Thanksgiving At Home with Maya

It may seem pretty dang weirdass, but I’ve already had Thanksgiving dinner this year. And a week ago Monday. The Sharpmans did it that way so that the Thanksgiving show would be ready to air tonight, the night before Thanksgiving.

Me and Keaton are going up to Joyce’s tomorrow, but, for the time being, I’ve gotten to celebrate with the Sharpmans. Actually the boys wanted me to come to real Thanksgiving too, but Maya adheres very closely to CDC rules and certainly doesn’t want to get caught doing something she shouldn’t be doing when she’s turned her house into a goldfish bowl. People are getting caught right and left doing Thanksgiving things they shouldn’t. Maya’s too smart for that. I was touched that the boys wanted me there, though.

So Maya and Mrs. Bedrossian spent all day Sunday and most of the day Monday cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for November 16th. And Ethan and the crew were there, capturing it all for the cameras. They were even along when Maya and her mother went to the grocery. Ethan told me on our trip to the dirt factory last week that getting the cameras into the market while keeping up social distancing was an absolute nightmare. And they went at 8 in the morning on a weekday to do it, too.

Since they made enough food for a big family Thanksgiving, a bunch of us were invited to help eat it all (Maya: “we’re going to have enough leftovers next week when it really is Thanksgiving.”) That meant that Ethan and the crew, plus Sandy, Belen, Dr. Peterson and yours truly joined Maya, Robert, Mrs. Bedrossian, Jacob and Matteo for TV Thanksgiving.

Don’t worry, we didn’t eat inside and we didn’t even eat together. There are a couple tables on a deck right outside the kitchen and a table over by the pool. Maya, Robert, Mrs. Bedrossian and Sandy all ate at the tables by the house, while me, Dr. Peterson, Jacob and Matteo ate over by the pool (Dr. Peterson: “I swore I was never going to eat at the kids’ table again…and here I am doing it.) Then Ethan and the crew up by the house when they were done filming. Don’t worry: Belen got to eat, too. She’s the only one who got to eat inside, though…and I think we were all jealous of her. It was 90° on Monday and we all would rather have been in the air conditioning. At least I was dressed properly for the heat in shorts and a tshirt, although it felt kinda wrong that I was having Thanksgiving without getting dressed up. Mom and Dad taught me better lol.

There was a ton of food. Mrs. Bedrossian made sure that there was plenty of Armenian food to go with the turkey and trimmings she and Maya made together. (Yeah, Maya Bedrossian, movie and now TV reality star, really can cook. When you see her working in the kitchen, that’s really her doing the cooking.) So, although it was kinda weird, we had shish kebab and these totally awesome stuffed meatballs alongside our turkey and candied yams (Meemaw would approve: no Yankee marshmallows lol.) It was an amazing spread, it was just weird to be eating it on a hot Monday afternoon with the cameras rolling.

“One thing we’ve proven,” Ethan said when I got up to get more of those meatballs and another slice of turkey, “is that Hashtag Baseball Boy has a good appetite. People are gonna like knowing that about you.”

Everybody ate hearty, although we then realized that we were all so full that we weren’t going to get any more work done that day. Even Jacob wasn’t in the mood to run around after his first Thanksgiving dinner of the year.

“Is this what Thanksgiving is usually like at your house?,” I asked him.

“Naah,” he answered. “Not really. We don’t have this much food, although my grandma does make sure that we have Armenian food as well as American stuff. She doesn’t want us to forget our roots.”

“That’s pretty cool,” I said.

“Where’s your family from, Hunter?,” Matteo then asked.

“I don’t rightly know,” I said, honestly. “The Blocks have been in Tennessee since before the Civil War.” I still haven’t told y’all about Tennessee Ranger Cantrell Block, our family war hero. I gotta do that one of these days. “I think we’re English on my Mom’s side and more Scottish on the Block side. I guess mostly my roots are Southern at this point.”

“That’s cool,” said Matteo. “You’re like the most American person I’ve ever met, then. Dad’s family is Jewish, but they’ve only been here since the early 20th century.”

“His parents are both dead,” Jacob said, taking up the story. “They used to live in New York, which is where Dad was born.”

“Mom was born in Lebanon,” said Matteo, explaining a little more. “Armenia wasn’t a country back then; it was part of Russia. Grandpa was Russian-Armenian. Grandma’s mom was born there too, but moved to Lebanon. So Jacob and I are first generation Americans on one side.” He sounded proud of that, which I liked.

“What about you, Dr. Peterson?,” Jacob asked.

“All of my grandparents spoke French,” he said. “My mom’s parents were from France and Dad’s parents came from French Canada.” He then turned into a teacher briefly and explained about how there are two parts of Canada. I gotta admit that I’ve always been a little confused by that, so I learned something that afternoon. Dr. Peterson was pretty mellow as we had our first Thanksgiving dinner. It was the mellowest I’ve seen him. He seemed like a cooler dude than I thought, but that’s what happens when you share good food with people…and, believe me, the food was awesome.

Amazingly, they even let Matteo eat some and for once didn’t hold him to his diet. He wasn’t allowed to pack it in (the way I was lol), but he even got to have a slice of pecan pie (there was pumpkin and apple too, but Matteo chose pecan for the one little piece he was allowed.) It was a little slice, but it was still dessert. It was the first dessert he’s had since he started the diet. It was interesting that he ate it real slowly, like he wanted to savor every bite. I had a feeling he was gonna inhale it (kinda the way I did mine lol), but he was real careful. And he was careful not to miss any crumbs on his plate. It was cool getting to see him eat for a change, although I was a little worried what it might do for the weigh-in the next Monday. I was already figuring out a way to get him to work a little harder on cardio so what he did get to eat didn’t end up getting him in trouble.

I reckon I don’t need to tell y’all too much else about the Sharpman’s Thanksgiving, since it was all on TV. We did all have to go around and say what we were thankful for…but we weren’t forced to do that on the spot. We prepared our answers beforehand and then tried to look like they were spontaneous. Like I’ve told y’all before: reality TV isn’t always completely real. I had to run my answer past Sandy and Ethan before I got to say it on camera but I thought it up by myself. I said that I was thankful to have gotten to know such a wonderful family as the Sharpmans.

And that’s true. I wasn’t just saying it for the cameras.

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