By the time you read this, I’ll be on my way to Michigan with my family. We’re going over rivers and through woods, to visit my in-laws for Thanksgiving. It will be a good time. We’ll see Meka’s brother and his family. Between Meka’s family and me, we have the entire NFC North fan base covered, so the pre-game “discussions” can be spirited… not this year, of course. The Lions have already committed seasonal hari-kari while the rest of the division looks – at best – vulnerable. I have the normal things to be thankful for this year: health, family, job security, etc. Additionally, I am thankful to be able to eat birds once again.
Somewhere around my twelfth birthday, birds and I started having a gastric disagreement. Ever see The Exorcist? You get the idea. I was allergic to something common to most birds and just couldn’t eat them without getting sick. Chicken wasn’t much of a problem to me; I stopped eating it around 1982 and didn’t really miss it all that much. Turkey was more problematic. I really looked forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas and the turkey with all the trimmings. For a few years, I would sit at the table and enjoy the meal, knowing – in a few hours – I would be lying on the bathroom floor wishing I was dead. However, by the time I was in high school, the time between table and toilet was down to a few minutes. My last Thanksgiving with turkey was 1986.
I took allergy shots for the better part of a decade. My allergies seemed to shift as I got older. My hay fever isn’t as bad as it used to be. For better or worse, I can’t use it as an excuse not to mow the lawn anymore. I seem to be less allergic to cats, but slightly more allergic to dogs than I used to be. My food allergies were probably shifting too, but I didn’t exactly go out of my way to test my theory. A few years ago, I did discover I could take a double-dose of my allergy medication and eat up to half a turkey sandwich without getting ill. And last year, I made myself a half sandwich and started eating before I realized I hadn’t taken my medication. I sat and waited for the inevitable clenching of the stomach and throat and was quite surprised not to feel lousy.
Over the past year, I’ve done some experiments. I’ve eaten at Kentucky Fried Chicken for the first time since Ronald Reagan was president. I’ve made chicken based soups and turkey sandwiches a key part of my diet since starting Weight Watchers. And this will be the first Thanksgiving in many years I will be able to partake of the bird with everyone else.
I’ll just have to skip the beans… for some reason they don’t seem to agree with me any longer.