Thank goodness Ralphs is open 24 hours.
Every Thanksgiving, my son’s elementary school collects a frozen turkey from each child to donate to its sister school, a place for severely disabled children from low-income families. It’s really a sweet tradition, and the kids really benefit from their relationship with this other school and its students.
I thought about buying my turkey all week, but I figured I’d wait until Thursday so I wouldn’t have to keep it in my already cramped freezer for very long. (Thinking back on this, the premise is totally illogical– if I have to make room for it for 5 minutes, I could make room for it for 5 days. But I digress.) But Thursday rolled around and the kids didn’t want to go to the grocery store, so I decided I’d go after they went to bed.
Cut to Thursday at 10pm, after my husband and I have watched Survivor and FlashForward, and suddenly– gasp!– I realize I haven’t bought the turkey. But I was tired and I didn’t feel like going out in my PJs (even though apparently this is a thing for kids in Atlanta…). New plan: I would get up at 5:40 am and go to the grocery store then.
My husband laughed at me. ”This is turkey peer pressure,” he declared. And he was right: I didn’t want my kid to be the only slacker who didn’t bring a turkey for the disabled kids. He might be scarred for life! I was caught up in my own Judith Warner-esque circle of Perfect Madness– scrambling around to get a 12 pound turkey so my kid could keep up with the Joneses.
So I dragged my butt out of bed at 5:40 am and headed out to the Ralphs. I got my turkey, plus we needed orange juice and milk for the 3 year old, and, well, I’m here, right?
And on the way home, as the sun was beginning to rise, I realized, you know what? This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I know it’s au courant to complain about competitive motherhood, and don’t get me wrong, competitive motherhood can be reDONK, but in this case, the peer pressure caused me to do a good thing. It’s GOOD that I went out and got that turkey for a disadvantaged family and that the sixth graders will get a chance to deliver it to a student.
So I guess I realized that a little bit of competitiveness surrounding parenting can be a positive thing. But I’m NOT renting out the Ritz Carlton for my next kid’s birthday party.