If you don't know that story, they went to college together. They knew each other before that. C.I. dated Elaine's older brother when she was in high school (the brother was out of school and out of college). That's how they met. And so the two of them and Rebecca are college roommates. And it's Thanksgiving. And Rebecca's already home for it. And C.I.'s getting ready to leave when she realizes Elaine's not going anywhere. She invites Elaine to tag along but Elaine begs off so C.I. calls and says she's not coming home for Thanksgiving.
Instead, they stay on campus and they invite everyone they know who didn't get to go home for the holidays and have this huge spread.
And so, ever since then, that's what Elaine and C.I. do on Thanksgiving. They spend it together. You can count on one hand the number of Thanksgivings they haven't spent together. One of those was the first year Elaine and I were a couple. And my mother told me, "Mike, you need to make sure that doesn't happen again." I hadn't even thought about it. But my mother was right. We do Christmas there (my folks) and we do Thanksgiving here.
Thanksgiving at C.I.'s is a production.
I don't mean it's stuffy. It's not. But there is a ton of food and there are a ton of guests. That will include family (and Elaine and C.I. are family to each other after all these years) and it will include friends and it will include someone -- like a professor a friend of C.I.'s knows and knows will be alone at Thanksgiving. The place is packed.
C.I. does a lot of the cooking herself and has the rest catered. She does the staples. All the turkey, dressing and gravy she'll do by herself. And the first time I was here and saw her huge pots of gravy, I thought, "That's way too much." It's not because there are so many people. She'll do a few pies by herself. She says that each year she does less and less herself. Like the ham. She'd make good hams but she makes a great turkey. You should see what she puts on and around all the turkeys when she puts them in the ovens. But she makes a great turkey and her way of thinking this year was that her ham's only okay so better to let that be catered when it can be good. (That's her score, by the way. I loved her hams.)
Anyway. I was eating some of the finger snacks she makes. And then realized I better go blog before it was way too late and everyone thought, "He's not blogging!"
If there's a snapshot tomorrow, everyone will be blogging at some point. If not, C.I. will do stuff at The Common Ills and I will blog here tomorrow night. I don't know about anybody else. I think everyone goes back to regular schedule.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"