Wednesday, November 27, 2013


It's that time of year again!  The much maligned Thanksiving Letter by Marney is making its festive away around the social networks. No one knows if Marney actually exists or if the letter is a well-constructed  ode to one of the most passive-aggressive fictional hostesses in history. Either way, it's a thing of a beauty because, though the letter is offensive on so many levels, anyone who has ever hosted a large family holiday can find, somewhere in all the obsessive-compulsive demands for NO MORE ALUMINUM FOIL, a glimmer of truth. In case you missed it, read the Marney Letter Right Here! 

My only issue with Marney's letter is that she was not drunk when she wrote it.  The women is wound tighter than a Real Housewive's face lift, and one can almost hear her teeth grinding as she hides her inner rage behind Lady-of-the-Manor prose. Oh, what a delight her letter  could have been  had Marney broken into that case of Clos du Bois chardonnay she so craves and revealed the secrets between the lines! Never fear! If there's one thing I know how to do, it's write a drunken missive. Therefore, I present to you:  The Thanksgiving Letter Revisited: Shaken, Not Stirred.

The Thanksgiving Letter
From: Mistress Marney

As I sit here indulging in a lovely glass of Clos du Bois, I want to remind you all that a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner does not make itself. I need to ask each of you to help by bringing something to complete the meal. I truly appreciate your offers to assist with the meal preparation. I appreciate them because they give me a good, long laugh. Ha. Ha. HA! As if any of you would actually show up at my door at 5:30 a.m. to clean, brine, and stuff the bird, clean the kitchen, set out the good china, polish the silver, and air the crystal But, thank you for your amusing attempt to pretend to even know how to strain the gravy!

Now, as I pour myself a second glass of the grape, I want to remind you all that while I do have quite a sense of humor and joke around all the time, I COULD NOT BE MORE SERIOUS when I am providing you with your Thanksgiving instructions and orders. I am very  particular, so please perform your task EXACTLY as I have requested and read your portion very carefully. Read my lips. NO. ALUMINUM. FOIL!! Also, BRING A SERVING SPOON, NOT A SOUP SPOON! Do you know what happens when you use a soup spoon instead of a serving spoon? Your Great-Uncle Seymour will get his fingers a tad close to the contents of the casserole dish, and who knows where last Seymour's fingers have been? *shudder*

DO NOT walk into my house and start throwing something together on the countertops that I've tidied and wiped down. Prepare and COOK your offering before arrival. If you so much as get within a foot of my oven while it is roasting my lovely turkey,  prepare to be Hansel-and-Gretel-ed.  

Now for your instructions:

HJB - Have Mike run you to the grocery store to buy dinner wine, Grandpa. (Clos du Bois chardonnay, please. Lots of it. In fact, I'm on my third glass of this lovely-bouqueted, oaky-flavored offering as we speak!)


1. Turnips in a casserole with a lid and serving spoon. Alright, wait! Since I'm  all about being honest, can I just say something? EVERYONE HATES YOUR TURNIP DISH! For the love of God, have you not noticed that it festers in a corner of the counter until some kind soul dumps it all down the disposal so I don't have to stomach the sight of it?
2. Two half gallons of ice cream. And please. Make sure it is something that does not taste like frozen sawdust, as the store brands from the kinds of stores you frequent tend to do. I did see an ad this morning for Hagan Daz Peppermint Bark. Consider yourself advised.
3. Toppings for the ice cream. (I should not even have to add this, but as you showed up last year - and the year before -sans toppings, it is, apparently, of necessity.)
4. A case of bottled water, NOT gallons. Nothing says, "Classy Thanksgiving Dinner" like pouring water into fine crystal from a gallon jug labeled "distilled."

Let's see whose next. My, this fourth glass of wine is going to my head. Tee-hee. Oh yes - 


1. Green beans or asparagus (for God's sake, don't bring BOTH!) in a casserole with a lid and serving spoon. Maybe between now and the big day, someone in the family could learn to cook so we don't all have to pour your casserole into a glass and sip it up through a straw. Oh, and don't forget to leave off the cheese. Remember Mike's meltdown last year about being lactose intolerant? Good times! As for making an otherwise horribly bland dish just a tad more flavorful, a light sprinkling of toasted nuts, or pancetta, or some EVOO would be a nice way to jazz it up. 

2. A case of beer of your choice as you and your (*cough common law *cough*) wife will be the only ones drinking it. Of course, a lovely offering of Clos du Bois chardonnay for the hostess is always acceptable.

And now onto you, Lisa:

As you are now a married woman, Lisa, you are required to contribute. So, showing up at the house 5 minutes before we are all to sit down with a hunk of Velveeta cheese and a box of Saltines is not going to cut it. For Pete's sake! I know you got a lovely knife set and a cutting board for shower gifts. USE THEM! Peel a few carrots! Chop up some peppers and cucumbers! Arrange them artfully on some sort of festive plate and call it a day. It's not rocket science.  


Wait! Wait!! I need another glass of closdubious charddddonay before I can write this one.

Michelle. If Mommy were alive to see the way you've treated me, she'd turn over in her grave. Since YOUR children are the ones who have taken the hippy route and gone vegetarian or veganese or whatever nonsense they call themselves, I leave it to YOU, dear sister, to make the stuffing. They don't eat meat? YOU deal with that crock of bologna.  But, you will also still have to  bring the mashed squash as you do every year, because no one else has Mom's recipe since you STOLE the cookbooks while she was on her death bed! Also, please don't mess with the proscuitto recipe this year.  Is it that difficult to make things the way people have liked them for years and years? Must you always be  A SHOW OFF?? And bring the pie knife because IT IS MINE! Mommy gave that to ME!!


1. 15 LBS of mashed potatoes. OMG!! I'm laughing so hard right now I just snorted closdubaeochardon up my nose! Junie. You know how you always bring your mashed potatoes in your "antique blue serving dish?" that you inherited from our great-great grandmother? Junie! No one had the nerve to tell you, but that's no serving dish. Back in Grandmother's day, it was called a chamber pot. Google it! And could you please bring the potatoes in something else this year? The jokes told behind your back have run their course.

2. Also, could I trouble you for a bottle of Clso Dubois charrdoney?

The Amy  Mistro Family 

amy, aMy, amy. Why do I bother? you won't even red this. I know you hate me.

1. A pumpkin pie and put it in a pie dishe (instead of a chamber pot! LOL forever!)

2. An apple pie that you can make with your own recipe because even though we have had our falling out, I love you cousin amY! 
3. You do not need to bring a pie knife because my sister is bringint he one she stole from me.

I should go to bed because I am now very drunk but I want to say I love you all very much and you are the best family a girl could have and I know I can count on you. Did I say I love you very much? You can even drink my clossydusebois charcxsaoinnay with me!

See you on the 28th. Be there or be squared. LOL forever!


Poor Marney! I believe she is just a lady who wants things picture-perfect on the one holiday that's all about being with loved ones. Yes, she could nicer about it, but I believe all Marney needs is for someone to say to her, "Thank you for doing this year after year. It really is fabulous!" And isn't that what Thanksgiving is about? Remembering to give thanks for the things we take for granted?

Families are complicated. Since families are made up of imperfect humans who make awful and sometimes hurtful mistakes, it is not always easy to forgive and forget. Yet, as another Thanksgiving Day approaches, I hope that all who can be with family, even if it means enduring the tedium of tradition, the pettiness of grudges, the coolness of the uninterested, find a way to do so. Family love is different from any other kind of love because you do not get to break up with your family. You might try. You might put distance and time between yourself and your family.  But, their memory always hovers, your need for them never really deserts you. If you can't get home, make a phone call this weekend. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And, for God's sake! Don't forget the Clos du Bois!

1 comment:

  1. How did I miss this post? Another total riot, coupled with nostalgic family love. :) Me being me, I particularly LUV "Hansel-and-Gretel-ed." :D