Bowling for Turkey

22 Nov

Since I will have probably eaten myself into a coma by the time next Friday rolls around (and since I will be totally consumed by Christmas), I thought I’d take this blog post to write about the essence of Thanksgiving, and my first love.


I have a theory that we are naturally drawn to people with Comparable Consumption Capabilities – the Triple C Theory, if you will.

It works like this: if you’re one of those people for whom “eating lasagna”” is a major splurge – reserved for entering a new millennium or celebrating the return of Boy Meets World to primetime – you are likely drawn to people who count their almonds like coins and who never ask for multiple baskets of bread while eating at a restaurant. 

…And that is why we are not friends. I’m sure you’re great and all, but it would never work out. I’d be on my sixth piece of bread and you’d be on your first… and that would be an analogy for the rest of our relationship.

Luckily, my best friends are just like me – “What’s for dessert?” is a question to be asked after Dessert #1, and “Can I get cheese on that?” is applicable to anything. Even cheese.

While in college, we’ve achieved all new levels of Consumption Capability. There have been some craaazzzyy times, man. We’re talking chocolate keg stands. We’re talking shots of froyo. We’re talking double-fisting cake.

This one time, I ate so much that I ended up in a garbage can in New Hampshire the next day. And when I woke up, I realized I’d eaten some of the garbage. It. Was. Awesome.

Last night was no exception.

Every year, BU serves a couple of specialty meals in its dining halls. There’s Lobster Night, Visiting Chef’s Night, Jersey Shore night (whatever that means) etc. etc.

The week before Thanksgiving, we get a Thanksgiving meal. We’re talking the fully monty – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie…THE WORKS.

My friends and I look forward to these specialty meals like most people look forward to turning 21 or going to a Taylor Swift concert. We mark them on our calendars; we count down the days; we send weekly reminders; we overload social media with posts documenting our excitement. 

When the day arrives, there is no messing around. We are a competitive bowling team, ready to play without guardrails, and with regular size balls.

(I could have compared us to a football team, but that seemed too predictable. Plus, I just have this image of a bowling team as a tighter knit group of people.)

Each of us has our own preparation routine. I like to begin my day with a cup of coffee and a list of my goals and accomplishments for the meal.

Then, I spend the day willing myself not to ruin my appetite. This sometimes necessitates tying my hands together and locking myself in a closet.

When the hour of truth finally arrives, my friends and I meet at the threshold of the dining hall, where we huddle up and exchange tactics and words of encouragement. 

“Don’t start with the pasta, it will slow down your momentum. Go for the soup as your first course.”

“Let’s sit at that round table in the back because it has enough room to accommodate our expanding waistlines…and it’s closest to the desserts.”

“Ask not what your meal can do for you; ask what you can do for your meal.”

You know, the usual stuff.

Once we enter the dining hall, we quickly locate the table that best suits our needs for that particular meal. (See above re: “expanding waistlines” and “desserts.”)

Table secured, we embark on our journey.

The process of getting all our food is more complicated than controlling a spaceship launch mission…I would assume.

The first step involves walking around the dining hall and observing each and every meal station to see what it has to offer. Anything with the words “tempeh” or “leafy greens” is automatically taken out of the running.

NEXT. We reconvene and decide on which lines to enter first. The wait is AGONIZING, and I usually contemplate claiming “hunger-induced insanity” and jumping over the barricade. Luckily, I have not (yet) had to resort to this.

Once we’ve procured our main course, we usually pretend that is our only course and retreat to our table…but HA, don’t be fooled! That is the first plate of at least ten (each), and we are just putting it on the table so as to free up our arms for the next NINE plates!

As I search for my accompanying meals, I feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety.


It is a stressful time.

But, once all the plates have been gathered, we finally sit down to enjoy the feast:


And what a feast it was.

I’m not going to lie; those three plates in the front (plus that bowl that’s trying to hide in the bottom left corner) were my conquests, and mine alone.

I’m also not going to tell you the entire truth about how much I ate… because there are some things that a lady should keep to herself. 

But, I can show you this picture:


Are you worried about my health and well being yet? Because you should be. Especially since that picture was taken before all of THIS:



Aahh, my own personal Thanksgiving Mecca of joy. Can life even GET any sweeter?

(I realized – as I grabbed a cookie on the way out of the dining hall – that the answer to that question is a definitive YES.)

It was an incredibly successful Thanksgiving meal at BU – perhaps the most successful, to date.

I find that with age comes a greater understanding of how to shove the most food into your face in the smallest amount of time.

That’s the kind of knowledge you can only get for $55,000 a year, ladies and gentlemen. But I’m happy to share it for free.

After finishing our dessert (which we scarfed down in less than five minutes, due to uncharacteristically poor time management) my friends and I dashed (or slowly hobbled, if you’re going by human standards and not oompa loompa standards) out of the dining hall to race to our a cappella rehearsal.

As we were leaving, I’m pretty sure I heard some freshman whisper, “Dude, that’s the new all-female bowling team! Watch out for them…I heard they once ate an entire turkey because it ‘got in their way.’”

And he would be right.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!






2 Responses to “Bowling for Turkey”

  1. Mike G. November 23, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    Joyful gluttonous and hilarious. A Capella practice with what must have only consisted of singing and, to borrow a phrase, horizontal running.

    Enjoy your holidays.

    • sophpearl November 30, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

      Thanks, Mike! I hope you had a great holiday!

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