Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving: Young, Married & Childless

When you don't have kids, or in-town family, or time to attempt cooking and possibly destroying a Thanksgiving dinner (and very likely your microscopic kitchen, as well), you just go out on holidays. Even if you already ate out three days that week. Whatever. You don't care. You stuff your dog into the crate for his third night alone in three days, fully anticipating his awful behavior when you let him out in a few hours (even though he gets to eat his weight in Skippy whenever you leave, the ingrate). You put on your outside pants and you go have a traditional Thanksgiving in a restaurant, by yourselves, with about a hundred strangers. Yes!

Don't feel bad for us, dudes. Eating out on holidays is actually my favorite thing. Little known the fact: the Parkinsons have often hit up the iHop (that's how it's written now) on Christmas Day and watched a happy server see a big, juicy tip on the bottom of the receipt through the windows. You should totally try it sometime.

Rob, as he said, was also "totally all about it." 

"I mean, after ten years, I might want a home-cooked meal," he says. "But right now, going out is pretty much the best thing."

Meant for each other, guys. We are.

Staying in L.A. means no packing, no taking work off, no cursing like a maniac at the ungodly traffic clustercluck on the 210. Going out means no store, no prep, no clean-up. You tell me now, what's not to love about this scenario? (Except for you, family. I know what you're going to say. Just chill out, OK? It's not always about you guys. Geez. )

(Just kidding. It really is all about you guys. I didn't mean any of that, I swear. 
Sometimes I just get so scared...).

So after a long day of writing about diasporic themes and ... *snooze* ... you head downtown to The Pantry, which is this famous L.A. diner that hasn't closed once since it opened in 1924. It's like Denny's, only you don't have to be embarrassed to admit you like it. Win!

First, you pay ten smackers to park in a pay lot because, duh, L.A. is the worst place in the world. But then you wait in line with a bunch of like-minded, probably also dishwasher-less, Angelenos who had the same bright idea as you. That's cool. You're wearing your new coat that you wanted people to freaking see, anyway, am I right? Plus you get to hear this dialogic interchange between a mom and her two-year-old son:

"Honey, you smell like doggy."

"You smell like poop, mommy!"

That's a burn.

Then you get inside, you give your table to the mom and the two-year-old behind you because, duh, babies gotta eat. Then you sit down, order a DC, and scarf. First you scarf on slaw, then you scarf on turkey (or steak if you're a rebel like me). And you love it.

After dinner, you walk through the deserted ghost town that is downtown L.A. Since you never go down there, you wonder, is it like this because it's Thanksgiving? or because it's, you know, downtown L.A. 

Next stop: L.A. Auto Show. Rob got free tickets, so while he checked out all the cool automobiles we'll never have, I scoped out the rad floors. Here's one:

Rob says this thing is a mo-tor. Makes the cars go. Here's what would happen if I ever had to figure one of those things out: I would collapse on the floor in a heap and weep myself into oblivion. 

What is this thing? There are people on the planet who understand this thing? Why am I not one of those people? Is anybody listening to me?

Finally, you shuffle to the car because your husband doesn't love you enough to carry you there. When you get home, you dissolve into the couch with your hat and scarf still on, listen to the end of "Horton Hears a Who," and start feeling super thankful that you don't have to do any dishes.

And that's how you do Thanksgiving when you're young, married, and childless.


AP English said...

Your use of scarf as a verb and then a noun first confused and later tickled me as I imagined you shawling yourself with half digested chunks of steak and taters lined on a strip of flypaper. Also, for the record, Downtown (not including the fashion district) is generally pretty ghosty, with pockets of activity around some of the major eateries, Hooters included.

...Hooters especially.

Gretta said...

That's awesome. Who are you, AP English?

Cliff said...

Just remember who came up with that fancy iHop idea one cold christmas...I think it was me...or maybe Joseph Smith...I'm not sure. Either way, I totally didn't know you guys were family-less on T-gives. I'da called you or something. We went to some other grad students' house and played with their baby, ate a cajun turkey (that they made) and a pumpkin pie (that I made--take that, georgie the pie monopolist!). Love you punks.

Hilary said...

Or you could just go to the super classy "Chuck-o-rama" and then spend the rest of the day at the movies (like go to 3 or 4) my family does. It's the best holiday treat. Ever. And I wish we did that more often with my new family unit...but alas, we are still too busy living out 50 year old Zwahlen traditions to start up any of our own. It's okay though...eventually my all-day movie extravaganza will happen. After all, I am the matriarch.

Vanessa said...

Gretta! Just found your blog via facebook and it's cracking me up - I love it! You're a fantastic writer, which really isn't a surprise but I still thought I should say it. Keep it comin'! Hope to see you in the 'hood when you visit your parents sometime.

Mel said...

Great post Gretta! I didn't know you bloged, just saw your facebook link and clicked on it. Cool blog! Downtown LA is great isn't it?