The Thought Process of Enduring a Thanksgiving Meal

With family members you haven’t seen since your [insert religious ceremony that inducts you into the hall of adulthood here]


This year, I will not overeat.

Hahahaha. Just kidding!

I kind of want to wear that burgundy wool mini skirt with black tights and a pair of black boots but I also know that there is a high likelihood I will be incapable of sitting down in a chair after that third helping of my grandmother’s stuffing. If my memory serves me correct, the last time I ate Thanksgiving dinner at her house, I ended up sprawled across the floor for three hours before I got back up and finished the pumpkin pie that my brother brought. That was so much fun.

It gets stuffy in that apartment. I should bring a t-shirt. And elastic waist band pants.

I can’t believe I haven’t been to her house in three years for this dinner. I wonder how my cousin Lara is doing. Did her husband get fatter? Is that even possible? I wonder if he found a job yet. I’m not even going to ask. But maybe I should. Nah, it’s not my business.

Should I hide the desserts I’m bringing so he doesn’t eat them?

You can be such an asshole sometimes, Leandra. Why do you even think these things?

I wonder if Sasha is bringing her daughters. The new one is cute, the older one is a fucking diva. I will put money on her asking for, like, truffle oil or something, Again, Leandra, asshole. She’s five years old. Stop.

I am so excited for this meal. Thanksgiving has to be one of America’s greatest gifts to its people. Obviously, though, there stands the question of what it means that we celebrate our having driven indigenous people out of this land to establish a free democracy. Hypocritical or what?

I wonder if I love this holiday with so much conviction because it feels like the only one that I can participate in culturally. The Jewish ones immunize me to Easter and Christmas and ours kind of blow because they always require such a dense dose of guilt. There’s never not the element of synagogue, or prayer, or something that stands as a prerequisite to the meal. Maybe I should go to the gym before we head to dinner. I need a bikini wax, too, though. I should probably have a drink before I get — oh! That’s a decent idea. Maybe I have a glass of wine, walk over to the bikini wax place and then head up — wait, they must be closed. That’s relieving.

Why do we eat turkey on Thanksgiving? I should look it up. Actually, I should have a conversation and try to figure it out without so immediately resorting to Google. Considering there will be all of two English speakers at dinner, though I’m probably being ambitious here. I wonder why my grandmother even makes this meal. We couldn’t be less American if we tried. Where did she learn to make stuffing? I didn’t even think she knows what a marshmallow is.

So I’m probably just going to wear vintage Levi’s with this striped turtleneck. There is a 0% chance Sasha won’t make a corny-ass joke about how stupid I look. Her mom will chime in, too. And then they will ask who makes my shirt after telling me I look like a waiter and I will say Gucci. Per usual, they will both retract their statements, say “Ohhhh, very nice,” and I will roll my eyes. Of course, it’s actually Topshop.

By this point, Lara’s husband will have indubitably finished all the cakes. Plural. My dad will be yelling in Turkish to my grandfather about the stock market and my grandmother will be yelling, too, telling my grandpa that if he doesn’t put his hearing aid in, she is going to throw him out. My mom will probably be in the kitchen for most of the night, revealing herself only every 20 minutes to remind us that she’s there. My brother will tell me I look like a chicken. My husband will laugh. My uncle will ask me to put him on “the Man Eater” blog while my other brother tries to convince me that he should intern, with pay, for me.

I will never be so simultaneously elated and depressed for a night to end.

*A half-fictional re-telling.*

Get more Humor ?
  • I always say I am not going to overeat, but I always go back for seconds and thirds. Last Thanksgiving I was like a bloated horse and the boyfriend had to take me on a walk. I can relate to this!!

  • hahaha. sounds about right.

  • Aubrey Green

    This is accurate for about everyone, with the exception of speaking Turkish. Do you speak Turkish and Farsi?

    I don’t eat the Turkey, too dry. Anyone know a good way to not have that happen (I will tell my Aunt, so next time it won’t be dry ;)).

  • Lua Jane

    Sounds great actually. Family gatherings are usually about food and cute functional disfunction. At least in the case of my family. And there’s always that one cousin you slightly dislike for no particular reason aside from her being a general annoyance.
    You also mentioned your grandma being from Turkey, so I hope some of the food served there will be inpired by that part of your heritage. If there is one thing turkey has, it’s fantastic cuisine and food tradition.

  • Kelsey Moody

    Every 5 year old I know is a diva, THEY are the assholes, not you, Leandra. Theyre also sore losers, its like learn how to play backgammon, what are you, five??

    • Leandra Medine

      Also, though. why do you know what a truffle is?

  • Aydan

    I hope some Turkish food sneaks into your Thanksgiving Leandra! We spend it with family friends, but they are like vultures when my mom puts out the dolma.

  • MSCFBeeches

    I’m cooking. And I’m also househopping. I see my family all the time. They’re old news.

    http://mysocalledfashion. com

  • So I am handling all of these complicated issues by taking advantage of my eldest child status and giving orders to my brothers to take care of my mother this year as well as any residual relatives. I have exercised my privilege as a first time grandmother and have mandated that my desperately over tired daughter, her husband and my hardworking photographer partner go out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner. This makes it a little harder to gorge oneself as is my usual practice and also takes care of the need to have a big turkey sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce at 11:00 PM because it is there and I can’t stop thinking about it even though I am full. It of course also makes wearing fitted clothing a little less constraining. You can see my delicious granddaughter on my blog and I an only being disgustingly self-promoting because I am seriously smitten! I probably should not use the adjective delicious in the midst of all this food chatter least I be mistaken for Jonathan Swift. I am thankful for Leandra because she makes me laugh.

    Accidental Icon

  • lavieenliz

    haha I’m just so happy that my boyfriends parents came to LA this thanksgiving and we’re having dinner at Chateau Marmont! Now, I don’t have to deal with my moms boyfriends family!! hallelujah!!!!

  • Emily

    Sounds about right…… ooops

  • I can’t decide.

    I can’t remember the last Thanksgiving we had with the extended family. There must have been one, but they all live so far away. I’m planning to crash a friend’s Thanksgiving celebration this year and do dinner with the parents on a different day. The food promises to be awesome on both occasions, which is why I need to stop stuffing random things in my mouth tonight.

  • NoMaDi

    jajajajaja… Goood article!! it the first time that I’ve visited your blog. Good!

  • Ha…your family sounds like a blast. 😉

    I’m not sure if I’ll overeat or not this year. I’m doing Thanksgiving with in-laws I don’t know that well, so I have no idea what I’m getting on the food front.

    I do know, however, that I bought a dozen macaroons in case the desserts there are gross (which is highly likely…long story that includes molasses and gluten free pie). 🙂

  • BethanyBeach

    Hahaha I always think something terrible and follow up by calling myself an asshole…hit the nail right on the head!

  • `The Man Eater blog. 😀

  • Genuinely curious

    I have a question Leandra. Did you make these characters/particulars up or are these your real relatives and their real names? If they are indeed your real relatives and their real names, how did you write this without feeling cruel or worrying that your comments were going to hurt the people you were writing about? It’s one thing to think these things and it’s another to write them on a blog that thousands of people read. It’s always interesting to me when you try to expand the blog beyond fashion and this essay was a curious one to me.

    • »-♥➺

      Things “don’t have to be serious”. Are you genuinely curious about humor, too?

    • Leandra Medine

      Hey! This story, though certainly replete with real life examples of the characters within my family, is loosely fictional which I likely should have noted at the end of the story. That said, many of the more personal essays that I do write are not and as such, reflect narratives that they may not sign off to have publicized. I think, though, generally speaking, that it’s the writer decision to share or withhold what they deem appropriate for public consumption. Separately, I’d be interested to hear more about how you feel re: blog expansion and specifically why this essay felt curious. Thanks-4-tuning in as always.

  • »-♥➺

    Awwwwww 🙂 I think Sasha loves bib tunics with round hems in general.

  • »-♥➺
  • AlexaJuno

    “By this point, Lara’s husband will have indubitably finished all the cakes. Plural.”

    Thank you.

  • Obviously you get me. This was the first time EVER I had a boyfriend join us and I was sooo freaking nervous… it was okay though. But stressful


    • Leandra Medine

      tell us more

  • Heart-warming & angering, all at the same time 😀