A Thanksgiving Story. (posted December 7, 2003)

This thanksgiving was at the same time busy and not busy. It was wonderful.

I had thought of taking a little trip to Albany to visit the family seat, but I heard that 1. it takes 8 hours to drive and 2. Michelle wasn’t sure if she’d have Friday off from work and 3. I had a big chemistry test on the Monday following, and I don’t want to get a C in chemistry. C does not stand for Chemistry, as far as I’m concerned. I’m pretty sure B does, but would be pleasantly and shockingly surprised if I found out later that A stands for chemistry. Not likely!

So, I decided that in light of my terrible schedule I’d just stay home. And in light of my terrible ankle injury, it’s a darn good thing I did. I can drive the stick shift around a little bit but lordy I don’t need to do that for 8 hours straight. So we made plans to go to Aurora’s house for a big sumptuous thanksgiving meal, prepared by herself and her culinary school fiancé. And Gabulo came out for thanksgiving as well.

And also, I was asked to care for two cats and two turtles. By two turtles I mean feed one turtle and “check in on Claire while you’re at our house doing your laundry, ok?� So I was waltzing around with 4 other-persons keys on my key ring. As waltzing as you can get while you’re on crutches!

Wednesday night Michelle and I went to Mariss and Kelly’s to do laundry. That was great. We ordered in ridiculous sandwiches (why do warm sandwiches in Pittsburgh have lettuce on them? That’s so strange) and sat around until very late. And then I locked up and went home.

Thursday morning Gabulo showed up and we went over to Jared’s to feed his cats. Now, as I may have mentioned before, I’m on crutches. That means Clumsy. So I dropped my keys on the way out of his apartment. Then home, where we mashed up about 3X too many potatoes and whipped up a green bean casserole: one of my favorite foods, but also one I cannot justify making for myself and myself only. And it’s a pretty special food that I can’t justify making. The dinner was wonderful and the spread amazing and the company super duper. We played parlor games afterwards and went home a tiny bit too late in a gentle snow.

And then I realized that 2 of the 4 other peoples keys were missing. Yikes!

So I tore through my bag, and through all of my pockets, and got the flashlight and crutched down the driveway to see if when I had moved my car the keys had fallen. And I checked my car and Gabulo’s car and no key. It was terrible. Luckily I was totally exhausted so I was able to get to sleep ok, but when I woke up on Friday morning too early I could not get back to sleep at all. I kept going over in my head where they keys could have fallen off of my key ring. This was especially frustrating because I don’t usually lose keys. I’m a very good person to give things like keys and pieces of identification and other things to. And worse, one of the keys’ missing was to Mariss and Kelly’s house, and they’re so nice about letting us use their washer and dryer that I didn’t want to have to tell them that their key was missing.

I figured the key’s were in two of three places: either in Jared’s house near the table I’d tossed them on when we first got there, out side of his apartment where I dropped the keys, or gone for freakin’ ever. We got up and went out to lunch at our wonderful and super and delightful new café and then headed over to Jared’s where first Michelle tried to ‘break in’ to his apartment through a window (all locked) and then I started buzzing people. The first guy I buzzed came out all disheveled and sleepy and I said “you don’t know me but I’m supposed to feed come cats upstairs and I don’t have the key, can I come in?� and he kind of grunted and stepped back. Yay! I we went up up up and . . . There were the keys! Right on the floor where I’d dropped the whole right. I was so happy, and we all stayed and petted Jared’s cats for an hour or so before heading over to feed the turtle.

That night we went back to our new café for some live music. It is a fantastic place there. It’s just a few blocks away from our house and is right on the edge of several incredibly different neighborhoods. The proprietress is a cool lady and fun to chat with, and the coffee is the best I’ve ever had, and definitely the best I’ve had since Puerto Rico. Is it strange that I only like really strong coffee? I hope we’ll have a chance to go back there often, and really, I think it’s so great to have a local place with live music and a good atmosphere. After 4 years in Spanish Harlem it’s especially appreciated.

Saturday we spent all day doing laundry. It was amazing. And then we went to an Ouve show, starring Friend Bruce. They’re fantastic, they always are. Sunday morning we had brunch at the coop (another wonderful local place) and saw Gabulo off. Michelle and I went back to Café Bliss and spent a few hours doing work there, and then I regrouped for Chemistry Fun with my classmates. After, you know, I locked Jared out of his apartment and he had to break in for real. Yikes! I’ll never be asked to watch the cats again!

When I was little we had to go around the table and say what we were thankful for this year. There’s so many things I’m thankful for, but this weekend I was most thankful I’d found the lost keys and that I had good friends with me to look for them.