Ah, Thanksgiving. It's a day for enjoying the company of family and friends, partaking in a delicious meal, and reflecting on all the things we have to be grateful for. Unless you're the one preparing said meal. Then it's all those things, with the added bonus of everyone's favorite Turkey Day side dish: stress. That's why the texts every mom sends her BFF on Thanksgiving, especially when she's making dinner, exist.
I'm not hosting Thanksgiving this year (my husband is deployed and I was all about taking advantage of my "get out of hosting Thanksgiving free" card), but I'm making my fair share of dishes. My mind is spinning trying to inventory cookware, create a shopping list, and figure out how to keep everything at the right temperature. Because I'm doing my prep by myself in a house with an 18-month-old kiddo, I'm trying to do as much as possible while she's asleep. Nothing awakens the Dread Grumpus (also known as a a tantrum-throwing toddler who needs me to read Are You My Mother? for the seventh time right this very minute) like trying to prepare a meal.
There's nothing quite like cooking a Thanksgiving dinner to make you lose your sh*t. Fortunately, your bestie can provide you with solutions, comic relief, and the much-needed reminder that it's only once a year. So buckle up, buttercup. The annual Thanksgiving Hunger Games have commenced, and may the odds be ever in your favor.
When You're Confused
When you have seven different recipes taped to your cupboards, you're inevitably going to run into something you just don't understand. What the hell are stiff peaks anyway? Count on your closest gal pal to know the answer or, if she's not busy with dinner herself, give it a Google for you.
For the record, when you're making candied yams, you're actually using sweet potatoes. Fleshy orange with a tapered end? That's a sweet potato, baby.
When You're Totally Grossed Out
The first time you get up close and personal with the business end of a turkey, it can be disconcerting (to say the least). A more experienced buddy will be able to reassure you that it's just a bag of giblets (yes, she thinks it's icky too) and will make sure you remove it so you don't end up with melted plastic in your main dish.
When Something Doesn't Turn Out Right
Why do we always think it's a good idea to try something new when a dozen or more people are counting on us to feed them? We're just asking for something to go wrong. When it does and your gravy is lumpy or your crust is soggy, your BFF can give you ideas for how to fix your mistakes. At the very least, she'll point out that it could be worse. (At least you didn't put beef in the trifle.)
When You Make A Big Mistake
If you're the kind of cook who thinks about meals the day of, the concept of thawing something four days in advance is pretty foreign. Something like a frozen turkey is somewhat of a Thanksgiving crisis. BFF to the rescue with a link for how to deal.
Unfortunately, certain errors fall in the Unforgiveable Curses category. Your family may never let you forget it, but you can count on your friend to sympathize when you finally serve dinner at midnight or end up celebrating Thanksgiving at Applebee's.
When Your Relative Says Something Horrible
What is it about seeing you slave over a hot stove that makes your relatives think it's a good time to give you their unsolicited opinions? Sometimes it's a comment about how you haven't seemed to lose the "baby weight" or a criticism regarding the level of cleanliness of your progeny.
Whatever it is, it's obnoxious. A quick message to vent to a friend will help you focus on the task at hand. Plus, she'll know exactly how you feel. Disparaging remarks from loved ones is, after all, the bread and butter (turkey and stuffing?) of an American Thanksgiving.
When The Baby Is Crying
As I said, making dinner brings out the absolute worst in my darling child. While normally delightful, having mommy be unavailable turns her into Her Royal Heinous. Your best friend can remind you that there are plenty of other people who can entertain the baby (dinner has to be made, but football doesn't have to be watched). If she has kids, she can commiserate with you. Chances are, she's dragging a screaming toddler around the kitchen on her foot, too.
When The Kids Get Into Trouble
Being in charge of a multi-course meal means you can't be as attentive as you would normally be. Naturally, the rugrats will consider this an opportunity, and take advantage of the situation. When the 18-month-old toddler eats the chapstick (speaking from experience, of course), your best friend can talk you down from calling Poison Control and make you laugh with the thought of your child's now silky smooth insides.
When Your Pet Does Something Heinous
Pets are wonderful but, like kids, they pick the most inopportune times to misbehave. Frankly, I'm giving myself a 15 minute buffer on Thanksgiving morning because, Murphy's law being what it is, I'm sure I will begin the day by stepping in dog vomit.
Best friends are a great source of creative solutions. Cat licked off the top of the pumpkin pie? Isn't that what whipped cream is for? (I know it's not sanitary, but it was just the one time, and when my victim learned of my transgression, he simply shrugged and shoveled more pumpkin-y goodness into his aptly-named pie-hole.)
When There's Just Not Enough Wine
There are so many aspects of Thanksgiving that will make you want to drink all the wine. You'll need your best friend to coach you through those last few minutes and gently suggest that you need to be on your game. There will be plenty of time to imbibe later.
When You're Ready To Give Up
There will come a moment when you want to throw your hands up and announce, "I quit!" That's the time to text your bestie, because no one handles you in meltdown mode better than she does. She'll give you the encouragement you need to power through, remind you that you really do love these people, and that you don't have to do it again for an entire year. That makes her worth her weight in pumpkin pie.