CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- My daughter is hoping for a new person or two at our table this Thanksgiving so that when each takes their turn saying something for which they are thankful, she can reuse her line on a new crowd.
"What I'm most thankful for," she would say, "is that Mom didn't cook any of this."
I suggested it's time to develop new shtick, since she's exhausted that particular line on her current pool of relations. She responded with a dig about her audience being so old and forgetful that a line used yesterday is fresh again today, but couldn't resist trying on a few new ones anyway.
"How about, 'I'm thankful this turkey doesn't smell as bad cooked as it did raw,'" she said. "And that Geoff must've been right that it doesn't matter it was so far past the expiration date."
"That's a little too wordy," I said. "Needs to be more concise."
My husband joined the conversation.
"Maybe something like, 'I'm thankful I told everyone I'm a vegetarian so I don't have to pretend the turkey's not spoiled,'" said Geoff. "Or, 'I'm thankful dog saliva isn't supposed to affect the taste of the turkey.'"
Although my girl seldom needs encouragement to color out of the lines, I suggested she might want to go another direction completely. Way out in left field.
She sat in thoughtful silence for a while -- perhaps an entire second or two -- before the ideas began to spill out.
"You mean, something like, 'I'm thankful the officer didn't look in the trunk.'
"'I'm thankful pregnancy tests aren't always right.'
"'I'm thankful my new parole officer is more understanding than the last.'
"'I'm thankful my piercings haven't gotten infected, like my tattoo.'"
Her mind is a scary -- yet interesting -- place.
Unfortunately, not long after the above conversation took place, we learned that Celeste won't be dining with my side of the family this year. Instead, she'll be with her dad and my ex-laws this year.