First, you're at home, right?? You're not in an airport or recently arriving from an airport or welcoming people who came from an airport, right? RIGHT???
Because this isn't like we're about to shame you in the way that if you were to wear white after Labor Day we'd shame you (also, go ahead and wear white) this is like if you go out and make yourself a vector of transmission of a deadly virus that our family members are currently battling WE SHAME YOU. This is not out of a lack of empathy, rather, this is out of an abundance of empathy. For all those who are sick and dying and grieving due to a massive failure of leadership and policy.
So, we want to be clear: Whatever it is you think you *have* to do this Thanksgiving: you do not.
On to the things you can and should read watch eat and do this Thanksgiving!
The Joylessness of Cooking by @hels | "Obligation, it turns out, is the real thief of joy; they wouldn’t make so many TV commercials featuring women who seem ludicrously happy to be doing laundry if endless compulsory domesticity didn’t slowly sandpaper away at the soul."
A Crisis of Empathy by @lyzl | "What I am saying is that as humans, the target of our empathy has more to do with ourselves than the actual pain in the world. And our pandemic has put two things at odds: lives and livelihoods, when it was never a zero sum game between the two."
Bonus read for policy wonks and feminists and feminists who are policy wonks: IWPR's new Build(ing) the Future: Bold Policies for a Gender Equitable Recovery
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Final Harvest by Emily Dickinson
Jesus and John Wayne: How white evangelicals corrupted a faith and fractured a nation by Kristin Kobes de Mez
The new Thanksgiving fav Knives Out
We're about to watch Portrait of a Lady on Fire (and can't wait)
Arrival Aliens arriving is like the only thing that hasn't happened in 2020. (Unless you count this. But, you know, "It might be art.")
TV Shows | The first two recommendations presume you've watched the earlier seasons of these shows. If you haven't, go ahead and do that first.
The Crown Season 4
Superstore Season 6
Great British Baking Show Collection 8
Yeah, so. Stay off twitter this holiday weekend.
Mashed potatoes! | Put the water in the pot. Salt the water. Salt it again. (You can never have too much salt in potato water. Never. That's why in our house the question is never, "Did you salt the water?" The question is always, "Did you salt it again?") Put the potatoes into the water. Turn it up to a full blast boil. Cook at a rolling boil (or whatever keeps your water from overflowing) until the potatoes are soft all the way through. Drain. If you didn't already peel them, pull off the skins. In a sauce pan, eyeball how much milk and butter you think you might want and melt the butter into the milk. Pour that warm, melty mixture into the potatoes (or, conversely, drop the soft potatoes into the wam mixture). Mash. Add extra milk and butter as needed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve. Best while hot!
Gingerbread | This is perhaps the world's most complicated gingerbread but it is *so good* and also *perfect* for the window from the end of November til the days start getting longer again. Which is mercifully soon.
The first day after the winter solstice is the *single best day of the entire year.*
Take a walk.
Be gentle with yourself. This is a hard time. An impossibly hard time. A hard time for which no one was prepared and throughout which we're getting painfully little guidance and too many confusing messages. (Though, we think we were pretty clear with the opening message, even if one could not reasonably classify that message as "gentle.") Just do the next indicated thing and don't worry about the long term right now. Especially not this weekend. Read a book, watch a bad show, eat some gingerbread, take a walk, have a drink. Do whatever is going to make you feel grounded and halfway sane in an insane moment. We'll be right there with you.
And if you are an essential worker keeping us fed and safe and who can't take time off, if you are one of the millions of people subject to the policy failures we mentioned before, if you are a healthcare worker keeping us all safe and healthy, we salute you, we are thinking of you, you are in our prayers and our policy work.