Thursday, November 25, 2010

Getting rid of family, Thanksgiving, and the virtues of writing under the influence

Writing under the influence! Like that's never happened before (in time immemorial, not in my writing experience, though that's true as well). If Hemingway could, I can--good god, you know it's bad when I compare myself to a playwright comparing himself to Willie S.

The family had to go. I host family early on Thanksgiving, which makes them easier to kick out early. (Hence my 5:30pm post.) Sound unlikely? You invite them over late and hope wine with 6pm dinner will make them tired and ready to leave, but you're doing this all wrong. Allow me to suggest an alternative: early.

Early works for me. I get to drink early (during the past hour, a lovely Spanish cava whom I might meet again later tonight) and boot out annoying relatives before lethargy, the real enemy, sets in. We don't watch football, so peeling them away from the TV mid-play isn't an issue. In my family, it's dessert coma which complicates things.

One dessert per person, at a minimum: That's our rule. If you're not careful, that level of sugar intake can immobilize people on couches for hours. If you're smart enough to put pitches of water on the coffee table, within close reach, you will force an occasional bathroom break, which, with careful planning and timing, can turn into an exit opportunity.

It's all in the wrists.

I'm quite sure this Thanksgiving sets a record. Family arrival 2:23pm, family departure 5:12pm to 5:21pm (Great-aunt Ethel doesn't move as quickly as she used to). And not a moment too soon. May you be so fortunate this Thanksgiving day.

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