Not Your Norman Rockwell’s Thanksgivings!

When I tell you, it’s been crazytown around here, I’m not kidding.

The Lady Parts Exams are all finished. Let me tell you.  I had a mammogram set for last Friday, the 16th. This is always the one exam that causes the most stress and anxiety for me.  Anyway, I was told that I would receive the results between two to three business days.  That meant by tonight.

I couldn’t relax.  The phone finally rang and results were fine so now I feel no stress leaving for Paris tomorrow.  But man, stress can be a killer.  My skin check is in two weeks but I’m just going to have a good time for the next few days!

Image result for atypical60 bra

I’m happy. My girls are happy.  My fancier bras are happy.  

In our neighborhood, many homes are already sporting Christmas lights and decorations. In fact, on my way home from work, I spotted a lighted Christmas tree through a window.  And I wonder—is it me?  But I cannot wrap my head around the fact that Thanksgiving is the lost holiday.

The tree won’t go up until the first or second weekend in December!

It just seems lost with all the focus on Christmas.

My lone 2018 Christmas Snow Globe!  Every year I treat myself and the Eiffel Tower seemed appropriate!  I’ll decorate when we return.  But first I have to clean. It’s a process!

But I’ll tell you—tomorrow as we drive from Philly to JFK, and we hit the PA and New Jersey Turnpikes and the infamous Belt Parkway, we’ll hit the Thanksgiving traffic—the busiest travel day of the year!  And I’ll be saying very naughty words in connection with this holiday!

traffic GIF

Unfortunately the traffic on the Belt Parkway won’t be moving this fast!

Back to Thanksgiving.  It’s just not my holiday.  Growing up, it was a bit weird because there were many Thanksgivings when my dad was working—he was a NYC police officer so we spent quiet Thanksgivings—even on the ones he was home.  And we spent it with my grandparents and aunt.  I can’t say I ever remember my mother every cooking a turkey because she had the deli across the street make it.


thanksgiving eating GIF

True dat!  When I was in my early twenties, I would have rather spent Thanksgiving being my own turkey!

And then as I got older, Thanksgivings were just that holiday that was more of a chore.  Being young and single and living in NYC, I would rather spend the holiday with friends or by myself.

Image result for norman rockwell thanksgiving

I must admit.  I’ve never experienced a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving.  Although I must admit–Cathe Lartigue Christmas’s are pretty darn epic!

When I was married to my ex-husband Thanksgiving was a very dysfunctional holiday.  My mother-in-law was a control freak and stressed everyone out with the timing of the cooking.  Nobody could help.  Then on Thanksgiving morning the menfolk would go to the local and legendary football game between two rival high schools.  The men would come back drunk but for the most part, happy drunk.

thanksgiving dinner GIF

Oh Dear Lord!  Some of the most dysfunctional Thanksgivings were spent at my in-laws.  But I have to say, my father-in-law was a ton of fun!

Then my mother-in-law would get all bent out of shape because the men were drunk.  And she would be scowling for the afternoon.

Then it was time to eat and most times her eldest son would be celebrating Thanksgiving with his wife’s family—I longed to be spending it with them too.  So, my MIL would sit at the table and cry because her oldest son wasn’t there.  Forget the fact that her other two sons and their families were there.

demi lovato stress GIF

It was during these dinners that I would excuse myself to go to the bathroom.  But in reality, I would go upstairs to the attic where my mother-in-law kept all the baked goods and I would give myself a five-minute stress eat!  Yummmmmmm Yum!

And one year I did it.  I got so annoyed that I announced at the table.  “For God’s sake, will you just be happy that everyone else is here?”  I believe she got up and walked out of the room.

Thanksgiving stress and yelling just made me feel all warm and toasty inside!

I didn’t mention.  With all the prep work my MIL did, the act of being at the Thanksgiving table actually eating dinner lasted all of twenty minutes.  Then there was the stress of her telling everyone to leave the room so she could clean.

a charlie brown thanksgiving GIF by Peanuts

Yeah. I swear this is making me laugh because it’s pretty-much how my mother-in-law served Thanksgiving Dinner when her oldest son wasn’t in attendance!   It’s so real!!

And then when my kids got slightly older Thanksgiving became a different kind of holiday.  When Oona began to compete in Irish Dance at the regional level, we would head to the Oireachtas in Philly.  On Thanksgiving night.

Image result for atypical60 irish dance

From the time she was eight years old to this photo in high school…

Image result for atypical60 irish dance

…and up to her Senior year in college.  Every Thanksgiving weekend was spent at the Oireachtas in Philly!  Those days were fun!!

During these years Thanksgiving was a more chill meal.  Sometimes we had guests.  Sometimes we didn’t.  But after enjoying a long and relaxing meal, Oona and I would head to Philly for the weekend while my ex-husband and the boys enjoyed a weekend of football.

Then there were the years going through my divorce and thereafter.  Those Thanksgivings were spent at my sister’s home in Long Island and were, for the first time, truly enjoyable Thanksgiving meals.

With Vincent and I, Thanksgiving is more of a relaxing day.  The kids are grown, two live out of state.  The last Thanksgiving we were all together was three years ago.  Both boys were living in New York City and Oona was living in Cincinnati for the first time (she moved back due to a transfer and is now back in Cincy) and flew in to spend a few days with us.

We all had Thanksgiving Dinner at Claudette Restaurant in NYC’s Greenwich Village.  And we had a blast.

Image result for atypical60 claudette restaurant

Our Thanksgiving dinner here at Claudette was on of my favorites because it was just me, Vincent and the kids!

And so, as you can read, Thanksgiving doesn’t go down as my favorite holiday.

Christmas is mine. I own it!

And this year with Jake in L.A, and Roman in NYC and Oona in Cincinnati, Vincent and I will depart for Paris tomorrow.

Our Thanksgiving Dinner will be spent on Place Dauphine in the First Arrondissement of Paris.  Neither of us will have turkey.  But whatever we have, it’ll be good!

Image result for atypical60 claudette restaurant

We’ll be enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner here at Restaurant Paul on Place Dauphine.  We’ve had many great meals here with Daniele before she passed away and we will toast to her memory!

My bags are packed.

Everything is in this Longchamp carryon.  I want my stuff near me!

I have my reading material.

I cannot wait to read Becoming by Michelle Obama!  The flight is seven hours.  The book will be finished by the time we land!  And for comic relief!  Sebastian Maniscalco–he’s hysterical!!!

And I’m looking forward to my return to the City of Lights.  We’ll be spending time with Vincent’s family and just relaxing for a few days.

Image result for atypical60 paris

I love me some 6th!

And when we return home,  I’ll be posting all about it!

I know that lately I haven’t been on target about posting what I’m wearing and my *cough* supposed weight loss journey.  Truth be told—I was really scared about my health. It was affecting me in some very anxiety-ridden ways but I’m back to normal and will be posting more about clothing, etc.

So, I wish you all a great, great Thanksgiving.  Whether it is stressful or not, just sit back and enjoy.  Even the bad holidays are cause for some interesting memories!  Enjoy the turkey and the trimmings.  And enjoy the official start of Holiday Season 2018!

Best to you and your families!

In the meantime, here’s a look at some of the outfits I’ve been wearing!

Feeling festive last week at work–and happy because my clothes still fit–tightly but they still fit!

Casual Chic–heels, skinny pants and a sweatshirt with my roots!

I wore this today. An old gray sweater. Gray Pixie Pants, a scarf I stole from Oona and inexpensive Over-the-Knee boots.  So many compliments that when I took the outfit off this evening I packed it for the trip!

Burgundy velvet pants, a black top and burgundy plaid flats.  A nice casual office look!

Black velvet pants and a black vevet tee–I’m wearing this to dinner on Thursday. Oh my–don’t look at my nails!  I had them done and now they look pretty!

Those jeans.  I’m wearing them on the plane!  

Wanna see more about how I packed?  Here’s a litte video!  Enjoy!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Not Your Norman Rockwell’s Thanksgivings!

  1. Momcat says:

    Happy Thanksgiving my beautiful American friend and bons voyages, amuse-toi à Paris!!

  2. Toni Soucie says:

    Safe travels and enjoy your trip. I look forward to reading all about it upon your return.

  3. Susan says:

    I’m so excited for you Catherine!!!!! I have such wonderful memories of my trip in June. Can’t wait to go again. Fly safe and I can’t wait to hear all about your trip!!!

  4. Cathe says:

    Yeah a trip to Paris! Can’t wait to read all about it. Thanksgiving has always been a mixed bag for me and reading about your experiences brings back so many bad memories. Guess that’s why I try to get away during the holiday. Have a wonderful time in Paris.

    • Catherine says:

      From one Cathe to another Cathe. OMG. We are Thanksgiving twins! Those bad memories—sometimes you just gotta laugh about them!! I’m glad to get away!!! XOXOXOXO

  5. Judy says:

    Have a wonderful time and enjoy every minute, I know you will! Looking forward to reading and seeing all about it. Xxx

  6. Nancy says:

    Place Dauphine? That s a well known restaurant! Wow! What a awfull Thanksgiving dinners you had!! Wow! Enjoy your time in Parijs, stop by in the Netherlands, then we can meet! 😁😁😁

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Nancy! Place Dauphine brings so many great memories for me. Daniele’s car was in the parking lot underneath the place so I visit the lot every time I go back! That’s so lame but I can’t help it. I love that restaurant during the summer months because of the people watching and activities that are so amusing and entertaining and in the winter, it’s a cozy and warm restaurant with food that is consistently delicious and made on premises!!! XOXOXOXO

  7. Juliet says:

    First of all, have the absolute BEST time in Paris. Second thing – no one should ever be guilt tripped into “celebrating” anything – surely guilttripping and thanksgiving should be contradictory if you consider wehat the words actually mean. The daughter will be spending Chrismtas with gravel guys parents (who are truly vile people, they hate foreigners so they hate me, which is fine and as long as they are good to madam – which they will be, as his mother is a twisted wreck and will be super lovely to madam, then Im ok – gravel-guy and I are still not going anywhere near them, but hey we’re happy if she is happy). Thirdly – anxiety, it is such a horrible thing. I put on 5 pounds this week stress eating because of the boss – don’t even ask… but anyway that weight loss thing that binds most of us – how about we all deal with that together when youre back? We can report our weight loss up to Christmas – 2 pounds down or 1/2 pound down or whatever – now however, Paris!!!

    Sighhhhh I LOVE Paris – cant wait to read what you get up to 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      LOL! Judy–you said a mouthful! But it’s so true with certain holidays. Nobody should be forced into having to celebrate. I’ll tell you–last Christmas was, hands down, the best Christmas because we all decided–NO GIFTS! And we are making it a tradition! No stress on what to buy. No shopping stress of long lines and crowds. We spent money on good food and going to movies during the week! It was a blast!
      I stress-ate a good 5 pounds too. But when I return, we’ll start a new weight loss way together!! XOXOXOXOXO

  8. vavashagwell says:

    Have a great trip! Looking forward to reading all about it. Fun to watch your video of what you are packing, perfect choices.
    For the most part, Thanksgiving has been an OK holiday for me. As a child and young adult, I had the Rockwell version with my family back in Minnesota, then later on when I moved to Oregon it was spent with groups of friends – we’d do a potluck sort of arrangement. One memorable moment was the time some guys helped me take the gigantic turkey out of the oven and they lost their grip on it and it went sailing across the kitchen floor to the squeal of laughter of everyone in the house. (Luckily the floor had just recently been washed.) In more recent years, it’s been a holiday spent at home with Mr. Shagwell and our two white Maine Coon kitties. But this year, our next door neighbors invited us over and so we’ll be doing a neighborhood potluck. Should be fun.
    Christmas. After much ado a few years back we were able to convince the extended family to stop the gift giving, with the exception of my MIL who absolutely refused. So, we buy her a couple of things, not an easy task for a 96 year old who can buy herself anything she wants……but it has certainly changed the way we used to approach the holiday. Now it’s about putting up some lights, decorations, cooking some great food and hanging out. (And we are eternally grateful that said MIL lives 600 miles away with no interest in visiting!! LOL).
    Anyway, have a wonderful time! xxoo, Vava
    P.S. glad to hear your medical tests came out great. Celebrate!

  9. TURNER says:

    Claudette! That’s in my building in New York! You should have buzzed me LOL. Miss it so much… but I will be there in three weeks for Christmas. Safe and happy travels to you!

  10. Looking forward to hearing about Paris… dream destination! Have a good Thanksgiving….and I hope that book is good because I have it on order too!

  11. nathalie says:

    wouhaaah! i was in Paris on monday almost in the same time as you ! we were 4 very good girl friends et you could have been the fifth ! i’m sure ! shopping , restaurant , wine , champagne ( just one ” coupe” and lots of laughs!!! ( and husbands at home or work !!!!)
    excellent séjour à Paris !

  12. Susan D says:

    You’ve probably finished your thanksgiving dinner by now and I hope it was enjoyable. Certainly better than the thanksgiving dinners you’ve had in the past. Have great time in Paris and I look forward to hearing all about it on your return.
    Susan D

  13. SamanthaDee says:

    What a lovely article! Love your Thanksgivings with Mother in Law – sounds like my Christmas! Girl you are ROCKING that red skirt! 😀

  14. Your stories about your MIL and Thanksgiving are hilarious! I can understand why it left a bad taste in your mouth. Truthfully, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I love its simplicity, what it represents. I love the parade, hanging out just chatting or movie-watching or taking a hike in the woods. But, since the death of my mother 3 years ago, none of the holidays appeal much anymore. We went to the Finger Lakes over Thanksgiving-Corning Glass Museum, waterfall hunting, wine trail that ended up being a cider trail, National Womens History Museum in Seneca Falls. Most of the time it topped out at 15 ish degrees. We tend to just get out of Dodge on holidays now. Much better for us.
    Glad to hear your health scare worked out in your favor. I know lots of women with health scares right now, myself included. And I know all about the stress eating…we’ve been eating a lot of Buddha bowls lately to counteract all the salty snacks I’ve inhaled. Of course, the Frenchie didn’t gain an ounce…
    Meilleure voeux a Vincent et a vous!

Leave a Reply