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Outside editorial: C'mon, be thankful: Do something nice for the person who creates the spread

Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2007

The following editorial first appeared in the Dallas Morning News:

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As seasoned editorial writers, we normally attempt to tailor a message to influence as wide an audience as possible. (Well, that's what we think we do, anyway.) But it's Thanksgiving, so allow us to leave normal aside for a few hundred words.

Today, we address less than half the population. Gentlemen, this is largely for you.

You woke up this morning in a great mood. For many of you, it's the last work day before a four-day weekend, well deserved or not. (And if you're one of those lucky few who scammed this week off, don't worry that you're a drain on your co-workers slaving away at the office.)

It's sleep late and stagger erect for a day of - what else? - food, football and fellowship: Lions-Packers for lunch, Cowboys-Jets for dinner and, if your TV provider allows it, Colts-Falcons for supper.

Turkey, of course, or maybe ham. Mashed potatoes. Sweet potato casserole. Green bean casserole. Two types of stuffing. Cranberry sauce. Mix in a salad. And pie - pecan, pumpkin and even the odd Key lime. Wash it all down with a nice red or white wine or perhaps a fine American lager.

If it's as good as it was last year, you'll fall asleep on the couch, stuffed and content. Now that's a feast from your own personal horn o' plenty. And all you had to do was roll out of bed.

It's possible you missed all that activity around your kitchen the last few days, all that noise with your pots and pans. The flying Saran wrap and aluminum foil and those big, clanking rectangular Pyrex dishes for easy warming-up.

Fellas, that's your wife getting everything ready. She started last weekend, as zero hour approached. Sure, it might seem like all that food just rolls onto the big table, moments before your parents and her parents and both of your brothers and sisters and their kids show up.

It doesn't. Your lovely bride, who these days probably has to fit all this grunt work around her own career, had the good grace not to remind you again this year, but this fiesta doesn't just happen.

In fairness, we should point out some of you guys do stand in line at the Honeybaked Ham store, fry up the Thanksgiving bird or sponge off a few dishes. We even know a few men who actually cook the entire meal - and not because they work at a restaurant. Likewise, some of you women have spent years sponging off the abundance of your moms or aunts or grandmas. But those are the exceptions.

Gentlemen, give your special one more than that quick hug from behind with the kiss-on-the-cheek chaser. For all she does, give her all day Friday and into the weekend, if necessary. Attend to her needs, for a change.

Take her shopping. To a big-box strip mall or an outlet mall or even a ritzy place. Drive courteously. Open her door. Help with the packages. Think of it as your penance. Hasn't she earned it?



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