WOMAN: Cooking the Thanksgiving Day turkey and everything that goes with it is one more yearly chore. She has planned and orchestrated the entire feast, including who will sit next to each other and who has to sit at the kids’ table, deciding who gets a drumstick this year, digging out and washing the good china and polishing the good silver. She bought the pumpkin pies from a bakery because she wasn’t about to slave over THAT. She knows she will be stuck with cleanup duties after the meal is over. She dreads having her mother-in-law at the table. She wants to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a break from all the work.
MAN: He wants to carve the turkey this year, and he’s going to fight for the privilege. He can’t understand why none of the relatives like his mother. She’s such a sweet lady. She always gives her ego-smashing criticisms in true Christian love. He wants to watch football until it’s time to eat.
WOMAN WHO CAN’T COOK AND HATES IT: She has set and decorated the table and, like her counterpart above, decided who will sit next to each other and who will be exiled to the kids’ table. She has gotten out the good china and polished the good silver. She will now watch the Macy’s parade on TV. She is resting up for cleanup duty after the feast. She dreads having to run interference between everybody and her mother-in-law.
MAN WHO LOVES TO COOK AND IS GREAT AT IT: He is not only cooking the turkey, he is making everything else from scratch, including pies. He is making a huge mess in the kitchen, but he knows he is a great cook and great cooks are allowed to make messes as long as they are not the ones who have to clean up. He is master of the kitchen and he feels like the master of the universe. He has a small portable TV in the kitchen, tuned to the football game. He’s freakin’ well going to carve the turkey because he did all the work of cooking it and it’s HIS bird. Like his father, he learned to ignore his mother a long time ago, and he doesn’t understand why everybody else can’t do the same.
WOMAN: Wraps each Christmas present to look as nice, neat and pretty as she is able with whatever gift wrapping skills she possesses. If she doesn’t succeed in creating a paper and ribbon masterpiece, she is resigned, but frustrated.
MAN: Just wants to get the thing inside the paper and tape it shut. It looks fine.
WOMAN: She’s either reluctant to open a well-wrapped Christmas present because it’s “just too pretty to unwrap”1 or she opens it very carefully, so as not to tear the wrapping, which she carefully lays aside to use next year.
MAN: He tears at the wrapping, crumples it up and tosses it in the heap intended for the recycling bin. It’s what’s inside that counts.
LITTLE GIRL: Oh, this one is just clothes.
LITTLE BOY: Oh, this one is just clothes.
OLDER GIRL: Ooh, it’s that totally gorgeous sweater I’ve been wanting!
OLDER BOY: Oh, this one is just clothes.
1I am a woman and even I find this annoying as hell.