For men experiencing your first single holiday in years, you are not alone. This is not a time to mope or drag down your family with stories about how you had a dream that Lisa came back and that you were happy for the first time in months only to realize that, aside from you erection, the whole thing was imagined. And don’t go into it how you’ve been journaling and “dating myself” because it sounds good in your head but really falls flat out loud.
This is time to buck up and be a winner. The first step in being a winner is showing your family how you’ve moved on, and nothing shows you forgetting all about Lisa’s sandy blond curls and playful laugh than making the Thanksgiving turkey. Imagine the look on your mother’s face when you walk through the door of your old home, not alone, but with a golden brown, juicy turkey! And she’ll say, “Son I’m so proud of you,” and your dad will say “I bet you’ve forgotten all about old what’s her name,” and you’ll say, “Lisa. Her name was Lisa,” and then there will be awkward silence until mom says, “How about I take your coat?”
But before we win that day, we have to cook this bird! First, take the turkey out of the freezer at least 24 hours before cooking. If you don’t have enough time, just heat it up using a hair dryer. This would be easier if Lisa hadn’t taken it with her. You could always try the leaf blower – the one you bought the time you went to the hardware store and got all that stuff for the home improvement projects you didn’t get around too. You probably could have finished the entire basement in all the time you spent arguing, but then again, that room was really for the kids you didn’t end up having.
Once thawed, you’ll want to consider applying turkey brine. This is the type of extra touch people will think that you, as a single guy, wouldn’t know about. Wrong! Just immerse your turkey in a salt-water solution for a day or two before cooking. If you’re reading this the night before, just splash some salt on the outside of the turkey and kinda push it into the skin. That’ll do.
Next, you’ll want to make stuffing while not thinking about Lisa having sex at this very moment with a guy who remembers how she takes her coffee and buys her little presents “just because you’re you.” He also looks like Ryan Gosling.
So, stuffing. That consists of the turkey’s innards, or something, and you put it in with that mix that comes in the red box at the store. Go ask the cutest woman at the Winn-Dixie (or Publix if you’re into a more sophisticated lady) for advice and see if she’s into you. You could even ask her out. Not right now, of course, but maybe in a month, or whenever your counselor says it’s OK.
Now we’re cooking with…gas? No electricity; because you have to light a gas stove, right? Anyway, set the oven to 450 degrees and cook for three hours. If you’re strapped for time, try cooking at 900 degrees for 1 ½ hours. And remember, cooking a turkey is just like cooking a large chicken in that you’ve never done either of those things.
Once it’s done, wrap that sucker in tinfoil for the drive over to your parents’ house. Make sure not to head by Lisa’s new place because you’ll just wonder what that Honda Civic you don’t recognize is doing parked in the driveway.
Just go directly to your parents’ and revel in the joy of surprising them. But wait, there’s more! Now you get to carve the turkey. Don’t let your dad hog all the glory. You take that big knife and cut off the wings, then the thighs. Now use the knife to slice through the skin and into the rib cage with a diagonal cut, all the while not pretending that this isn’t a metaphor for what Lisa did to your heart.
After the meal, things should be back to a normal Thanksgiving, with the Dallas Cowboys game on that nobody’s watching and your dad falling asleep in the recliner. At least until your mother says, “I met a really nice gal at church…her name is also Lisa.”