On November 24, I brought my mother's special table cloth to school. Folded neatly, this precious cloth sat in the back seat of the white corolla as I drove myself, my two siblings, and the sputtering car to the all-grade school in the early hours before the sun and its followers prefer to be awake. We usually only saw the table cloth on certain occasions: visits by grandparents, holidays, and the rare dinner for an out-of-town guest. With this knowledge, it seemed a little odd for it to be sitting among the dirty shoes, school bags, and bad-perfume smell that filled the car, but it did have a purpose there. Our school needed to borrow a table cloth, and we were supplying one.
You see, out of that generous holiday spirit that touches so many during this season, my school administrators decided to serve us a Thanksgiving feast yesterday, because making us show up to school that day wasn't cruel enough. A private school of about 200, grades K-12, they managed somehow to fit EVERYONE into the cramped upstairs cafeteria, teachers, students, and a few chickens. Yes, we had chicken, Price's chicken, because otherwise we'd all be sick of turkey by Thanksgiving. We were also stuck with canned corn, apple sauce made by the kindergartners (most of us thought it better for our health to not touch this particular sauce), and lumpy "smashed" potatoes all heaped upon dinky little paper plates. Of course, there weren't enough chairs for everyone, so a select few were forced to stand while they bit into fried chicken wings and stabbed at green beans with plastic forks.
Oh, and they never actually used our table cloth - somewhere between the realization that kindergartners would be eating at the tables and the lack of table coverings for all of the tables, our lovely table cloth was deemed unnecessary. I must admit, however, that the pumpkin bread baked by the middle school (eat at your own risk) was quite delicious, and bringing Mom's table cloth to school felt a just a little bit scandalous, and the day might not have been a complete waste after all. Hopefully, by the time Christmas rolls around, their won't be any turkey or chicken at my school's buffet, and I'll be at home, where all good children should be during the holidays.