Ahh, Thanksgiving! The day reserved for expressing our gratitude. For pretending mom’s hideous turkey appliqued sweater is high fashion. It is an opportunity to reflect on important things, like figuring out what is floating in that Jell-O mold. A time to pause and thank sweet baby Jesus that the holidays– and the relatives that come with it– only roll around once a year.
And, apparently, we need to get good and drunk the night before just to endure it.
Not only is the term “Black Wednesday” in the Urban Dictionary, the bar industry has actually dubbed it as the biggest drinking night of the year.
It is a bigger booze-fest than New Year’s Eve, when folks get drunk enough to kiss a total stranger. Bigger than St. Patrick’s Day when they get plastered enough to pretend they are Irish while kissing a total stranger. Even bigger than epic sporting events like the Super Bowl and March Madness combined.
Who knew the idea of all that Thanksgiving togetherness would drive Americans to drink?
Pre-gaming for Turkey Day is the solemn occasion when Sam Adams, Jack Daniels and Kendall Jackson become valued members of the family. Most likely, they will be the only members of the family for whom you are truly grateful.
Maybe it is because we are all cooking turkey hung-over. Poor Thanksgiving has gotten the shaft lately–not shocking for a holiday that has brown as its overall color palette. Over the years, it has been reduced to the carbo-loading event to prepare for Black Thursday and Friday. Across our great country, Americans bow their heads in thanks for the bounty of extended Mall hours and the mountain of sale circulars on their doorstep.
There is no denying that pulling an all-nighter at Walmart and the Outlet Mall requires sustenance. Stuffing and mashed potatoes are stick-to-your-ribs, bargain hunting fuel. Planning to sleep on the sidewalk and wait in line to trample other shoppers? Then, go ahead, belly up for seconds.
Even if the Black Wednesday hangover (AKA the biggest hangover of the year) is the only thing you bring to the table, there is no better cure for a headache and the shakes than the Thanksgiving meal that awaits you.
I bet you are thinking that all this Black Wednesday drunkenness started with a bunch of college kids home on Fall break. Right?
FACT: It is our obligation as Americans to imbibe, just as the Pilgrims did.
That’s right, it turns out our forefathers may have been completely WASTED.
Did you know that the Mayflower was capable of carrying in excess of 180 gallons of wine? Let me put that in modern day perspective. That is more wine than the Housewives can swill in a season of shrieking and Pilates on Bravo TV. And these are women who have Pinot Grigio in an IV drip.
The map you see in history books with all the crazy dotted lines pointed the Mayflower toward Virginia. Yet, somehow it ended up in Cape Cod. Now it all makes perfect sense. You see, the entire bottom of the vessel was lined with ginormous drums, each holding hundreds of gallons of wine. Those Puritans beat boredom with booze; rendering them just drunk enough to ditch the map and bump into uninhabited new land.
Isn’t America great?
But, back to Thanksgiving and my little history lesson.
FACT: The Pilgrims and Indians drank beer and wine during that first shared meal even though I am pretty sure you can’t pronounce Wampanoag after even one drink.
They chose alcohol because water could kill you back then. Sort of makes you wonder what they were smoking in that peace pipe too, doesn’t it. A serious case of the munchies would explain why there was so much food back there in Plymouth.
Today, we choose alcohol because all that family time will likely kill you. So, this Thanksgiving Eve, I beg you; pay homage to our forefathers and their perilous journey to conquer new horizons.
Make a toast. Raise a glass. Hell, raise two. Those tipsy Pilgrims were convinced they would not live through the holiday without alcohol.
No one expects you to chance it either.
Written by Maureen Stiles, blogger at www.magnificenceinthemundane.wordpress.com