Happy Thanksgiving/World Cup

I don’t know about your household, but here at the farm this week’s focus is on turkey stuffing mashed potatoes green beans gravy pumpkin pie football soccer.

Most of those who will attend out Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday grew up with a soccer ball at their feet and for the entire crowd, soccer is the beautiful game and the odd timing of the World Cup during Thanksgiving week, a beautiful thing.

At the meal itself, I expect to walk on eggshells as I desperately search for benign topics to talk about.  The flash points will not be politics but people’s deep and abiding affection for different soccer players.  The Thanksgiving attendees watch a lot of premiership soccer, and all these soccer players have now scattered to the winds to play for the country they sometimes seem to have been born in.  This leaves me 100 % confused about Thanksgiving attendees loyalties and 100% confident I will annoy everyone by liking the wrong player or the wrong team.   

Will it even be safe to say, “How about that American squad?”  Probably not because the USA team messed up their chances to get out of the group stage yesterday by earning a tie with Wales.  And speaking of Wales, as I watched the game with some family members yesterday, I blurted out a comment about loving the Welch singing in the stands. Not a good moment.  This is just the sort of annoying thing I am likely to do. 

Perhaps my Thanksgiving should involve a vow of silence in order to avoid ruffling feathers.  One thing is for certain, I will lighten things up with my usual “go to” of a Custom Flower Essence mix to spritz.

All attendees will get spritzed as they enter the stadium house.  Seriously spritzed.  The spritz will be heavy on Anxiety, the Letting Go Flower, Don’t Worry-Bee Happy, Arbor Garden, Indian Pipe, Fairy Rose, Grounding, Eyes of Mary and Gorse.   We will need all the perspective, calm, peace, detachment, and humor possible because describing the Thanksgiving attendees as soccer fans is a cosmic understatement putting it mildly.  This is a group in orbit passionate about the game.

Let’s just hope the spritz helps remind them soccer is a GAME (I swear I heard a voice shouting Soccer is Life as I typed that!).

But back to the Flower Essence spritz. As they always do, the little people in the crowd will dance around under the mist loving the spriz.  The older ones will navigate through the Flower Essence mist without comment.  Partly this is because they’ve experienced my spritzing for thirty five years and partly this will be because they will be DISTRACTED and not by the excellent cranberry sauce or pumpkin bread. 

They will be concentrating on the day’s games which on Thanksgiving Day includes a 5 am tip between Switzerland and Cameroon, an 8 am tip between South Korea and Uruguay, an 11 am tip between Portugal and Ghana and a 2 pm tip between Brazil and Serbia. But I suspect the Thanksgiving day conversational fretting focus will not be on these games. Instead the gathered crowd will be doing the math about Friday’s game of USA vs England.  

As I mentioned, the attendees watch a lot of the premiership games so they know a great many of the World Cup players.  They love the English team.  Frankly they know and love a lot of the teams, but still, the USA team will be messing with their heads absorbing their attention as they endlessly ponder, “Can the US overcome its heartbreaking tie with Wales yesterday to move out of the early rounds?”

Being the person responsible for four hundred forty of the last forty three Thanksgivings, I have my own reasons for spritzing with a mix that will help me detach and let go.  I know what is involved in getting this feast to the table. I know how much advance prep and thought is required not to mention elbow grease. And this year for the second year in a row, I am not in charge.

Three serious soccer fans are responsible for the meal, and I am only in charge of the mashed potatoes.  This is a needed refreshing and appreciated change for me.  Let’s just hope I can really let go, because before this trio brings the meal to the table there will be 12 more World Cup soccer matches to divert them. Knowing how distracted this may make them, it will take my complete focus to NOT do any backseat cooking. 

Yesterday I failed miserably at not interfering.  I texted the three pillars of the meal- Ben ( lifelong soccer player and serious soccer fanatic ) Charlie ( lifelong soccer player and serious soccer fanatic ) and Emily ( lifelong soccer player and serious soccer fanatic ) to see if they “needed anything at the grocery store.” I am nothing if not obvious in my backseat cooking.

The trio is a group who keep their phones close so as to chime in immediately if someone shares a timely meme or gif on a group thread. The eight hours of radio silence led me to suspect know that the trio was watching glued to England vs Iran then Senegal vs Netherlands then Wales vs USA and also studiously avoiding my desperate bid to do some backseat cooking.

Radio Silence. It’s a special and rare thing in this era of cell phones. I should have enjoyed it. Instead I wondered if they knew exactly how limp the green beans on offer at the grocery store were and whether they had found better or were even thinking about green beans.

Frankly, after the USA vs Wales game I didn’t mind that no one was answering my texts.  I knew they all needed to bounce back from the tie in their own ways. For me it was a wander through the produce aisle at the packed supermarket wondering if the chefs in charge of our Thanksgiving even CARED about green beans.

Hopefully today’s tips with Argentina vs Saudi Arabia at 5 am today Denmark vs Tunisia at 8 am, Mexico vs Poland at 11 am and France vs Australia at 2 pm will help them all get focused on the task ahead and take my mind of the green beans.

My confidence in the above statement has just been shattered. Its 6 am as I type, and I have already been informed the 5 am game is in CRISIS as Argentina is behind. This, I was told, is a serious problem because they all LOVE Lionel Messe. Apparently more than green beans.

Yup. I need to let go.  On Thanksgiving day, I vow to join the grandchildren on the floor with the puppets, matchbox cars and play food and leave the cooks to their kitchen tasks. At worst we will have a meal of mashed potatoes. I will not care about the meal and if it contains green beans.  If soccer is just a GAME then I need to remember that Thanksgiving dinner is only a MEAL. It’s the faces around the table that count and hopefully at least for a few moments they won’t be stewing about a thirty two polygon sided ball.