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“What are your plans for Thanksgiving this year?” my friend Beth asked over the phone. Since it was early September, I was caught off guard when she called, even though she had been calling every September for the past five years. “I don’t currently have any plans,” I replied. Delighted to hear this Beth asked, “Do you want to have Thanksgiving together?!”
“Sure,” I said cautiously, knowing a long debate would follow. Whose apartment would we have it at? Beth always wanted to have it at her apartment but there were 26 reasons why this couldn’t happen, to which I always said, “I’m happy to have it at my place.” However, being willing to host came with a big “but.”
“But,” I reminded Beth, “I’m not going to cook a turkey. I can make lots of other things, like my rosemary garlic mashed potatoes. And, aside from the fact I don’t eat meat, I don’t have time for the hassle that goes along with cooking one.”
“But we have to have a turkey!” Beth exclaims incredulously each year.
“How about I cook a turkey breast?”
“I don’t like white meat. I only like dark meat.”
“Beth, let’s have Thanksgiving at your place so you can cook a turkey.”
“I don’t have enough room for a group of people.” That was a handy excuse anyone could make, since we all lived in tiny NYC apartments.
“Beth, so far, no one else is coming.”
“I can’t relax in my own apartment.”
“You’re welcome to come to my apartment to cook a turkey.”
“I’d have to be there at 6:00 a.m.!”
“You can spend the night before.”
“I can’t because of the dog.”
“Your dog Sammy? Bring Sammy over!”
“But it’s hard for me to get a car service that will take him. He’s an Irish Wolfhound.”
Sensing the patience being tested of her only Thanksgiving hope, Beth said, “Maybe I can cook a turkey leg and bring it for myself.”
“Who are we gonna invite?” continued Beth.
This prompted my second Thanksgiving “but.”
“Beth, all my friends have plans. Most of my friends were in couples and odds were at least one of those two people were on good terms with some family member, somewhere, who they would spend the holiday with. Someday, I would have a girlfriend, and in my fantasy she would have lovely relatives in Vermont where we would spend Thanksgiving…
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Lisa Haas is a comedy writer whose plays have been produced nationally and internationally. She has appeared in numerous indie films, including "Dyke Dollar," "Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same," and the forthcoming “Valencia: The Movie/s.” She resides in Brooklyn, NY and is a rodent enthusiast with a particular fondness for rats and hamsters. Haas is a known homosexual.