The Argument for Store-Bought Thanksgiving Food



I feel guilty about a lot of things. Why did I put Play-Doh on my neighbor’s shoe when I was little, for example. But one thing I have never felt guilty about is picking up store-bought desserts during the holidays. In fact, I think this is one of the few satisfactions of the modern era. Here is why:

1. Store-bought deserts are better than anything I could possibly make at home.

I am a terrible baker. The one time I tried to make a pie, the dough was so sticky that I couldn’t roll it out. I ended up piling a mound of apples on top of an unrolled dough ball and baking it. Was it bad? Yes! (But not because of the dough ball. It was because I put too much cinnamon on the apples). Do I want to inflict that on my family? No! I like them. They comforted me after the Play-Doh incident.

2. Sometimes I am so lazy, it astounds even me.

Being a low-energy person is tough. Sometimes people ask you to get them a butter knife in the other room and there is no real reason why you can’t do it, but you can’t do it. Cooking is WAY too much work for a low-energy woman. Getting desserts from a store indicates to your fellow Thanksgiving compatriots that you are too low-energy to be given any important tasks during this happy holiday, which is a great way to lower expectations right from the beginning.

3. A Taste of New York!

I’m from Rhode Island originally and I go back there every Thanksgiving. Generally, however, I live in New York, the food capital of the world, the only place I have ever eaten a slice of pizza where the sauce was just ketchup (it was 99 cents). I justify my store-bought pies and slightly crushed panettone to my family as a kind of “taste of New York” festival that I perform for their edification. I buy pies at a place close to my apartment and tell everyone they are New York’s finest pies. Then I give them my water bottle that I filled up in my bathroom at home and say, “This is New York’s finest drinking water.” They love it!

4. I have trouble feeling guilt about stuff like this.

In personal essays about being a woman, everyone is always feeling guilty but then realizing they shouldn’t feel guilty. Like, “I felt guilty for spending too much time on Instagram, but then I realized I shouldn’t.” Or, “I felt guilty about canceling on my friend, but then I realized I shouldn’t.” I don’t get it. You can’t actually feel guilty for not following a rule that no one has ever even said! Guilt is being confused with mild annoyance. Take it from me: they are two different emotions. Now leave me in peace so that I can eat New York’s finest pie and not feel guilty about it.

Photos by Krista Anna Lewis.

Have you visited the Rent-a-Relationship store yet? Handy for Thanksgiving. Want more Rebecca Harrington? Listen to her Oh Boy episode here and raid her fridge after. 

Follow Rebecca Harrington on Twitter and check out her book, “I’ll Have What She’s Having.”

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