posted by VJ on Nov 28

Here in the United States, we have just celebrated our traditional Thanksgiving.

My husband Robin and I hosted dinner at our house for four guests.  It was lovely, warm, and low-key.

And I’m exhausted!!

Typical for my animus, I suppose.

I didn’t cook a thing.  I only voted a little on the menu.

My two girlfriends did nearly everything.  Marti brought a cooked turkey, cooked potatoes, rolls, stuffing — the works!  Josette brought an appetizer, sweet potatoes, salmon, cranberry sauces.  And my husband supplied appetizers, a green bean casserole, and a side dish of mushrooms.  Plus he purchased the french-made pumpkin pie he was ordered to and supplied some lovely wine.

It was all delicious.

Our other two guests were my friend Lynda and her “personal assistant” Maury.  Lynda is recovering from a meningitis-induced stroke she had 2 years ago that put her in a coma for 6 months.  This was the first time I’ve seen her since visiting her in hospital, so it was gratifying to see her again, have her recognize me and our house, and converse with her a bit.  She was lovely.  The whole experience was lovely — it was gratifying to bathe in so much mutual extraverted Feeling.

For this event, my domain was the decorating.  Decorating was me. That’s what my extraverted Sensing animus wanted to do.

I pulled the dishes out of the cupboard and garage and surveyed what else was needed.  We went shopping for missing items, and ended up buying some new serving utensils, some little appetizer plates, a dozen black plate chargers.  Oh! And cute cocktail napkins.

We decided a round table was better than our glass table, so Robin rented one from a party service.  He was supposed to get linens for it, including a topper and matching napkins.  We went online together looking at fabric samples and determining what colors were suitable the day before he was to go get it.

He blew it.

He came home with a black tablecloth and burgundy napkins.  No table topper.  (He got confused and thought “table topper” was the tablecloth itself.)

My Martha Stewart animus (did I mention that my animus can be Martha Stewart?) was mortified.  Mortified!  There was no way it was going to allow a funereal-looking black tablecloth with high-contrast burgundy napkins.  So on the night before Thanksgiving, we headed off to Target, shopping for suitable overlays.

We bought two new linens: one a folksy looking autumn toned cloth; and the other a dramatic red shadow pattern, quite Bavarian looking.

The autumn toned cloth got the most votes.

So late on Thanksgiving Eve, we were assembling our table, vacuuming, cooking, and otherwise getting ready for the Big Day.  Everything Must Sparkle.  Martha Stewart was humming.

I shined up the silverware, and laid out all the plates on their chargers.  And discovered something awful.  The chargers stank!  I mean….. really stank!  Like a gas station was tucked inside each one.  It was dreadful!

So we plunged one into a sinkful of hot, soapy water and dried it off.

It still stank.

We decided to pitch all six of them into hot, soapy water and soak them all night to rid them of stench.

Didn’t work.

Robin ran them through the dishwasher the next morning.

Now the dishwasher smelled like a gas station too.

A decorating disaster!!  Martha Stewart was wracked with shame.

Robin eventually ferried all the chargers outside the house so they wouldn’t stink up the place.

The dishwasher still reeked.

And now the decorating scheme was ruined.  Just ruined.

The black chargers had been a critical element, crucial to the cohesiveness of the design.

Mid-morning found me and Martha rummaging in the garage for my gold-trimmed chinaware.  I ended up pulling out plates and gold-trimmed glasses and goblets that I thought I would never use again.

I laid them all out, and everything looked sparkly and beautiful.  Okay, so the napkin rings were silver, which didn’t go with the gold.  So sue me, Martha.

And there was no centerpiece.

Couldn’t have that.

At the last minute, I set a cake-stand in the middle of the table and dropped a little pumpkin on it — a pumpkin some enterprising real estate agent left on our doorstoop weeks ago to advertise her services — and threw a plastic autumn wreath around it (a wreath I’ve had for years).  It looked great!  Exactly the touch it needed.  Martha was pleased.

This is not the real table, but an approximation I created later.FINALLY I got the table set.  (Can you believe it?) Why oh why did I forget to take a picture?

The picture to the right is not the real thing, but an approximation I created later. :-P (Click it for a better view.)

At last our guests began arriving, and I could relax with a glass of wine.


During preparation of the actual meal I had to locate my potato masher for Marti, and one of the coils went out on the oven, and there wasn’t enough ice…. Then at the end we needed beaters to whip the cream, coffee brewed, and fresh glassware for after-dinner drinks.  I’m just no good with Tactical Intelligence, so when it was all over I was exhausted.

I can imagine what a wreck I’d have been if I had tried to do all the cooking too.  Yikes!

Are there any INFJs out there who actually tackled the whole challenge — the cooking PLUS all the other tasks besides?  If so, how on earth did you manage it?

My Martha Stewart animus has a lot of energy, but hey it is the INFJ’s inferior function after all.  The most challenging function to access.  It takes time, effort, and a whole lot of struggle to use it beyond a certain point.  Dr. John Beebe has remarked on how the animus will often take up a “cause” and “make too much of things.”  People who know me well will certainly agree with this — as you can tell by this post, my Martha Stewart self easily makes too much of things!

And yes, I know it makes no sense for Martha Stewart to be my animus.  After all, the inferior function is supposed to be feminine for boys, and masculine for us girls.  No matter.  Martha Stewart is playing the part for now, and Bob Mackey or Christopher Lowell may adopt the role during other aesthetic crises.  Let’s not split psychological hairs today.

Overall, I am feeling pretty proud today of how well things went — especially of how lovely things looked.  For now, my Martha animus is satisified.

Now…… where did we store the Christmas decorations…?

One Comment to “My Thanksgiving Report”

  1. Charles Says:

    Hi Vicky Jo,
    Thanks for sharing your Thanksgiving experience. It certainly made for an interesting and, dare I say it, amusing read. :) Whilst Thanksgiving is not traditionally a UK holiday, I have been fortunate enough to celebrate it for the last several years. I have never attempted to run the whole of a Thanksgiving feast by myself, the prospect of which does sound rather daunting. In previous years, when we’ve hosted, my wife has always handled the cooking whereas I’ve been responsible for laying out the table – making everything look nice (my specialty, and something I actually rather enjoy doing), cleaning and doing the washing up. This year, for a change, we spent Thanksgiving with our close friends down in Dawlish and so it was largely a team effort as we all took on different duties as needed. It was also much more low key, which made the whole experience a lot less stressful as well.

    Best regards to you and Robin,
    Charles [INFJ]

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