BY VALERIE BELDEN WILDER
Columbia County, New York I Thursday, 29 November 2018
This year, Thing 2 and I had a different kind of Thanksgiving. We went to a buffet at a restaurant.
It was about a month before Thanksgiving and we hadn’t gotten an invitation to anyone’s house, and I hadn’t invited anyone over. I was headed to a meeting and drove past a restaurant I don’t normally go by, when I noticed an advertisement on their outside sign, for a Thanksgiving buffet. It was actually a reasonable price, and so I thought, “Hmmm, maybe we’ll try that this year.”
The closer Thanksgiving got, the more it seemed like an attractive idea. I wasn’t sure about preparing an entire feast for just two people, so a few days before Thanksgiving, I called and made reservations for the two of us.
On the appointed day, I put on my fall scarf, the one with the abstract pattern of green and gold and orange leaves. Thing 2 and I bundled into our jackets and braved the bitter cold temperature of outside. We arrived at the restaurant promptly, at 3 pm. It was packed, but they had a table for us, over in the corner, covered with a white tablecloth.
We helped ourselves to the buffet. Thing 2, who is notoriously picky, ate a giant turkey drumstick and a wing, and declared he was full. I took my time, and tried a little bit of a lot of things. I even went back for a small plate of seconds. The ham was the best part of all.
By the time I was ready for dessert, Thing 2 was hungry for some cookies. I tried a tiny bit of a few different pies and some of the bar cookies.
Overall, it was a nice time. There was no listmaking, no shopping, no cooking, and the best part of all, no cleanup.
I did miss sitting around a full table though, with lots of people. I missed Thing 1 terribly, to the point of tears. I missed my favorite Cranberry-Orange Relish. I also missed not having a few leftovers in the fridge for the next day.
And I missed eating with nice silverware…
But how grateful I was for a new experience, a full plate of good food, to be inside where it was warm, and to be able to spend Thanksgiving with my beloved Thing 2.