Skip to content

LIZ DREIER | Guess who’s not coming to dinner

This year, it looks as if we’ll be hosting a Zoom Thanksgiving celebration. With some family members working in offices and classrooms and others being in the high-risk category, our family is on board with the idea of staying safe. 
Liz Dreier Column 08312020
Liz Dreier

As the saying goes, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”  

Sometimes, that includes the best-laid plans of women.  

This year, it looks as if we’ll be hosting a Zoom Thanksgiving celebration. With some family members working in offices and classrooms and others being in the high-risk category, our family is on board with the idea of staying safe. 

It’s a huge break from tradition to be sure. For the past 30-something years, the turkey day gathering has been at my house. The participants haven’t changed much over time: My husband and me, our three daughters and spouses/significant others, my husband’s aunt and my sister from West Virginia.   

Over the years, we’ve also hosted our daughters’ school chums who couldn’t get home for the holiday, a couple of college professors and a few friends from around town. Our guests would arrive early in the afternoon and hang out, nibbling on crackers and cheese, sipping adult beverages.  We would stuff ourselves, watch football, and succumb to a tryptophan coma. After that, there would be pie, games, old photo albums, and family stories. 

Then we’d eat more pie, because at our house, that’s how we roll.

Things were looking good for us to go forward with the dinner again this year until our youngest daughter announced she was tentatively planning on spending the holiday with her sister in North Carolina. That should have been our first clue.

“We still have our Pittsburgh kids,” I said to my husband.  “And your aunt, and maybe my sister.”

Then over the weekend, Pittsburgh daughter called to tell us that some of her co-workers had tested positive for COVID-19. She’s keeping her family at home.

“I don’t know how to cook a Turkey!” she texts me. This is a woman with a master’s degree in education.

“Google it!”  I tell her. “Besides, you’ve had a baby. Compared to labor, making Thanksgiving Dinner is a piece of cake — or pie, as the case may be.”

My husband calls his aunt up north, and they both agree it’s safer if she stays at home. Being a practical person, she’s OK with that plan.

The person who is not okay with that plan is my sister. She’s still not speaking to me for shutting down the last three holidays.  

“Is there a downside to this?” remarks Mr. Sarcasm when I tell him.  

“That’s my sister you’re insulting. Be kind. Remember, I’m in charge of the cooking!”

This seems to quiet him temporarily, but he can’t resist humming to himself a little as he walks away.

Even though it will be just the two of us, I’m going ahead with the usual meal. At the appointed time, we’ll turn on Zoom and laugh at our grandson’s antics. Maybe there will be some tears because we can’t hug him or anyone else. We’ll toast each other.

Then we’ll eat another piece of pie, because at our house, that’s how we roll.