Thanksgiving Weekend In Concentrate

7 Dec


I need five pillows in order to make it through the night.

This seems high maintenance, I know.  But there it is.

I sleep with five pillows.

One between my legs.

Two under my head, stacked.  One in my arms.  One perpendicular to the head pillows.

Five pillows.

Count them.  One, two, three, four, we don’t want your superstore.

I spent Thanksgiving in the suburbs with Caitlin and her family.  Thanksgiving is the only time all year in which I want to be in the suburbs, my soul cries out for convenience and planned communities and cheesy decorations.

“What about Christmas?” Luke asks.

“Christmas needs to be spent with my family,” I say.  That could be anywhere.

But Thanksgiving should be in the burbs, in a cozy house with Tupperware and leftover shells and toilet paper galore.

Cait and I shared a bed over the weekend.  She knows my sleeping habits by this point, and so she had five pillows and two comforters and two sheets and two everything so we could sleep side by side and not have to share at all.

Neither of us are sharers, really.

At least not that kind.

There’s something so wonderful about seeing where a person is from.

I know Caitlin very well.  I’ve shared laughter and tears and car rides and soul secrets.  I know what she looks like without makeup.  I know her strengths and skills and strengths and skills she doesn’t count as strengths and skills.  I know her favorite Robyn song v. her most played Robyn song.

I know Cait.

And yet.

I come to her childhood home and I see her even more clearly.

Caitlin in concentrate.

This summer a mutual friend visited me and Luke on Cape Cod.  As we sat on the overcast beach the friend commented that Luke on the Cape was “Luke in concentrate.”  There, in that tiny town where he learned to cook and had summer flings and grew up, there Luke is most himself.

I like that idea.

I wonder where and what Jill in concentrate looks like.

Cait in concentrate includes boxes from ex-boyfriends.  The boys she loved and wanted to love and will always love.

It includes a closet of jumbled clothing, Abercrombie high school photos, a doorframe with 50 Cent quotes.

Oh my goodness, Caitlin’s doorframe!  I only took a picture of the 50 Cent quote, but there are others.  Other gems written in her same lopside handwriting, in different colored markers.

Been hit with a few shells but I don’t walk with a limp 

I’m surrounded by a vanity crisis, everywhere I turn

We’re hopelessly blissful and blind to all we need

Caitlin in concentrate is also Caitlin with her parents. The souls who watched Grey’s Anatomy, and shared a popcorn bowl, and encouraged our Diet Coke habits day after day.

They are part of Caitlin in concentrate.

I like Caitlin in concentrate.

Well I just like Caitlin, really.

Thanksgiving morning Cait and I started off with Diet Coke. I had forgotten how much Diet Coke I down when with Caitlin.  My body wasn’t prepared.  I’ve been drinking too much water!

We went to McDonald’s and Carl’s Jr. and rounded the trip out with a donut shop and then before I knew it we were back to Carl’s Jr. and then back again.  It got to the point where the Carl’s Jr. worker commented on our clothing, “Ooh, you girls changed!”  and we responded “Cool manicure!” and reached for the fresh DC with lemon.

And now I’m going to say something blasphemous.

The Diet Coke at Cait’s home Carl’s Jr. is better than the Diet Coke at her home McDonald’s.

I didn’t know it was possible, but it is, apparently.


As the hours counted down to the feast, Cait took me on her favorite winding roads to her favorite places, through postcards of fall. Fall came to Northern California!  Who knew.

We listened to my limited iPhone music, and danced to Justin Timberlake and took pictures of the scenery (and since it’s Cait, she took pictures of me.)

This shall forever be known as the Thanksgiving of the Nikes.

And fuzzy socks.

Nikes, fuzzy socks and DC.

And then we had a Thanksgiving dinner, one with more gravy than I’ve ever had in my life because Caitlin’s family, they understand gravy.  And cranberry sauce that made me think maybe cranberry sauce has a place in this world.

That kind of cranberry sauce.

Oh!  And I helped with the rolls!

People kept congratulating me on this.

You can congratulate me too, if you’d like.

And then, finally, after a long day of Cait in concentrate, once we were full and happy and caffeinated, we got in the car and made the trek to a fancy San Francisco hotel with a killer view and all the shopping a girl could want.

As soon as we got to our room, Cait silently handed me all the pillows off her bed.

I put one between my legs.

Two under my head.

One in my arms.

One perpendicular to the head pillows.

I need five pillows in order to sleep, you know.

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2 Responses to “Thanksgiving Weekend In Concentrate”

  1. Inne December 24, 2014 at 2:55 am #

    Your writing is spectacular. That is all. Happy holidays!

    • jillianlorraine December 27, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

      Thank you! Happy holidays back!

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