'Not From Here,' stories by Nathan Deuel

Thanksgiving Bingo: Creative Types edition

An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving

Simmer resentment, salt in wounds to taste. (Image via Wikipedia)

Tara Parker-Pope over at the Grey Lady takes on the grim, often hilarious ritual of family Thanksgiving. Sure, there are those who love the assembling of elders, middlers, and the young — all of whom share blood. But for others, the gathering of the tribe means a litany of abuse, criticism, eye-rolling and more.

Why not make it into a game? Pope quotes two ladies who do just that, assembling Bingo cards with key phrases — “That’s an interesting outfit” or “Your children won’t sit still.” The first to fill her card rushes to the bathroom to call. Rejoice, your family is more maniacal!

I love the idea, but given my own demographic and the background likely shared by many of my readers and colleagues, I thought I’d assemble a list more appropriate to our unique brand of failures, inadequacies, and annoyances.

So add these to your card, brace yourself for drunk ol’ Uncle Earl, and count the minutes until you’re back in black:

Your job:

  1. When’s your book gonna be finished?
  2. Does anything you do actually pay you money?

Where you live:

  1. How can anyone live in New York!
  2. Your apartment is how many square feet? (Laughter.)

What you consume:

  1. You call that music?
  2. The Wire is too violent, like Fargo, which your father and I hated.

Your appearance:

  1. Interesting haircut — did your (wife/girlfriend/boyfriend) give you that?
  2. I remember when your father tried to grow a mustache.

Feel free to help me out. (If it seems weird I’d write this kind of post, perhaps its because I’ll be having turkey in Riyadh. Nostalgia begets humor.)


Filed under: Family, Food, New York City, New York Times, Thanksgiving, , , , ,

2 Responses

  1. Caitlin Kelly says:


    All too true — if the rest of your family have civilian jobs that have quaint things like pensions, job security or even a paycheck. I was lucky enough to grow up in a home of creative freelancers so there’s never been any of that sort of toxic BS. All of us are out there doing it in our own way with varying degrees of financial success, but we all respect the hell out of each other for giving it our best.

    • Nathan Deuel says:

      I should say that I would not win at this bingo — probably. Our families are generally really supportive. But they are alarmed at how often we move — and that we choose places like Riyadh!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: