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Thanksgiving Dishes


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Hi Libby

I would like to propose a different scenario.

Your friend asks you over and says "You can bring that dish you made last year, only not so much of it."

~~ Could it be that she is understanding of your financial situation and wants to make this less of a burden on you?

Then, you tell her you were thinking of making apple pie or fruit salad instead. She says "fine or you could bring both."

~~ Is it possible that she is feeling like she offended you by suggesting something that would cost you less? Some people are very sensitive about having their finances noticed... particularly if it seems like someone is trying to offer them charity. Could she have felt like she stomped on your pride a bit by asking you to bring less and then tried to back out of it by saying that basically whatever you wanted to do would be fine?

Unfortunately, I don't know your friend, so I have no way of "knowing what she's like" in general. If this is something that comes up often, it might be good for you to look further into it. If it's out of character for her to hurt your feelings this way, though, maybe you're misreading her intentions.

In any case, I hope it smoothes over and you have a nice dinner. It's got to be hard without your family when you're missing them.

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Now, Libby darling.....bring your sweet potatoes or whatever and stop being so sensitive about what she said.  Maybe there are so many dishes on the table that she doesn't want a really huge one of yams, that's all.  I think you're over-reacting a teensy bit.

She has to firm up what you're bringing to keep her menu balanced out.  I love when my guests bring part of the dinner, but if they change their mind or do something different it kinda messes things up.  But I'm a control queen, as we all know....

So, Libby:  I have 2 sisters and a brother, assorted in-laws, 3 nephews and a niece, 2 great-nieces and a great nephew, 3 step-children and 3 grandchidren, 2 sisters-in-law and several cousins......and guess where I'm having Thanksgiving?

With friends.

I cooked it (for 10 people) 2 years in a row.  Did anyone in my family offer to do it when I said I didn't want to do it this year?  No.  So we are going to a friend's house.

Don't stay home and be mad.  Go and have a good time and eat lotsa turkey!


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Stop being so much like me -- it's not good for you!!

I think I know what you're doing because I do it all the time.  In Cognitive Therapy it's often called 'mind reading.'  How could you know without a doubt that she was deliberately being rude when she said those things?   

She's trying to get her Thanksgiving gig together. That might be what's dominating her thoughts -- not dissing you. People's minds get full, and things don't get communicated the right way sometimes. So why get mad about something that may not have happened?

And if she was truly offensive, why not try a little forgiveness?  I have really bad ADD with some Asperger's traits, so it's likely that I offend most of the people that I come in contact with every day (I'm probably offending you right now).  The fact is, it kills me that I come off that way.  Stuff just doesn't come out right.  Sometimes my affect is all wrong because I'm MI.  I think that everyone can be like that at times, though, especially when they are preoccupied.


I hope that helped.

-- Abby

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Hi Libby,

Here's how I would take it. She wants the sweet potatoes, and was concerned enough to tell you that you don't need to wear yourself out making extra.  Good.

Tell her that you can only make one other dish.  No need to explain why.  Ask which she would rather have.

Hope that helps.

Mine?  I will be bringing my dad home from the hospital the day before, so looks like I'll be fixing it all. No problem though, I'm a good cook and not daunted by any turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


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Heya Libby,

Yah, not sure if your friend means well or is being a jerk.  Oh well, if you decide to go, just *tell* her what you're bringing instead of asking.

On another note, you Americans have Thanksgiving wayyy too close to Christmas.  I don't know how *anyone* can tolerate those two within a month of each other.  I would lose it (what little I've got) for sure.

Try to have fun.


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"if you decide to go, just *tell* her what you're bringing instead of asking."

This gets my vote.

Just a suggestion, but fruit plates are cheap to put together, but are very appreciated and disappear quickly. At my last book club meeting, I was short on cash, so raided the frige, sliced up a bunch of fruit I already had (apples, black grapes, asian pears, melon) and sprung for a $2 container of yogurt fruit dip. Nobody complained it was all eaten.

Maybe a fruit plate and a small dish of taters?

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Hiya Libby,

I don't know if this will work for you, but it does for me.

Instead of wondering what she meant--because it sounds like you kind of know the type of person she is--write her and the behavior off altogether, as in:

Yeah, she's stingy, and anal about stuff. But it's fun to hang with everyone on Thanksgiving.

What I'm trying to say, and not expressing very well, is that instead of wondering about her intent, or suspecting her motives, just admit to yourself that she's perhaps less than a perfect hostess, and yammers on about bring-this-don't-eat-that. Then just write it off, don't worry about it, and enjoy a nice meal.

You know how our friends all have their own strange habits. Can you ignore her selfishness and enjoy yourself? If so, go! If not, maybe find somewhere else--or as you say, stay home and spare yourself the socializing w/ folks you don't know.


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