Is the gravy done yet?


2008. Thanksgiving.

My family was gathered around my mother’s dining room table (with the leaf in) and waiting for dinner to begin. By this point, I was so sick of cooking and having my man-boobs (metaphorically) over the stove I was ready to kill someone. I was completing the last thing- orange and white wine gravy- to compliment my citrus-roasted turkey.

“Can we eat yet?” I heard my brother, Craig, call from the dining room.

“We’ll just start and the gravy can come later!” my sister Pam chimed in.

I continued to hear many comments of the same nature over the next five minutes. The whole time, I tried to keep my attention on stirring my orange and white wine gravy.

“C’mon! We don’t need the gravy! Just come sit down so we can eat,” my brother-in-law, Darrio, shouted at me in the kitchen.

Now, I don’t know if you, Reader, have ever experienced a total nervous, physical and emotional meltdown before, but trust me, it AIN”T pretty. How do I know? Well, I had one after hearing Darrio’s comment.

“I’ve been slaving over a hot ass stove all morning and you can’t wait five more minutes for some damned gravy?” I said as I began to crack. “If you think you’re gonna sit your asses in the dining room and tell ME what you do and don’t need, I swear I’ll clear that damned table and nobody will be eating today! How many of you even offered to help? None! You’re gonna sit and wait until I’m done and we will ALL sit down and give thanks for this dinner that you won’t have if I hear another word from anybody in that dining room!”

As I exhaled and regained my composure, I only heard absolute silence. I later learned that everyone was afraid to speak, even my mother. I finished my gravy, poured it into the gravy bowl and entered the dining room. As I sat down, I opened a bottle of wine and poured almost half the bottle into my glass. After taking a sip, I relaxed more and asked in a chipper tone, “So, who’s going to say grace?”

They answered my question with downcast heads and silence.


I actually learned to not let tension build up inside of me until I was about to explode. Coming from a family of alphas and being an alpha myself, there was nothing said that actually was that bad. My brother-in-law’s comment was really just the nudge to send the avalanche over the cliff, nothing more. Since then, I have really learned and tried my hardest to carry out taking my time and not worrying about the small stuff; yeah, don’t sweat the small stuff. I will admit that it’s easier said than done.

The other thing I learned from this adventure in cooking, is how strong my true alpha nature is when pushed to the edge. I’ve always felt that I’m a blunt person, but that’s only been because I had to be to survive in my family. My Thanksgiving outburst showed me how “up-for-grabs” the Alpha #1 position truly is; even my mother was silent! There was obviously some special force within the passion that I have about cooking that totally exploded in the faces of my family and left them absolutely unable to challenge me. It was a good feeling, but not one that happens for me very often. Still, it’s good to know I can step-it-up when one of my passions is attacked.

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