Thanksgiving. Hands down, my favorite holiday of the year.
But this is only true, because I’m a man.
My wife would disagree. That is, she would disagree that Thanksgiving is the best, not that I’m a man…I think.
Truth is, Thanksgiving is a completely different holiday to the man than it is to the woman.
I offer you, 3 easy steps to make Thanksgiving better for her.
First off though, let’s look at Thanksgiving through the eyes of the husband:
1. Wake up Thursday mid-morning to the pleasant heavenly aromas wafting through the air.
2. Take a mental note that Thanksgiving morning is really the first time all year you’ve used the word “wafting”.
3. Roll over, turn the TV on, scroll the guide to see which channels and what times all the football games start.
4. Close the bedroom door, so nobody sees you watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, or notice how much you’re enjoying the John Tesh solo.
5. Open your closet and carefully select the optimal sweatpants for the day’s events.
6. Stroll to the kitchen, smile as the smells become closer and stronger.
7. Ask, “What time are we eating?”
8. Cross reference the answer with the times of football games you memorized earlier.
9. Check twitter and have conversations with other guys who have nothing to do while waiting for the football, food and festivities to start.
10. Realize there is still time for a short nap before Lunch.
14. More football.
15. Eat again.
16. Eat while falling asleep.
Special Note: 11-17 can be in any order.
Now, here’s Thanksgiving, through the eyes of the wife.
1. Thursday morning, two weeks ago, start making the list of items you’ll need, and how many guests you’ll be having over.
2. Weekend before, go grocery shopping and shudder as you see the $400 grocery bill.
3. Impromptu clean out the freezer, refrigerator and pantry so you can fit all the new groceries.
4. Tuesday morning, start prepping pies.
5. Tuesday afternoon, Return to store to replace items your family has already consumed since Sunday.
6. Tuesday evening, Begin thawing 23 lb Turkey
7. Wednesday, spend all day cleaning the house in preparation of family coming in from out of town.
8. Wednesday night, go to bed early, but still get no sleep because of the mental preparation you are doing for the next day.
9. Thursday morning, arise early to turn oven on, and begin the coordinated kitchen dance that is making sure all 64 items that are being prepared at different temperatures for different durations all end up being hot at roughly the same time.
10. Thursday mid-morning, wonder aloud to nobody in particular why you’re the only one in the kitchen, or even awake for that matter?
11. Thursday mid-mid-morning, spend a few silent moments remembering what it was like when you were single.
12. Thursday early afternoon, say hello to your husband as he wanders into the kitchen for his first of 900 appearances.
13. Thursday early afternoon, kick husband out of kitchen because, as much as you could use the help, that sweat pant wearing mouth-breather just gets in the way.
14. Thursday early afternoon, briefly wonder if this Thanksgiving Turkey Tango could be a money making halftime show somewhere, kind of like the lady that spins 20 plates at the same time, while riding a unicycle?
15. Thursday afternoon, throw everything that you’ve spent the last 6 hours carefully timing and perfecting, on to the kitchen table and call in all the vultures, I mean, family.
16. 9 minutes later, everybody is done eating, time to: Clear the table, transfer items from grandma’s china to walmart tupperware, impromptu clean out the freezer/refrigerator/pantry, because now, the space required to contain everything has quadrupled, empty the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, start the dishwasher, scrub the pots, pans, tables, counters and floors.
17. 58 minutes later, shoo the first of 19 requests for something to eat, as you refuse to stop cleaning to feed someone.
18. 37 minutes later, stand back and admire your clean kitchen.
19. 3 minutes after that, watch as husband, children, nephews, nieces, brothers, sisters, dads, grandmas, some kid from next door, infiltrate your newly minted kitchen, and start the process over.
20. Give up, contemplate divorce, murder, reckless endangerment, then decide to just go lay down.
As you can see by these two lists, the men have 17 things to do, and the women have 20.
So, guys, what can we do?
What can we do to make up that 3 step deficit?
Here’s three things we can try this Thanksgiving to close that gap.
1. Don’t let her do the dishes.
2. Don’t let her serve the leftovers.
3. Give her the rest of the weekend off.
If you are actually a help in the kitchen, then you need to be in there, and you probably already are. At my house, that would be devastating.
I’m not going to pretend I can pull off the delicate dance of preparing the original meal. There’s no way. If I tried, we’d have mass hysteria. We’d have fire trucks. We’d have women and children crying. But we wouldn’t have turkey, that’s for sure.
However, once everything has moved on to the microwavable stage, I got this.
The last one is the tough one. The tryptophan has started to set in, you want to sleep for days. Don’t give in. Let her see what it’s like to be you, even if it’s just for a couple of days.
Happy Thanksgiving. Good Luck and Godspeed.