Wherein I Use the Word “Tablescape” and Don’t Punch Myself in the Face Afterward

We are hosting Thanksgiving this year.  This might be a sign of the apocalypse.  Or that I am no longer considered a “kid” but am now a grown-up* with a china pattern and matching cookware.  Either way, I’m a little freaked out.

I know Ed has the cooking under control, and the menu isn’t some great mystery.  It’s THANKSGIVING, and while our respective families have different recipes and takes on the classics, I know the food will be delicious and carefully, lovingly prepared.  The exact roster of attendees is still somewhat up in the air, but it’s shaping up to be a nice-sized group of our loved ones.  We have a fully-stocked bar and 7-11 is around the corner.

So, what is my problem, exactly?

Ed has placed me in charge of the tablescape.  Meaning: make it all look pretty and worthy of all the kickass food he’s going to cook. 

I am torn between using our white everyday dishes (our pattern for reference) since they are neutral (obviously) and we can punch things up with bright fall colors and a more harvest-y look and feel, OR going with our fancy-shmancy china (seen here) and linens and such.  While we are not super-formal during the holidays, I do want things to feel special (one argument in favor of china), but I also like the warmth and colorful, playful options allowed by using the white dishes (argument in favor of everyday stuff).  Since we will host at least one Christmas gathering this year I am leaning toward white dishes this go-round and bust out the china next time, when the platinum tones match our decor better anyway.  Variety!  Whimsy!  Also: WHO AM I?  It doesn’t feel THAT long ago that my roommates and I decorated our Christmas tree with beer cans.  “Happy Birthday, Jesus, have a COORS LIGHT.” 

I am likely overthinking this entirely, but this is the first Thanksgiving I have hosted, and I want it to be memorable in a good way.  And let’s face it: this is a tough crowd to please.  I’m the spawn of two of the most critical people known to man, and Ed doesn’t exactly come from the Land of Generous Praise, or Even Partial Credit for a Job Well Done For the LOVE, so this obsessive attention to detail is my weird little coping mechanism to shut down potential criticism before it can happen.  What a healthy, totally effective approach.

So, any votes, advice, or inspiration for someone who has arguably the least important role in the gathering, yet cannot help but make a huge fucking deal about it?

*Lest you think I have gone the way of the Real, No-Shit Adult, let me reassure you that many inappropriate, immature jokes were made when Ed bought “caulk saver” at the hardware store.


Friday Bullets on Thursday: Six Days Late or One Day Early? I’LL NEVER TELL.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

  • Do you know the real reason why people in small towns have a reputation for being friendlier and more courteous?  Because that ONE TIME you decide to be an asshole and honk at the jerk who cut you off, or say “THANKS” in the most sarcastic way possible as someone lets a door fall on you as you’re leaving Kinko’s (just for a random example) that other person will be your boss’ dad or something.  Then you will run into that person in your regular life and it will be awkward as hell.  There is no hiding and no anonymity in a small town.  It kind of sucks because a.) I derive weird pleasure from calling people out on shittiness and b.) it’s fucking exhausting pretending that I like people all the damn time.
  • It took three nights of tossing and turning for me to realize that the CONSTANT STREAM of caffeine that I was ingesting throughout the day might be contributing to my sudden inability to sleep.  Normally I am super-vigilant about caffeine intake due to a history of insomnia but when co-workers offer to pick up a pumpkin spice latte and whoops! get you the extra-large instead of the small you say yes and drink it, sleep deprivation be damned!  Or at least that’s what I did until yesterday.  Miraculously, I fell asleep at a decent hour, got some rest, and feel invincible today.  Of course I am craving coffee, junkie that I am, but I’ll just smell the coffee pot and try not to terrify my co-workers.
  • My boss had her baby yesterday – a darling little boy – and our staff is a-buzz with excitement over his arrival?  It is also a-buzz with FUCKING TERRIFYING AND OFTEN DISGUSTING tales of woe and tearing and post-partum depression and maybe even famine because apparently having a child is the WORST EVAR.  It’s enough to make a girl Google “vasectomy clinics in a two-mile radius from house” really.  But then I go and re-read this nugget of awesomeness by the brilliant Jive Turkey and remember it’s not having kids that sucks.  It’s the assholes who made a choice and are pissed it didn’t result in rainbows and unicorns all the damn time.
  • It finally feels like Fall here which means that I can wear all my scarves and sweaters, thereby justifying the insane amount of each that I own.  Not that I plan to slow down my collection any time soon.
  • I am now following Jonathan Frakes on Twitter.  This could very well end in a restraining order.  Or at the least, repeated requests to quit calling him “Riker.” 

Positively Negative

Yeah, I’m talking about lady things and lady business again.  Back to dick jokes and obsessing over my hair next time, but indulge me for now, OK?  Or don’t keep reading.  I’m good either way.

The most glorious news ever: my biopsy results are back and negative in the best way possible!  No cancer!  Just some…concerning stuff (there is a technical term, but hell if my dumbass can remember it), but pretty much spot-on to what the doctor suspected.  We’re on for my cryotherapy next month and all is well.

Sort of.

I had a delayed (more annoying than truly serious or life-threatening) reaction to Monday’s procedure, which means no work, no exercise, no yoga, and, as the nurse succinctly put it “nothing goes in your vagina.”  Great.  Now where am I supposed to store my lip gloss?

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

After the concerned responses I received yesterday via emails, texts, comments, smoke signals, I want to a.) thank my friends for confirming my belief that I know the best people on the planet and b.) truly reassure you that I AM OK.  Maybe that would be a good book title: I’m OK, You’re the Fucking Best. 

Anyway, after things got all heavy and cervix-y and PSA-ish up in here I think we’re all ready for a mental palate cleanser/vintage CKD stuff.  And you know what that means: dick jokes.

Don’t look at me like that.  I’m giving the people what they want!

As I previously mentioned, Ed indulged my delight in all things autumn-related and dorky by taking me to a pumpkin patch so I could get pumpkins and decorative gourds* from a no-shit farm.  After spazzing out about the excitement of clipping the pumpkins off the vine LIKE A BOSS/REAL FARMER we headed toward the little country store they had set up with honey, crafts, and my beloved decorative gourds.

Me: “Hey, help me pick out some gourds.”

Ed, handing me one: “Is this OK?”

Me: “Yeah, I like the ones that look like diseased wieners.” *waves gourd around in the air* “And this is why we always wear condoms, kids!”

Ed: “You’re done.  Get in the car.”

*Transformation into my mother is 46% complete.

Now Where’s My Major Award for Not Fainting?

Pro tip: Try not to read every single article about a person close to your age being diagnosed with cancer the day of your own biopsy.
In anticipation of this, Ed planned out a super-fun Weekend o’ Distraction: Steven Wright on Friday night, a trip to a pumpkin patch (where you cut your pumpkins off the vine LIKE A BOSS) and roller derby on Saturday, and champagne brunch at home followed by massive reorganizing/cleaning in anticipation of the holidays.  Then he made an excellent white bean and chicken chili that a.) was delicious and b.) had me in terror that I would fart on the doctor during the exam.*
So, yeah, I had a biopsy yesterday to rule out cervical cancer and things look good.  If we’re talking a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being “nothing to see here folks, move along” and 10 being “you have cancer” I am at a 1, maybe 1.5, in terms of weird shit going on.  I’m waiting on the official results that tell us exactly what’s happening, but the (totally hilarious) doctor was confident that the bad cells could be frozen off and that good cells will regenerate and all will be well.  Full disclosure: when the doctor first mentioned cryotherapy as a treatment for whatever the fuck this is, I inadvertently tuned him out and immediately thought of being cryogenically frozen, which made me think of Austin Powers and Ted Williams.  My brain: ’tis a frightening place.  But I am also convinced that this ability to drown out unpleasantness kept me from fainting in the doctor’s office, which is something that has happened to me before.  Like I told the doctor: I am a delicate flower.
This whole process has been overly long and drawn out thanks to my previous docotor’s office being complete and total fuck-ups** in terms of a.) notifying me that there was an abnormality and b.) getting my results to another doctor so that we can address the issue.  So, this won’t be truly, fully resolved until December-ish (and what woman doesn’t want a healthy cervix for Christmas?) once all tests have been completed and results are back and my body has had a chance to heal.
I’m not in any pain, and this doesn’t affect my daily life in any way.  Well, other than the fact that I need to rock it old school style with maxi pads next month.  And I am under strict orders NOT to go and get myself knocked up in the next 3-4 months, which is actually kind of awesome.  Now when my in-laws demand that I bear them a grandson I can legit tell them, “No can do.  Doctor’s orders!”  BOOYAH!  I’m hoping that next time the doctor tells me I am absolved of vacuuming.  Our vacuum is really old and loud and heavy.  Maybe I’ll get a Dyson for Christmas along with a clean bill of health.
Other than providing you with more knowledge about my cervical health than you ever needed, I just want to remind the ladies out there – and the men who love them – that your annual is serious shit.  It’s not fun, but neither is the alternative.
*This did not happen. 
**They also kept telling me – upon arrival at my appointment – that I did not need to come in annually, and that every two years is fine since I have no family history blahblahTHANKSFORNOTHING!