Thanksgiving E-mail chain

November 28, 2011

(A very important note for readers of today’s blog:  none of the completely fictional characters in the following blog entry has anything in common whatsoever with any member of my family.  The morbid turnip joke and the enzyme comment, however, are real.)

Date:  Thursday, November 10, 2011  10:15 AM
To: jimandmartha@springfield.net; drverona@urochester.edu; sparklepudding@earthlink.net; jverona@gmail.com; lisasmom@aol.com;
Cc: tranzam@verizon.net
From:  Cathy Verona
Subject:  Thanksgiving

Hi Family! :)

It’s that time of year again!   Hoping everybody will sign up to bring their favorite dish off the menu below.  (I hate to be the boss and just tell you what to bring!) Len and I will take care of the turkey, the gravy, and the stuffing.  Respond quickly before somebody grabs your dish!  :)

Appetizers
Beverages
Turkey / Gravy (Cathy and Len!  Again!)
Mashed Potatoes
Stuffing
Squash
Turnips
Green Vegetable
Green Salad
Fresh Cranberry Relish from Real Cranberries (Len)
Canned Cranberry Jelly (for Jacob, ha ha!)
Pies: 
            Apple
            Pumpkin
            Mince (Cathy)

Love,

Mom / Cathy / Kittie Grandma / Auntie (whatever!)

P.S. Cc’ing Silvia on this email, although she’ll be in Honduras with Love the Children.  Love you, too, Silvia!

Date:  Thursday, November 10, 2011  11:15 AM
To:  Cathy Verona
From:  jimandmartha@springfield.net
Subject:  RE:  Thanksgiving

 

Dear Cathy,

Thanks for organizing again this year.  I’ll bring Jacob’s favorite oysters.  Since he’s my favorite nephew, I know how much he loves those!  We’ll probably need something for Baby Lisa to eat as well.

Let me know what else you need.

Your (younger, prettier) sister, Ha ha, Martha

Date:  Thursday, November 10, 2011  11:25 AM
To:  jimandmartha@springfield.net
From:  Cathy Verona
Subject:  RE: RE: Thanksgiving

Hey there, Mart — would you mind filling in the dishes on the menu first before we add extras?

Love, your older and wiser sister, Cathy

P.S. Are we still calling her Baby Lisa?  As a former elementary school volunteer, I think seven might be a bit old for that.

Date:  Friday, November 11, 2011  2:15 AM
To:  Cathy Verona; jimandmartha@springfield.net; drverona@rochester.edu; sparklepudding@earthlink.net; jverona@gmail.com
Cc: tranzam@verizon.net; therapywizard@heartsource.net
From:  lisasmom@aol.com
Subject:  RE: Thanksgiving

 

Dear Aunt Cathy and Everyone,

So this is just going to be great, but sadly Baby Lisa just was diagnosed with a terrible gluten intolerance that has been a real challenge to us all. We’re going to need a gluten-free option for the stuffing, and hopefully also a dessert that’s at least gluten-sensitive!  Pie is, well, just full of flour, and will make for a rumbly tummy for our little girl.  (Or worse.  You don’t want to know.)

Glenn isn’t eating any dairy these days, so I’m also hoping that the mashed potatoes won’t have butter or sour cream or anything like that.  Doesn’t Silvia usually make the potatoes?  Can you tell her?  I’ll bring the Green Salad, with Gluten-Free dressing, and also these great flounder tacos we had in Cabo last March.  You’ll love them!!

Lots of love!!

Vanessa and Glenn

p.s. please cc Glenn on all of these planning emails.  Even though we’re not married, I’m trying to help Baby Lisa feel more comfortable.  There’s a new enlightened, feminist man in the house, so I am just hoping everybody will include him as a full member of the family, digitally and otherwise.

Date:  Friday, November 11, 2011  9:15 AM
To:  lisasmom@aol.com
From:  Cathy Verona
Subject:  RE: RE: Thanksgiving

Dear Vanessa,

Hi Honey.  Nice to hear from you.  It’s been awhile.  You went to Cabo?  I had no idea.  Tacos are such an original idea for Thanksgiving.  Do they celebrate Thanksgiving in Mexico? And who is Glenn?  Will he be attending as well?  As you might have noticed in my first email, Silvia is on her big Honduras trip, and won’t be coming this year, so it’s anybody’s guess who will make the mashed potatoes.  Can I count you in for turnips?  Squash?  Green veg?

I will write immediately to welcome Glenn to our humble abode.  And see what he wants to bring!! ;)

Date:  Thursday, November 11, 2011  9:25 AM
To: therapywizard@heartsource.net
From:  Cathy Verona
Cc: jimandmartha@springfield.net; sparklepudding@earthlink.net; drverona@urochester.edu; jverona@gmail.com; tranzam@verizon.net
Subject:  RE: RE: Thanksgiving

Dear Glenn,

It’s a pleasure to e-meet you.  Vanessa hasn’t told us all that much about you, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy getting to meet the whole cast of characters on Thanksgiving day!  Vanessa did mention that you have some dietary restrictions, so perhaps you’d like to bring the mashed potatoes, made just the way you like them.  I do have high blood pressure, so take it easy on the salt.  Just kidding!  :)

Cathy Verona and the Verona/ Randolph Family

Date:  Friday, November 11, 2011  1:13 PM
To:  Cathy Verona
From: therapywizard@heartsource.net
Cc: lisasmom@aol.com; jimandmartha@springfield.net; sparklepudding@earthlink.net; jverona@gmail.com; tranzam@verizon.net
Subject:  RE: RE: Thanksgiving

Dear Everybody,

Hi!  It’s nice to meet you all, as well.  It’s a real honor and a privilege, and I must say I mean that.

I know I’m sort of the new guy here, but you wouldn’t really have any way of knowing that I am a Professional in Group Dynamics.  I have my Certification from the California School of Group Dynamism (It’s in the mail, they keep telling me!) and I’ve been trained to intervene in with families like yours with unstated power issues having to do with food.  Based on the little I’ve read here, I think I’ll be a valuable addition to the family.  In fact, I’d be willing to offer a free session on “Reacting To Abundance,” right before dessert.

Given my busy schedule here in Santa Fe, I really don’t have time to make the mashed potatoes, but it is my favorite dish, especially with organic garlic.   But if anybody is bringing cheese, please be sure it’s the kind with no enzymes.

Peace,

Glenn

 Date:  Friday, November 11, 2011  6:27 PM
To: therapywizard@heartsource.net
From:  drverona@urochester.edu
Cc: Cathy Verona; jimandmartha@springfield.net; sparklepudding@earthlink.net; jverona@gmail.com; tranzam@verizon.net
Subject:  RE: RE: RE: Thanksgiving

Dear Glenn,

I am Vanessa’s uncle Len.  I am looking forward to our usual family holiday, and a delicious meal but think you might like to know three things.  First, those of us who have actually met in person have wisely chosen a position of nonintervention.   Second, an important family tradition of ours is to serve reasonable portions of healthy food.

Third, as a biochemistry professor, I can say definitively that any cheese made without enzymes is milk.

Signed,

Not your Uncle Len

Dr. Len Verona
James T. McWren Chair of Biochemistry
University of Rochester
Date:  Saturday, November 12, 2011, 8:27 AM
From:  sparklepudding@earthlink.net
To:  Cathy Verona; jimandmartha@springfield.net; drshine@capitol.net; tranzam@verizon.net; jverona@gmail.com
Subject:  RE: Thanksgiving

Hi Mom! Hi Everybody!

Can’t believe it’s almost time!!! So excited to come home for the HOLIDAYS!!!!!!  Whiskers and I have been counting down the days.

I noticed that you listed just “Beverages.”  I just hope there is enough wine this year.  I read in People magazine that you need one liter per person for a big party, so maybe we could try that for once.

Also, I took Vanessa out of this email chain, so don’t tell her I asked, but is Vanessa bringing “Baby” Lisa this year, because “Baby” Lisa and Whiskers don’t really get along?  I’m also fostering two other tiger cats and a Siamese right now, so they are probably going to join in the fun too.  Maybe we could pull together something fun for them!  I mean, nothing fancy or anything.  Just so they don’t feel left out.  Everybody is always fussing over “Baby” Lisa, and I just hope they remember Whiskers is a person too.  I mean a cat, but also a person, kind of.  Love, Suzie

PS.. I will bring pretzels.  Is that enough?

P.P.S.S.  PLEEEEASE don’t tell Vanessa I asked about Lisa.  It’s kind of a sore subject after the whole thing last year.

P.P.P.S Is “Baby” Lisa still nursing? If so, does she have to do it at the table?

 

Date:  November 12, 2011  9:27 AM
From:  lisasmom@earthlink.com
To:  Cathy Verona; jimandmartha@springfield.net; drverona@rochester.edu; tranzam@verizon.net; jverona@gmail.com
Subject:  RE: RE: RE: Thanksgiving

Dear Aunt Cathy,

I heard from Mom that my dear cousin Suzie actually asked whether I am bringing my OWN DAUGHTER to Thanksgiving, Oh.  My.  God.   Could everybody just like drop this subject already?  That thing with Whiskers was totally SELF-DEFENSE??

And on the subject of our family’s nurturing / nourishing methods: you will all be pleased to know that Baby Lisa’s self-weaning is going great.  Our trick has been to be sure that there are plenty of foods available that she enjoys even more than Mommy’s milk.

You might also want to know that Glenn just started AA, so let’s cut back on the sauce, OK?  I just think it would be better for everyone, Susie included.  Can somebody tell her that?  Like, in a nice way.

By the way, and speaking of “nice,” Glenn’s feelings were really hurt by Uncle Len’s enzyme comment.  At this point, he may not even come, which is really going to upset Baby Lisa.  Maybe Uncle Len could offer to meet with Glenn in the driveway to pre-process some of his usual non-negotiable negativity?

Also, does anybody even like turnips?  Maybe we should just drop those this year?  Love, Vanessa

Date:  Saturday, November 12, 2011  2:45 PM
From:  jimandmartha@springfield.net
To:  lisasmom@aol.com; Cathy Verona; drverona@urochester.edu; sparklepudding@earthlink.net
Cc: tranzam@verizon.net; lisasmom@aol.com
Subject:  RE:  RE:  RE: RE: Thanksgiving

Dear Vanessa,

Probably the only ones who will be eating turnips will be me and Aunt Cathy.  It’s all in the upbringing, and I guess this is one tradition that didn’t get passed down.  When we’re all dead, you can cheer at our funerals, “No More Turnips!”

Ha Ha, Just kidding.  Maybe my favorite Nephew Jacob will come up with a delicious turnip dish!

Love, Mom / Martha J

Date:  Saturday, November 12, 2011, 11:48 PM
From:  jverona@gmail.com
To:  Cathy Verona
CC: jimandmartha@springfield.net
Subject:  RE:  Thanksgiving

Hi Mom,

Your long-lost son Jacob here, writing from the big City.  Are you coming down for my art show in December?  I hope so.  Bring Aunt Martha with you — she’s a pro with the subway.  (Love ya, Aunt Martha!)

Anyway, Just wanted to offer a few substitutions for the menu.  I’ve been brining lately, and I am totally a convert. I think that might be the solution to Dad’s problems with the turkey.

Also, I’ve made this great recipe baked in a hollowed-out Hubbard squash.  I use parched corn and wild rice.  Aunt Martha will love it. (Tell her I can’t wait for the oysters!)  I also have these terrific artisanal cranberry sauce from the Greenmarket– I know how much Dad loves to make his, but this will give him a real run for his money.

Love, Jacob

Date:  Sunday, November 13, 2011  4:13 AM
To: Cathy Verona; jimandmartha@springfield.net; drverona@urochester.edu; sparklepudding@earthlink.net; jverona@gmail.com;
Cc: tranzam@verizon.net; therapywizard@heartsource.com
From: lisasmom@aol.com;
Subject:  RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Thanksgiving

Oh, and Baby Lisa’s also lactose intolerant, so no dairy please! She’s a bit sensitive about this, so the whole one dairy dish, one non-dairy dish, isn’t going to work.

Love, Vanessa and Glenn

 Date:  Sunday, November 20, 2011  4:16 AM
To: Cathy Verona; jimandmartha@springfield.net; drverona@urochester.edu; sparklepudding@earthlink.net; jverona@gmail.com;
Cc: tranzam@verizon.net; therapywizard@heartsource.com
From: lisasmom@aol.com;
Subject:  RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Thanksgiving

On nuts, we don’t know for sure, but better safe than sorry! Most labels will say whether the turkey or the stuffing or whatever was prepared in a nut-free facility.

We know everybody in the family really likes sugary, glucose-filled drinks, but we’re all trying to cut back, based on Glenn’s research on the toxic relationship between glucose and the expression of Abundant Emotions.

How about fresh water for everybody?  That’s healthy and delicious.  Xo, Vanessa and Glenn

 

Date:  Sunday, November 20, 2011  5:12 AM
To: Cathy Verona; jimandmartha@springfield.net; drverona@urochester.edu; sparklepudding@earthlink.net; jverona@gmail.com;
Cc: tranzam@verizon.net; therapywizard@heartsource.com
From: lisasmom@aol.com;
Subject:  RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Thanksgiving

I forgot to mention, one thing we’re trying to teach Baby Lisa is to be kind to animals and not be evil, etc., especially after the whole thing with Whiskers last year.  She totally did not mean to bite Suzie’s cat, I’m sure everybody knows.

I know you all agree — I mean who wouldn’t — so I’m assuming this is an organic, local, free-range turkey that was killed painlessly?  V & G

To:  lisasmom@earthlink.net
From:  Cathy Verona
Subject:  RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Thanksgiving

Dear Vanessa,

You seem pretty worried about the meal.  Are you sure you want to come?  I mean, I will do my best to accommodate Baby Lisa and her dietary preferences, and Glenn’s Alcoholism and enzyme problems and all.  But we’re just us little country mice here, eating real food from the regular store, and going to bed at a reasonable hour.  I just don’t know how I’m going to get all these menu items covered.

Love, Aunt Cathy

Date:  Sunday, November 20,  10:15 AM
To: Cathy Verona
From: lisasmom@earthlink.net
Subject:  RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE:Thanksgiving

OK, Fine. You don’t have to draw me a diagram.  We’ll bring the garlic mashed.  And green veg.  AND an entire separate meal for Glenn and Baby Lisa.

V, S, and Baby L

Date:  Monday, November 21, 9:15 AM
To: sparklepudding@earthlink.net
From:  tranzam@verizon.net
Subject:  RE:  Thanksgiving

Dear Suzie —

Quatolochaleato is SO beautiful!  I can not believe my luck to have landed here with such a great group of people for my first Love The Children Exploration.  I’ll be sad not to see you and Whiskers at Thanksgiving, but the emails flying back and forth have been SO crazy and un-Christian!   Here I am with actual starving people who don’t even like have WELLS, and then I go to the internet café and get to read the family drama-du-jour.

What is Mom going to do if nobody signs up for Turnips?  Or Vegetables?  You know Jacob is going to go all passive-aggressive about the cranberries again; I hate to think about what Dad’s going to say to Mom about that one. Remember back before Jesus called me to Mexico, and we used to sneak out and smoke between dinner and pie with Jacob?  Good times, baby, good times.

Try to be forgiving and Full of Grace with Vanessa.  It’s been hard on her taking care of Baby Lisa. Now that I am here with Love the Children, I am sortof understanding how hard that must be.  Maybe next time she can come visit Quatolochaleato on her way to Cabo.

Xo, Silvia

Date:  Wednesday, November 23, 2011  10:15 AM
To: jimandmartha@springfield.net; drverona@urochester.edu; sparklepudding@earthlink.net; jverona@gmail.com; lisasmom@aol.com;
Cc: tranzam@verizon.net; therapywizard@heartsource.com
From:  Cathy Verona
Subject:  RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Thanksgiving

Dear Everybody:

Since I haven’t really been able to fill out the whole meal, I’ve just decided to assign dishes again this year.

Appetizers:  Vanessa
Beverages:  Suzie and Whiskers
Turkey / Gravy (Cathy and Len)
Mashed Potatoes:  Glenn
Stuffing:  (Gluten Free)  Martha
Squash:  Jacob
Turnips:  Martha
Green Vegetable:  (Let’s skip it this time)
Green Salad:  Vanessa
Fresh Cranberry Relish from Real Cranberries (Len)
Another Really Nice Cranberry Relish from the Greenmarket (Jacob)
Pies:              Apple, Pumpkin, and Mince from Caruso’s bakery.  (Thanks to the Google for helping me find a gluten-free bakery so nearby!)  

(And, as we agreed last year, the usual holiday rules will be in effect:

Help yourselves to seconds
Clear your own place, please
Moment of silence for Grandma Alice between dinner and dessert
Biters of any species get a time out
Post-meal napping allowed — even encouraged!
No baiting Len about the Tea Party.)

Can’t wait to see you.  Since nobody asked, 11:45 is a good time to arrive.

Love,

Mom / Cathy / Kittie Grandma / Auntie (whatever!)  :)

Date:  Friday, November 25, 2011  8:22 AM
To: jimandmartha@springfield.net; drverona@urochester.edu; sparklepudding@earthlink.net; jverona@gmail.com; lisasmom@aol.com;
Cc: tranzam@verizon.net; therapywizard@heartsource.com
From:  Cathy Verona
Subject:  RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Thanksgiving

 

Hi Family!

Now that’s what I call a great holiday!

Thanks to Glenn and Vanessa for bringing that unique celery appetizer along with the fish tacos. After that little talk in the driveway, it seemed like Glenn and Len got along just great.

And Suzie, thanks for that delicious sparking cider!  That was a nice touch, and I am sure that Vanessa appreciated the fact that the dirty jokes didn’t get quite so out of hand this year.  Little Pitchers have such big ears!

Speaking of Little, I was so proud of both Whiskers and no-longer-a-Baby-Lisa this year.  They got along so well, and welcomed in the foster grandkitties so nicely.

Jacob, your brined turkey and that wonderful squash dish were quite the revelation.  And Martha’s Oysters.  Big city dining here in little Rochester!  ;%

Thanks to Jim for bringing that (Surprise!) Broccoli Surprise at the last minute, (I didn’t know you even read all these emails!)

But mostly I’m just thankful for Caruso’s bakery!  Who knew gluten and dairy free pies could be so delicious!  Maybe I’m mellowing in my old age:  store-bought pies!  What would grandma Alice have said, rest her soul?  At least we still eat our turnips.  And who would have guessed Lisa would love them too!  Two helpings.

Love to Silvia and those sweet little children in Quessteeianaloawo she is taking such good care of.  Wish we could pack up some stuffing for them.

Such a delicious feast.  We must be one of the luckiest families in America.  See you all soon: Christmas is just around the corner!

I’m thinking ham.

Love,

Mom / Cathy / Kittie Grandma / Auntie

GailNHB November 29, 2011 at 9:13 am

Too funny, Launa. Too funny. Thanks for the early morning giggles.

Glenn, Vanessa, and still-weaning-7-year-old Lisa would have had a very hard time at our table this Thanksgiving, that’s for sure.

This family’s story makes me grateful for the far milder form of relational insanity that plagues both sides of our family.

I hope you had a lovely and far less complicated Thanksgiving gathering with your loved ones.

T. November 29, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Have you been hacking into my email?

Launa November 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm

You know, I was trying to convince my family members (none of whom are referenced in any way whatsoever in this post) that the themes of this entirely fictional chain are utterly universal. Thanks for the proof, T.

Zaro November 30, 2011 at 2:44 am

That was one of the funniest most original most thigh slapping things I have read for ages. Totally wonderful. I am passing it on. Loved it!!!!!!

Elaine November 30, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Yes, truly universal. I can say with certainty that we’re the annoying healthy relatives. Whatevs.

ARC November 30, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Hahahaha. I read through that whole thing and it cracks me up. We have a BabyT with a dairy allergy and hubby and I have been avoiding grains but we try not to impose on everyone else :D

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: