Who Wants Turkey Surprise?

Last updated: July 29th, 2023 | Originally published: November 26, 2021
turkey surprise

Its Thanksgiving and we are in Charleston, SC — right where we wanted to be for Christmas this year. It is beautiful here, the weather is warm, and our church community has been awesome.

We were invited by a friend to a third-party home to have Thanksgiving dinner with four other families. It feels weird to go to someone’s house — that I don’t know — who personally did not invite me. I’ve considered claiming to be sick to get out of it. It’s not so much that I feel under the weather, it’s that I’m anxious about taking Parker to a stranger’s house.

You see, Parker woke this morning, strolled naked into the living room with tape measure in hand, looked around the room and proclaimed the world is requiring too much because “his measurement” isn’t enough. Let that sink in for a moment.

I was so disgusted that I sent him back to his room to try again. Not to measure again, but to try to act like a 16-year-old, autistic, young man with clothing on his body… again.

I told him what he is doing is not “socially acceptable”.

turkey surprise

Now why — on earth — would I want to take THAT kind of behavior to a stranger’s house on Thanksgiving? And I’m flying solo because the hubs is at work so he can’t support me when it gets too weird. And it will absolutely, without question, end up far too weird at some point.

Parker is like a loud, attention-prying, self-promoting side dish that I would not choose to bring to a Thanksgiving dinner. He’s like the baked beans that no one touches at the church potluck. Inevitably there will be that awkward moment at the end of the function where I pick-up the untouched dish and walk of shame it to the car.

Perhaps someday I’ll sacrifice the crock pot and let the beans figure it out. I’ve considered it before.

turkey surprise

If Parker were a side-dish we would call him Turkey Surprise! As an attention-prying side-dish, he would act as if he’s the main dish, gobble-gobble-gobbling up all the conversation.

“Have you seen Pulp Fiction? How about Braveheart? Goodfellas? Shawshank Redemption? Dude, where were you in the 1990’s?”

And even though there’s a beautifully cooked bird centered on the table, and it is surrounded by gourmet dressing, sumptuous potatoes, rich gravy, and heavenly rolls, Turkey Surprise will spill onto everyone’s plate and demand to be eaten first. That’s Parker.

So the question is…

Do I leave him at home because I’m too embarrassed? He will never learn social skills if I do. And it’s Thanksgiving! I can’t do that to him.

Or do I commit the socially irresponsible faux pas of bringing Turkey Surprise to Thanksgiving and cringe as everyone forks it into a corner of their plate?

This is the struggle. This is why I can’t have nice things! Or friends!

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all! Be thankful for what you have, and what you don’t have.


So, P didn’t make it. I left it up to him. The requirement to go was 1. Shower 2. Put clothes on

He decided it wasn’t worth it and said he would rather stay home. I accepted that and brought him home an instant pot plate of mashed potatoes, turkey, ham, stuffing, and gravy. It was a Happy Thanksgiving had by all!

turkey surprise

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