One can expect certain things when pursuing one's chosen profession.
One can expect to make sacrifices in pursuit of a professional goal.
One can expect to suffer hardships and to sweat, even if it's a mental sweat, to learn new aspect of one's job.
One can expect these things.
But does one ever expect to have to eat two Thanksgiving meals in one day for work?
I don't recall seeing that in my job description, and, yet, as of the writing of this column on Wednesday, that's the big, fat plan.
To be fair, I was going to eat one meal anyway, but now a second meal will be eaten for work. Granted, no one is forcing me to eat a second meal, but there are expectations that one will eat when one is at a large feed. When in line at the turkey dinner, do as the other eaters are doing and all that.
I've known for a few weeks now that I'll be covering the Havre Community Thanksgiving Dinner for my job at the newspaper (perhaps you saw my byline on the front page today). My husband and I decided we'd go together, and we invited family to come with us.
That plan was a bust.
My father-in-law was looking forward to what has become a new tradition, which is to go to his place for Thanksgiving and let him serve us.
And by "his place" and "him serving us" I mean that we go to the Eagles Manor retirement apartments, where he lives, to eat a delicious meal that is expertly prepared and served and cleaned up after by other people.
While they take care of us, we enjoy the camaraderie of family and friends at our table at a volume that ensures we are sharing our conversation with all the other friends and families seated at the tables around us.
This was not to be missed. Period.
My husband and I compromised. We would eat at 11:30 a.m. at the manor, then go to the community dinner, where I swore I would eat only mashed potatoes and gravy. (Mashed potatoes are my kryptonite and I heard the the chef's gravy is to die for ... then of course there's more pie. I would hate to be rude.)
Being the consummate professional that I am, I have been doing preliminary studying and practice runs to prepare myself for the coming hardships.
Every meal for the past week I have eaten seconds, whether I need them or want them or not.
I have chosen the perfect jeans that are subtly made with stretch fabric but of a design style that avoids any descriptions that sound like: "fat-pants" or "grandma-esque."
I have tried a variety of belts to find the one I can loosen quickly and easily and without detection.
And though it isn't necessary considering longstanding Thanksgiving traditions, I have also practiced stifling any groans of full-stomach misery.
I am a professional, after all.
(I am thankful this year that all I have to worry about is having to much to eat of delicious food I had neither to cook nor clean up after. Life could be worse at firstname.lastname@example.org.)