Peter 'Fish' Case: If you're flying this Thanksgiving, leave the mashed potatoes behind

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Okay, welcome to Wednesday, possibly the most heavily traveled time of the year. Yup, you're all piling into your vehicles and scurrying off to Grandma's house (unless you're Grandma) to try and beat the other scurriers. Let me save you some time; those people you're trying to beat took the week off and left on Monday, which means you're stuck on the road today and tomorrow competing for roadway dominance, a game you know you can't win. But best of luck and try and remember it's that time of the year to be thankful — thankful for the driver that insisted texting that thumbs up emoji couldn't wait and slammed into the car in front of them, bumping up your commute by an hour.

Fun fact, and before I begin, I want you to know that I've booked a round trip ticket to Newark just so I can test this. The TSA just put out their list of travel tips, because for those of you that won't be slugging it out with the texters on the highways today and tomorrow, you'll likely be flying. But this year their tips include foods that must be checked versus food that can be carried on. Here's the part I'll be testing: you can bring an uncarved Thanksgiving bird as your carry-on baggage (I'll let you know how that goes); it can even be frozen. Now I can bring a pumpkin pie with me on board, but I can't bring mashed potatoes? They say one is liquidy (mashed potatoes) and one is not (pumpkin pie). Yes, I agree they are basically the same consistency, I don't get it either, but if you're traveling with mashed potatoes, you're going to need to check them. But then, if you're traveling with mashed potatoes it's safe to assume that won't bother you.

For me, tomorrow kicks off the holiday season, and I do appreciate the good will it tends to conjure up in people. They become more philanthropic, generous with their time, and most actually become a little kinder — and what's not to like about that? If only we could capture that in a bottle and keep it year-round, but alas we can't. Now, not everyone is like that; some people just flat-out use this time of the year to bring up a new argument, but some people you just can't make happy, and frankly I hope they're sitting next to me and my thawing Butterball on my flight to Newark.

Then there's this flip side to everything: you're hosting and don't have to leave your house, which means everyone comes to you. Please know this: every four hours you're gonna need to blow out of your own home because your

family is driving you nuts. Their stuff is everywhere, you can't take two steps without being engaged in a conversation you want nothing to do with and best of all they're drinking all your booze. You need that booze, you want that booze and you can say nothing because your spouse keeps reminding you it's only for a few days.

Before I paint too much of a broad stroke picture and mislead you that I'm this guy, I'm not. Okay, maybe a little; I definitely don't like traveling when there are a ton of people on the road, but I really don't mind it when folks come to stay with us over the holidays. Years ago, my mother-in-law used to come and stay with us from Thanksgiving through Christmas; I honestly liked having her around. Since her passing coupled with my own mother's passing, the holiday has changed a lot for us. We were the traditional hosts of the holidays, but that's no longer a given. These two women were the glue that kept the holidays here in Vermont, and frankly I miss it.

Whatever your holiday tradition is — travel, host, both — I truly hope you have a wonderful day and it's filled with all the family and friends you can tolerate. But always remember Fish's rule for enjoying the holidays: you have a choice; you can be the person that makes people smile or the person that makes people drink you have the power. Happy Thanksgiving.

Peter "Fish" Case is a man with an opinion. He offers up a weekly podcast discussion that can be heard at theearspoon.com. Questions, compliments and complaints can be sent to him at fish@theearspoon.com. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.

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