It was American Thanksgiving, and like many other years, I was far from home. I was living in Eugene, Oregon, working part-time at a non-profit ISP, training to be a Waldorf teacher, and living in a house with a divorcee, Jo, who seemed angry at the world.
Her best friend, who also was one of my teacher trainers, invited us to her house. She hosted a big potluck and lived on a lovely farm that grew herbs and vegetables for a local Italian restaurant. Her home was warm with friends mingling, and the kitchen counters were covered with dishes that everyone had bought.
I took my aluminum covered casserole into the kitchen looking for a place to put it down. My landlady and our hostess were in the middle of a conversation.
“Oh, look at all this wonderful food. What’s this? Oh! And what’s this?” Jo peeked under lids, foils, and peered into plastic-wrapped food.
“Wonderful,” she continued to gush, then her tone changed, like a woman dishing out gossip, “I do hope no one brings a green bean casserole though.” She rolled her eyes, “It’s so white trash.”
I continued to wait to greet our hostess and find a spot for my food, and watch my uncharacteristically happy landlord until she noticed me. “Oh, hi Lani! Good to see you.”
(That felt overdone as we had just seen each other at the house.)
“What did you bring?” Jo beamed.
“I brought my favorite Thanksgiving dish,” I smiled, “green bean casserole.”