturkey with stuffing
monkey bread
roasted fingerling potatoes, rubbed with lemon salt
spinach and scallion dutch baby
homemade cranberry sauce (this year, I'm trying one with honey and mustard)

followed by

pineapple pie
caramel pie

and let's not forget the champagne. It will be Blanc de Noirs this year (I don't care about the vintner so much; I'm just on a Blanc de Noirs kick).

I thought about making cranberry caipirinhas for a moment, but I decided that just the Blanc de Noirs will suffice.

Tomorrow, the cooking begins.


Anonymous said...

And she's off!

I have the same birthday funk as you do. Only instead of sobbing about it I lash out and become very mean and very stubborn.

I only cry when it's over and I realize that obviously no one loves me on my birthday because I'm so unlovable on my birthday.

It's the circle of birthday hate D:

Anonymous said...

try Schramsburg Blanc de Noir which is technically not champagne but a "California Sparkling Wine". it rocks at a great price.

Anonymous said...


Trouble said...

I'll be 41 in January. 40 didn't depress me at all, in fact I've enjoyed 40 a great deal more than any of the last ten-twelve years that proceeded it...perhaps this is due to the absence of my ex-husband in my life.