Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving: OCD-Style

I'm not one to gossip, but I received this letter from a friend. She got it from her coworker, whose sister wrote it! (Seriously.)

Apparently, it takes a village to build a Thanksgiving feast...and as we know, every village needs a village leader (or village idiot, as the case may be).

I changed none of the wording except for the names (so they can't sue me when they read this).

Happy Thanksgiving!


---

From: Marney

As you all know a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner does not make itself. I need to ask each of you to help by bringing something to complete the meal. I truly appreciate your offers to assist with the meal preparation.

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.

All food that is to be cooked should already be prepared, bring it hot and ready to serve, warm or room temp. These are your ONLY THREE options. Anything meant to be served cold should, of course, already be cold.

HJB—Dinner wine

The Mike Byron Family
1. Turnips in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. Please do not fill the casserole all the way up to the top, it gets too messy. I know this may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but most of us hate turnips so don't feel like you a have to feed an army.
2. Two half gallons of ice cream, one must be VANILLA, I don't care what the other one is. No store brands please. I did see an ad this morning for Hagan Daz Peppermint Bark Ice Cream, yum!! (no pressure here, though).
3. Toppings for the ice cream.
4. A case of bottled water, NOT gallons, any brand is ok.

The Bob Byron Family
1. Green beans or asparagus (not both) in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. If you are making the green beans, please prepare FOUR pounds, if you are making asparagus please prepare FIVE pounds. It is up to you how you wish to prepare them, no soupy sauces, no cheese (you know how Mike is), a light sprinkling of toasted nuts, or pancetta, or some EVOO would be a nice way to jazz them up.
2. A case of beer of your choice (I have Coors Light and Corona) or a bottle of clos du bois chardonnay (you will have to let me know which you will bring prior to 11/22).

The Lisa Byron Chesterford Family
1. Lisa as a married woman you are now required to contribute at the adult level. You can bring an hors d’ouvres. A few helpful hints/suggestions. Keep it very light, and non-filling, NO COCKTAIL SAUCE, no beans of any kind. I think your best bet would be a platter of fresh veggies and dip. Not a huge platter mind you (i.e., not the plastic platter from the supermarket).

The Michelle Bobble Family
1. Stuffing in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please make the stuffing sans meat.
2. 2.5-3 qts. of mashed squash in a casserole with a lid and serving spoon
3. Proscuitto pin wheel - please stick to the recipe, no need to bring a plate.
4. A pie knife

The June Davis Family
1. 15 LBS of mashed potatoes in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please do not use the over-size blue serving dish you used last year. Because you are making such a large batch you can do one of two things: put half the mash in a regulation size casserole with lid and put the other half in a plastic container and we can just replenish with that or use two regulation size casserole dishes with lids. Only one serving spoon is needed.
2. A bottle of clos du bois chardonnay

The Amy Misto Family (why do I even bother she will never read this)
1. A pumpkin pie in a pie dish (please use my silver palate recipe) no knife needed.
2. An apple pie in a pie dish, you can use your own recipe, no knife needed.

Looking forward to the 28th!!

Marney

---

This makes me look SO normal.

76 comments:

sooooooooy celesteeeeee said...

i think someone who is THAT anal about thanksgiving should know how to correctly spell PROSCIUTTO.

leo

bird said...

that? is ridiculous.

cjcrash said...

Okay, I get anal about shit but OMG! If you are going to be that much of a bitch about it you should be making everything yourself.

MikeWorks.NET said...

K, you are right, amazingly, someone made you look almost normal! What should I bring this week? :-)


-Will

Justin said...

did you host this week? How did it go? IT was my first time taking charge of the Turkey (and a beer can chicken to go with my room mates Peking Duck- Turducken deconstructed) and it came out perfectly. There was a lot of brining and turning and basting involved, but well worth it.

Kara said...

We hosted Michael from Santa Clara, which means he drove down and we all went out to eat with our friends Liz and Jeff at the Bali Hai on the bay.

I do love a good beer can chicken. You must explain Peking Duck-Turducken!

Debra said...

I am so glad I read this. I feel like I am one of the most easy going people on the planet right now! Three cheers for the uptight dictator who makes the rest of us look really nice.

Dawn said...

As the one who forward that email to you, I can vouch for its authenticity - which makes it all the more ridiculous!

Jackie said...

wow. i thought i was anal too. but now i feel deliciously carefree and blase! thanks for sharing!

Margot said...

Hi Kara,

I read this on awkwardfamilypgotos.com and I strongly suggest that you post it to passiveaggressivenotes.com. It's hilarious!

Margot in Boston

Margot said...

err, awkwardfamilyphotos.com even...have mercy oh great spelling gods...

Bunny said...

Saw this delightful letter on awkward as well. We're discussing it on another forum and were wondering if there's a follow up story at all? Great read!!

kilgore said...

Saw this on awkwardfamilyphotos.com, too!

I am also DYING to hear any follow-up stories.

Jessica said...

PLEASE share the followup story. This is TOO good.

Laura said...

Read on awk too! Plz plz post the followup :D

Cheri-Beri said...

I came from Awkward Family Photos, too. Are you freakin' kidding me? I have never seen anything remotely like that. I love how she/he tags on "Looking forward to the 28th." She is obviously the only one.

Val said...

I'd find somewhere else to go for Thanksgiving. Seriously.

Kara said...

Yes, this is a true letter. No, it's not about my family, nor did I write it. It was written by a dear friend's family member's coworker. I got permission to post it, and I changed the names to protect the innocent from the litigious. :-)

Gretchen said...

I migrated from awkfamphotos, too. I'm anal. I am a foodie. I also love hosting. If people offer to bring things and I suspect they'll f it up I graciously say "I've already got the mashed potatoes under control - but we desperately need some dessert!".

If someone can't handle passing off the reigns that person should do it all herself or simply not host holidays. It's a high pressure game - but you don't need to be a brat!

Dawn - did anyone revolt against the email sender?!?!

Deanna said...

This was the highlight of my week!

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

from akward too!

f/u? a guest f/u from the original source?

is this for reals? lord help them all!!!

:)

LynnW said...

An 'awkward' reader, too.

Can you imagine Christmas at Marney's?

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious! Please, a follow up would be awesome. Some pictures from the dinner or comments from anyone who attended. This really made my day. An awkward reader.

Colette said...

We can all quit trying now, because I think this might be the best thing on the whole damn Internet.

Anonymous said...

At Christmas, I'm sure you'd be told what gifts to get for everyone! And how to wrap them...paper, bows, and all!

Chickpea said...

Another visitor from awkwardfamilyphotos... I agree with Margot - submit this to passiveaggressivenotes.com!

And seriously, what is wrong with Marney? Either do it all yourself and ask for money or let people do things their way. If you want people to make food for you then hire a caterer. What a bitchy control freak!

Anonymous said...

Interesting use of the phrase "my Silver Palate recipe."

There are only two authors of that recipe book series.

It's unfortunate that the innocent one has to suffer a beat-down, too, but it's clearly for the greater good.

Wendy said...

Wow. Someone knows my Aunt Susan. Damn.

melissa said...

omgoodness, drop the turnips if everyone hates them why have them

this cracked me up

Frustrated Niece said...

Holy cow! My brother just sent me this and it looks like the instructions my aunt sends out when she's hosting family dinners. Except her's are in an Excel spreadsheet that even include cleaning up duties.

Jessica Eiden Smedley said...

I popped over from AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com and all I have to say is, "Holy Shit!"

Suppose I don't have the right to complain about my crazy in-laws this Thanksgiving...

Anonymous said...

i wish i wish i wiiiiish i had someone in my family/friends who was like this so that I could turn up to the function with everything completely OPPOSITE to the letter...! HA!

Paulina said...

In fact one of my coworkers is like that, he did a list just like this one for the Chritmas gathering, only 5 people attended I think...
PS:He also offered to post google earth hybrid maps so we didnt get lost... ackward

Lori said...

I think everyone mentioned should have conspired. One family bring hot dogs, one family bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (made with store brand products of course), one family bring a bucket of chicken and one family a bag of tacos. I bet they'd never get a letter like that again!

Kara said...

Hi all - To answer your questions, apparently this is an annual tradition, and it happens every year without a hitch because the family just goes along with her requests!

Kara

Anonymous said...

someone needs to pass her the Xa*nax...so she can get ahold of herself. I can't imagine going to her home with "my offering" and waiting for the "goddess of the kitchen" to give me her approval. she does realize this is a celebration for offering thanks...not orders? geesh! family or not - I'd be calling in "sick" and finding other festivities to attend where the size of the casserole dish (what the heck is a "regulation" size?) doesn't preclude my company.

Anonymous said...

the lady must be a millionaire and they're all waiting for her to die...that's the only reason for taking that kind of abuse...keep yourselves in the will.

Kat Shank said...

I would bring a bottle of Jack and a bottle of Coke... the Coke would be for her... I would definitely need the Jack to deal with that woman!

The Potato Guy said...

I was there. All I can say is, those were the best mother-f**king mashed potatoes I've ever tased in my life, and I'm employed as the quality-control inspector for the Mashed Potato Council of the North America.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Potato Guy! I'm now crying from laughing so hard!

Anonymous said...

Kara,

Also read this on "Akward".

Any person wo received this letter
should have called 'Marney' and refused to attend HER event in the most explicit terms possible!

Personally, I would have followed my reply with a carefully wrapped package of garbage mailed directly to her home and a copy of her letter to the editorial page of her local newspaper!

Derek

Astrogirl426 said...

Like many of the other commenters, I came here from awkwardfamilyphotos.com too. And I have to say, not only is this woman controlling but she's kind of a bitch! I mean, that comment about how "Amy Misto" will never read it anyway (I could almost HEAR the tiny violin playing for poor Marnie as she wrote that)? Marney, hon, let that bug out of your ass, I'm sure it needs to breathe SOMEtime!

And since when did family dinners turn into potluck? Marney needs to learn the definition of being a good host. It is NOT browbeating your family into bringing every damn thing for you, INCLUDING THE DRINKS! What the hell is she providing - the turkey and flatware? Gee, don't put yourself out TOO much, kiddo.

I'm in the "bring fast food in tinfoil" camp. After which I would promptly turn around and hie myself to the nearest decent restaurant with an empty table, and have an enjoyable meal. WITHOUT regulation-sized casserole dishes. (WTF is THAT, anyway? There's REGULATIONS now??)

Michele said...

This is absolutely hilarious! I wonder what the response was.

Anonymous said...

Hi there! Another member of the awkwardfamilyphotos.com site here, and I've read the letter for the umpteenth time (and cracked up again afterwards)!

Quick question - well, two. Is there a chance we'll see a letter for this year's Thanksgiving; and is Marney's family aware of how famous (or INFAMOUS) her Thanksgiving letter is on the Internet?

Anais said...

Dear God. This is my fiance's Aunt Susan. I just got the first volley of her emails. I may bring mashed potatoes and gravy (which I suggested) BUT she makes cream gravy IF there are sufficient turkey drippings (um, gross) as long as I understand that mine is the AUXILIARY BACK UP GRAVY. OR, I can bring stuffing (my fiance asked me to make that too) but NOT BOTH because that would be TOO MUCH FOOD. Oh and no wine because her sister is bringing a bottle and one is enough. I THINK NOT.

Kara said...

I haven't seen this year's letter yet...which leads me to believe perhaps she found out last year's letter made the rounds and was shamed into not sending another one.

Then again, it IS Marney, so who knows...

Anonymous said...

When I read this last year I was deployed to Mosul Iraq. I printed out 20 copies and when the Lieutenant Colonel was running late, I was offer it up as reading material for his impatient next appointment. I had many conversation about this with soldiers, civiians, Iraqis, Kurds & Turks. Now I am in Kuwait City and WANT TO SEE THE NEXT INSTALLMENT!!!!!!
sarahew88

Anonymous said...

i need to know how T-giving turned out!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much.

I am copying all of this and am going to send it to every single person who gets bent out of shape when I leave town before Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even for my birthday.

I'll admit that they succeeded when they sent the nude singing telegram a week before my 40th birthday. The reason I went into hysterical laughter was that I was spending my birthday at the square in Winnemucca, NV.

Sara said...

I got stressed reading this. Geez louise.

Kara said...

@sarahew88 - You are wonderful! My brother's Army, and got a kick out of the letter as well. Thanks for sharing it and making folks laugh. :-)

@winnemucca dude - Great story!

@sara - just breathe. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Why on earth would anyone subject themselves to such torture? I would decline the invitation with a succinct "F.U."

Eridanus said...

I'm so thankful I wasn't invited!

Have you sold the film rights yet?

Working title: Six Thankful Families and a Perfectionist

Anonymous said...

Pics or it didn't happen.

Colleen said...

I hope she ate Thanksgiving dinner ALONE!!

Anonymous said...

This year, I'm truly thankful that I have never had to partake in something like this...

This letter takes the 'fun' right out of 'dysfunctional'.

Anonymous said...

Holy cow- I lived with this person for a year. Obviously, not Marney, but I have seen the future for my ex-roommate, and her future is Marney. I have e-mails from my former roommate about our apartment when we first were moving in, and they sound exactly like this! Glad to know I made the right decision moving out- she's only going to get worse, clearly.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Totally awesome find! I have to say with this unrealistic and yet highly demanding level of organization, this Marney is/has been either:

a)a disgruntled elementary school teacher

b) a disgruntled high school guidance counselor

c) a disgruntled zoo keeper

d) a disgruntled circus animal trainer

e) a disgruntled motivational speaker

f) a disgruntled wedding planner

...and so on!

I've been around plenty of people with OCD in my life, but nothing nearly this epic! Real (methinks so) or not, thanks for the laughs!

tbg said...

I just laughed and laughed MAO!

Anonymous said...

I used to get "instructions" like that from a different person. It continued verbally once we got there, start to finish. While the efforts are well-intended, the need to control overwhelmed the food, the mood, and the party, resulting in a stress-riddled, excessively long experience. I am relieved to say that I no longer attend.

Genius Moose said...

I love this!

And I love, "Marney". Spoken like a real mom who has dealt with her brood and knows them all too well!

:-)

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Anonymous said...

So I do have a question...

Which family represented in this note is your friend? :)

Autumn said...

Best. Email. Ever.

I wanna go to Thanksgiving Dinner at Marney's house :D

Ingrid said...

Oh, snap! Thanks for sharing I feel better.
~ingrid

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Anonymous said...

'innocent one' must be Sheila Lukins, as she passed away June 2008...read this recipe submitted by her partner in 'The Silver Palate'...is the tone the same as the Thanksgiving Letter?! If anyone knows Julee Rosso personally and has attended one of her parties, you would know! Apparently, she enjoys: Friends, travel, reading, gardening, sculpting, painting, entertaining, beach combing, woods walks and laughing a lot.

http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/lime-mousse

..."Pour into 8 individual serving glasses or a serving bowl"...what, no regulation sized dish for this recipe?!

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Anonymous said...

R.S.V.P
Dear Marney
Fuck right off.
See, I did read it.
Sincerely Amy

Christine said...

oh, wow. Amy had the right idea...

Anonymous said...

Let us stand in solidarity this holiday season! I Am Amy Misto!
-TDaySolidarity

Anonymous said...

Another visitor from awkwardfamilyphotos.com and if I were "invited" to Thanksgiving at Marney's, I would not attend. That letter is unbelievable. Thanks for showing me how normal my own family is.