Tag Archives: food

Turkey? No Thanks.

I’ve spent many Thanksgivings alone, at least over the last six years.  Okay, so “many” may be four.  But whatever.  The point is, it doesn’t really bother me. 

What are the reasons people love Thanksgiving?  The Food.  Being with Family.  The Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Well, I’m not a huge fan of Thanksgiving food.  (Gasp!)   Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potato pie, pecan pie – not a big fan of any of it.  I know, that’s completely sacrilegious.  Regardless, I can do without it.  I’m going to have veggie pasta today, and it’ll be yummy.  Lick my plate yummy.

Of course I would like to be with family.  But I’d like to be with them multiple times throughout the year, not just one day.   I love the idea of an “orphan Thanksgiving,” and I have often invited people in the past who have been alone.  I’ve gotten those invites, as well, and I’ve gone.  But at that point, it’s not about being with family, at least not your own.  It’s just being with people.  While I always appreciate the offer to come to someone else’s family dinner, it actually makes me feel even worse than just being by myself.  I’m uncomfortable, and I was thinking yesterday that the reason for that is because most of the people at dinner are strangers to me.  But I realized today that it’s more because everyone else at the table knows each other, and I am a complete interloper.  It’s actually harder being in a room where everyone knows each other but you know no one, than in a room where everyone knows no one. 

The Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Was it always as staged and promotional as it is today?  Actors plugging their tv shows.  Performances of Broadway numbers and Troupe Dances on the “stage”.  I simply don’t remember that from when I was a kid.   Give me the Parade of Roses any day.

Of course, the worst part of spending Thanksgiving alone is that people always ask, “What are you doing for Thanksgiving?” or “What did you do for Thanksgiving?”  And when they hear that you’re alone, they give you that pitying look, “Oh, I’m so sorry.”  Really, it’s okay.  I’m fine.

Now, Christmas?  An entirely different story.  Christmas alone totally sucks

(And, thank you Mr. E., for the offer to spend Thanksgiving with your family.  I do appreciate the offer, and I know I would have been welcomed.)

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Charlotte Dinner Club

When I lived in Denver, I met a group of people through a dinner club that I found on Craigslist.  The idea was you would meet new people and try new restaurants…it was good for me at the time, when I was very alone in a strange city.  The only problem with that dinner club was that you never quite knew what you were getting into, they were complete strangers, and sometimes the size of the crowd got way out of hand (one time there were over 40 of us that showed up at a restaurant).

Lately, a few friends began talking about a similar idea, but I think it was more about trying new restaurants with our current group of friends, more than meeting strangers.  I thought a kind of compromise would work well – starting with a circle of friends, and going out like spokes of a wheel – getting different circles of friends together, so that you may meet someone new, but there’s still a connection there.  Degrees of separation and all that.

The most important thing in doing something like this is that it has to be a firmly scheduled event – none of that “what works with your schedule?” and “I can’t make that, can we change the date?”  So I decided on the Second Wednesday of the month.  Wednesday should be less crowded in restaurants than a weekend night, and making it the second rather than the first of the month should get us away from any holiday conflicts.

The second most important thing is getting the information out to people in a safe, easy way.  Emails and evites would be a little complicated – it would take a lot of coordination, and then you’re sending emails to people you don’t know, etc, etc…  A website would be a great way, people can check it at their leisure, but then what’s to prevent a psycho stranger from showing up at dinner, too?  (A dinner club stalker?  Improbable, but not impossible.)

Then I remembered that on Blogger you have the ability to host an “invite only” blog, so that only the people you invite can see it.  I started there, set up a blog, but then I realized there were a couple of issues there.  Number one, it’s limited to 100 email addresses (I know, I have high hopes thinking this could ever get up to 100 people), and number two, people would have to register, and some people don’t want to do that.  Same thing with setting up a group on Facebook. 

But WordPress has the ability to password protect posts.  So the blog can be checked by anyone, but people would need a password to view the restaurant of the month.  Getting the password out wouldn’t be hard to do, and you don’t need to register to post a comment.  So, I think I found the solution.

If you’re a friend in the Charlotte area, let me know if you’re interested in joining us sometime.  You can find the new blog here:  www.charlottedinnerclub.wordpress.com

Itchy

I’ve been itching to travel to Europe, and it all kind of came to a head this weekend.  I need to stop waiting for the right time, and just go.  And I need to stop waiting for someone to travel with, because that’s not going to happen.  My single friends can’t afford it, or are too afraid to fly, and my married friends…well, obviously if they’re going overseas, they’re going to go with their hubbies.  I could always take my mom’s advice and travel with my sister, but I think one of us would end up dead.  And my money’s on her.  She may act tough, but I could stomp her down while reading a book about Gandhi.  And I would, I know, because she would drive me crazy.  Mom says it would be a bonding experience.  I’m thinking they would need to post bond to get me out of a foreign prison.

So, I’m thinking a Tour of Italy, including Rome, Venice, Naples, and Florence, or Spain, including Barcelona, Basque Country, Madrid, and Gibralter.  It’s kind of funny – I always figured I would make my first European trip to the UK, because at least then I wouldn’t have to worry about the language barrier.  But, screw it.  I want to experience more.

So I posted to Craigslist, to see if I could find a travel partner.  Someone local who I can meet up with, to make sure we’re compatible.  I’m crossing my fingers, because my sister may be my last resort.  (Yes, I know, I can travel alone, but it’s so much cheaper when you can split the hotel cost.)

Anyone have any advice on where I should go, what I should do, where I should eat?  I love good food, and am always willing to try something new or different, so even if you point me to a hole in the wall, I’ll probably try it!