Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

OCD Thanksgiving

By now I'm sure many of you have seen the obsessive-compulsive Thanksgiving letter as it makes its way around the cyber world. If not, it's a must read. You can find it here: http://www.californiakara.com/p/thanksgiving-letter.html

In fact, you'll have to read it to better understand my thoughts for today. Because you see, as I read this letter, it made perfect sense to me. No use having your meal ruined by someone not following your carefully thought-out plans. You didn't take so much time attending to every little detail to have something forgotten or misplaced. But as I thought about it more, I realized that the writer of this letter is not an exact copy of me. The major difference here is that this writer is, as my husband would say, a High D personality. Now, I can never remember what all the letters stand for in those personality tests - that's John's job - but I do know that I am as far from a High D on those tests as you can get. In fact, I do not get along with High D people; they run right over me and have me cowering in a corner saying, "Yes, ma'am," and "No, sir" even though I don't agree with a thing they are saying.

So here's the difference: I would never write such a letter. I would be thinking it. I would be hoping everyone follows my directions. If I were to give you directions for Thanksgiving dinner, this is how my letter would come out (with notes in parentheses so you can understand the reasoning behind the words):

Happy Thanksgiving! (You are receiving this a month early because I am an over-planner and I want you to know that the holiday is approaching and it's time to start planning for it so that nothing goes wrong)

From: The 2010 Thanksgiving Planning Committee (Never put your name on something because if people don't like it they will complain about you; making it a group effort makes it look like you have friends who agree with you)

I am so thankful that I have all of you to help with the meal preparation. (Actually, I feel like I could do it better if I just did it all myself but that would be a lot of work. I'm going to try to allow you to help with the meal but I am very concerned that it won't all turn out just right. I don't have much faith in all of you but I'm trying. I do appreciate your futile attempts but I already know that I will be frustrated by the results.)

Below, you will find your name and the item you are to bring. Please let me know if this is a problem. (While I like what the original letter writer penned: "Now, while I do have quite a sense of humor and joke around all the time, I COULD NOT BE MORE SERIOUS when I am providing you with your Thanksgiving instructions and orders. I am very particular, so please perform your task EXACTLY as I have requested and read your portion very carefully. If I ask you to bring your offering in a container that has a lid, bring your offering in a container WITH A LID, NOT ALUMINUM FOIL! If I ask you to bring a serving spoon for your dish, BRING A SERVING SPOON, NOT A SOUP SPOON! And please do not forget anything," saying so would be too bold.)

Please bring your food item ready to be served. (This should not need to be stated but since not everyone can be as organized and detail-oriented as me, it needs to be spelled out.)

The Mike Bauman Family
1.Your turnip casserole, if you'd like. (By adding "if you'd like" I'm implying that you are the only one who likes it but I don't want to come out and say it. I'm hoping you'll figure it out yourself.)
2. Two half gallons of ice cream, you can get whatever brands or flavors you like but I know from other years that peanut butter swirl seems to be a favorite and of course vanilla is always a good option. (Make it sound like this is from past experience when really you just prefer peanut butter but can't say so.)

The Bob Moyer Family
Green beans or asparagus in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. You can make both if you'd like but you don't have to do that. If you make the green beans, it would be good to have about 4 pounds but if you make asparagus you might need 5 pounds. Last year we really liked the light sprinkling of toasted nuts on the top but I remember that you said it'd be better without the cheese. ("Would be good" and "might" make it look like you're not telling anyone what to do, only suggesting it. "Remembering" conversations that never happened is always a good idea, too.)

The Lisa Godshall Family
Lisa - congratulations again on your recent wedding! - we're all excited that you will be able to contribute this year. Could you bring the hors d'ouvres? (Questions are always good.) In the past we've always had something light. Since no one likes cocktail sauce and beans, you probably want to skip recipes with those ingredients. Last year we had a small platter of fresh vegetables so that might be a good idea. Everyone liked that. That might be nice. But you can bring whatever you'd like.

The June King Family
Could you make mashed potatoes like you did last year? They were so good and everyone loved them. (Compliments are always good). Last year you made 15 pounds and that was just perfect. You can serve it however you'd like but someone was remembering that the blue serving dish didn't work out so well. (Never admit that it was you who remembered that.) You might want to try using a smaller container and putting the rest in a plastic Tupperware container and we can replenish it as needed. Or you could just put it in two regular-sized casserole dishes. It's completely up to you. (But your way didn't work before so you should probably just use my ideas.)

The Amy Hostetler Family - PLEASE READ CAREFULLY (In other words, you never read my notes and if you do, somehow you always mess something up so please don't mess up this year.)
1. Pumpkin pie. I will send you my silver palate recipe. You don't have to use it if you don't want to use it. I just thought it would save you the trouble of finding one. I know that this one tastes great. (No need to tell her that last year's recipe wasn't any good; that might hurt her feelings.)

Looking forward to the 28th!!

Cindy and the 2010 Thanksgiving Planning Committee (one last shot at making people think that you aren't the only obsessive -compulsive member of the family.)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! You'd better go back and find that email that Aunt Matilda sent out earlier this month. You wouldn't want to miss any of her directions!

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