My messy moment: The evils of weevils

Holidays are fraught with messes, some by way of the physical trappings associated with the festivities, others due to the psychological trappings associated with festivities spent with extended family. My messy moment features a little of both.

Many years ago I established a tradition of spreading Indian-corn kernels on the Thanksgiving dinner table. Friends and family are invited to place kernels symbolizing their personal blessings in the special "gratitude" dish at any time during the meal. It’s a kinder, gentler, and less intrusive way of getting all around the table to give thanks without shining an invasive spotlight on folks not used to spotlights or  expressing gratitude out loud, be it to friends or to family.

I can never explain the tradition to newcomers to our Thanksgiving table. Each time I begin the explanation, I get all verklempt thinking of my many, many blessings. Thankfully one of my daughters (who are all quite used to Mom's perpetual state of verklemptness) always steps in and explains it for me—another blessing that increases my verklempt state. Every time.

That’s not the messy part of the story, though, as my daughters regularly rescue me from what could be a messy situation.

Here, friends, is the messy part: The first Thanksgiving I hosted at my house for all the extended family—including my older sister and her husband, whom I wanted desperately to impress—things got messy. Naturally it would be the year that when I pulled out my "gratitude" dish with Indian-corn kernels saved from the previous year and dumped the kernels onto the beautifully set Thanksgiving table, weevils—who'd been happily noshing on the kernels all year—scattered everywhere. A mess. An embarrassing mess that required complete removal of not only the contents of the gratitude dish, but the tablecloth that held the germs and more from the evil weevil residents who had made the dish their home.

Yes, I made an impression. Just not at all the one I wanted to.

Needless to say, I wasn’t so thankful for the gratitude dish that year.

Even more needless to say: I no longer save my Indian corn kernels from year to year.

photo: stock.xchng

Disclosure: I received information about Clorox’s Bleach It Away campaign and am sharing my messy moment for the chance to win prizes from The SITS Girls. To learn more about the messy moment program, check out www.BleachItAway.com.  Sharing your story on the Clorox fan page gets you entered for the chance to win $25,000 and daily prizes, and you can grab a coupon for Clorox® Regular Bleach.