Wednesday, September 26, 2007

On stress and poultry

Year: 1999
Setting: Townhouse, College Town, NC
Event: Out-of-Season Turkey Dinner, complete with Fixins (Capital F)
Invitees: Several close friends, and a few of their friends.

Situation: I had rescued a frozen turkey one March, from a man who was carrying it to the dumpster at my doctor's office. It had been in their freezer since DECEMBER! The HORROR!

Problem #1: The turkey was done 2 hours before it was supposed to be.
Problem #2: The guests were an hour later than they were supposed to be.
Problem #3: I hadn't yet learned that not every crisis merits a full fight-or-flight response.

Resolution: Upon the guests' arrival, I shoved a fork and carving knife into the nearest hand (which happened to be a guy I'd never met) and told the lot to "Shut up and cut the fucking turkey!"

Hoo boy!

I felt a little of that same feeling yesterday as I finalized this weekend's camping trip details. All of a sudden the friends accompanying me started to have input into the decisions I'd made in their stead, having lacked much helpful feedback until that time.

Why are we doing it this way?
Why not go here instead?
Is it worth going, if the drought is so bad?
Oh man, we'll have to portage some of it!
Don't canoes hold like, 1200 lbs? Why pack light?

I'd spent way, way too much time carefully planning the best course of action to react logically and calmly to these questions. I hid my irritation as best I could, but did tell a friend that I was having a "Shut up and cut the fucking turkey" moment. He'd been there to see that fabulous moment, so he knew exactly what I meant. He stepped up and planned out a menu for the trip.

It's going to be worth it, right?