OP-ED: Story Over a Cup: Being a brazen Thanksgiving trade-up artist

Published 7:03 am Wednesday, December 2, 2020

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Michael Cole
Story Over A Cup

Happy Post Thanksgiving Coffee Drinkers!

I want to relay a story about a relative who lives in parts up yonder. By yonder I mean Kentucky.


Well, close enough.

Anyway, a few years ago he was being invited to lots of different Thanksgiving celebrations he could not turn down – work friends, family of his current girlfriend; close friends, and various relatives.

He told me about the headache he had in getting to each one of these and how expensive or time consuming it was to prepare or bring a dish to each one of them.

I asked why he did not just pick one, he then told me that he dared not refuse some of these invites. It could cause girlfriend angst, a miffed relative, or a coworker that felt slighted. Especially his boss.

And you dare not pass on Grandma’s house.


Until the Cole family genes kicked in and he was struck with brilliance.

So, this is how he handles it. His boss has a Thanksgiving brunch. Around 10 or so. He was tasked with bringing a cheesecake. A simple stop at a local grocer and he had a $13 cheesecake.

His boss had catered some of it, but others brought dishes.

Kindly, his boss pointed out that there were dishes that no one had touched. So, my cousin left at about one in the afternoon with a green bean casserole.

Then he was off to his friend’s house, casserole in hand, for their 3p.m. get together.

His wife loved to cook, but still was thrilled at the thoughtfulness of her husband’s friend to bring the casserole. She ohhed and ahhed, he said it was no trouble.

At 5 p.m., he started to say his goodbyes and noticed that the casserole was eaten. His friend’s wife then offered him a dozen fresh baked dinner rolls covered with honey butter.

Graciously, he accepted and was off to his girlfriend’s house.

Her parents were floored at the thoughtful young man that brought something homemade. Her father was apparently a fan of dinner rolls, and my friend is now referred to as “son” by him.

Now, comes the piece de resistance.

He told her family at around seven that he had to leave and go home to cook something quick for his grandmother’s dinner at 8 p.m.

Her mom told him he was such a thoughtful young man and instead suggested she had cooked a ham no one touched and insisted he take it. They were heading to their parents, and saw no reason for it to go to waste.

He gave his girlfriend a kiss, her parents gushed over the great young man she was dating and ham in hand he was off to Grandmother’s house.

And promptly at 8 p.m., he shows up with a glazed home cooked ham.

His grandmother is floored that her 26-year-old grandson had taken the time to prepare such a dish. His parents are amazed that he had been the responsible one, considering his brother had

brought solo cups and his sister a cheesecake from the store.

I really do not know whether to be amazed or not. All I do know is the next time I go car shopping, I am letting him do it for me.


Michael Cole is a syndicated columnist that when he is not writing, he is plotting global domination. You can follow him at www.storyoveracup.com