I have a vivid imagination.
Here's how the fantasy started. I was standing in the frozen foods aisle at Whole Foods. I'd like to say it was probably the bronchitis and the drugs I was taking, but I'm afraid it is just the way I am.
I saw a Tofurky - a vegetarian turkey substitute. This made me think of one of my favorite movies, About a Boy. I envisioned me, the Pastor and the kids sitting around and watching the heartwarming tale about a selfish bachelor and a boy with a crazy, suicidal mom. Sure, it's sad. But in the end everything is ok and the pieced-together family sits around a table eating a Tofurky at their holiday meal. After we watched the movie, I'd make a feast that included a Tofurky, and our pieced-together family could have a family meal. On holidays in years to come, all the kids would remember fondly the time they got to try Tofurky. And we'd all live happily ever after.
I'll give myself credit here. I was at least willing to abandon my fantasy. December 23 rolls around and the Pastor has been working non-stop, everyday. I knew I had to alter my Christmas expectations when I had to remind him it was going to be Christmas and the people he was going to have working on our rental properties might, just might, want to celebrate the dear little Baby Jesus with their families. (On a side note, having to remind your husband about Christmas is one indication that you won't be receiving presents.)
Then Nate had to have his wisdom teeth taken out. What an ordeal. On the first attempt, December 22, the power went out just before they sedated him, so we had to reschedule for the 23. This rescheduling meant I had to take him to the doctor's office in another city, which meant I had to drive him home alone and try to keep him from putting his fingers in his mouth while trying not to kill us in a wreck. Then I had to go to not one but two different pharmacies. It was all very stressful. By the time I finally got him home, I was asking myself who are these pain pills for exactly?
Once I got home, I put together the feast. There would be no family showing of About a Boy, but I made a meal anyway: Tofurky, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn casserole and gravy. And why not? I'm not one to push my vegetarianism on others, but I make meat all the time. It's about time we had a vegetarian holiday meal around here.
By the time dinner was served, poor Nate didn't even feel like trying to eat even mashed potatoes. I sat down with the Pastor and the girls. It wasn't some fantastical, magical experience. Nobody looked as happy as they do in About a Boy; no one was even as happy as the Mom who had tried to commit suicide in the movie. In the end I didn't even tell the girls it was called Tofurky. I no longer cared.
The Pastor, true to form, said "Is this one of the special meals you were planning?" I know I can't communicate tone here, so let me explain in more detail. Reread that quote from the Pastor, but read it in a sarcastic, uninterested voice. And then make a noise after that sounds something like hummmmph.
I didn't use any of Nate's pain meds but I did make myself feel better in a way that is allowed by the Church - I made Christina Ferrare's Truffle Oil Mac N Cheese. I know what you are thinking. I haven't had much luck lately impressing these Hamburger Helper people I live with, so why would I make a complicated, expensive pasta recipe with four different kinds of cheeses and truffle oil? I did it for me. It was delicious.
I'm going to go make myself a bowl right now and curl up in front of the tv and watch About a Boy. This mac n cheese may be the only Christmas present I get.
Well that, and getting to watch Hugh Grant. I also own Love Actually and Bridget Jones's Diary. I may make it a triple feature.