(submitted by Kara at www.californiakara.com)
And finally… after years of trying, Marney agreed to sit down with AFP and discuss her famous letter.
I can’t help it, if I got a letter like that I would make the opposite of whatever she wanted and would be sure to use tin foil just to piss her off. I would not be able to help myself. I had a very controlling mother and just refused to be controlled as an adult.
“A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.”
-Aesop, “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse”
Would LOVE to know who leaked the letter. It’s a fun read and makes me thankful for the family I have (which thankfully does NOT include Marney).
Does anyone think this is all a joke???? She did this and the interview for fun????? Yeah, I do.
Read her body language. She’s completely serious.
I think the letter is funny overall. Still, it’s insulting that she says, “Now that you’re married you can contribute on an adult level.” So…..getting married makes one an adult? Not being married means I don’t have to do anything?
I get what she means by this… She is not saying that you cannot contribute when you are single. I think she means that you are part of your parents’ family when you are single. So she is inviting families and have assigned each family a list of things to bring. Of course you can pick up an item or two from your family’s assigned list (why make your parents do it all). But when you marry, you have established a new family and now have to step up to the plate and be responsible for your own list.
This is the rule in my culture around Vietnamese New Year’s, too. Now that you’re married, it’s time to dish out the lucky envelopes.
It’s fascinating that – whether this letter is real or not, it generates such intense response from the peanut gallery.
The responses say so much more than the letter does, actually.
True, she could have been a little more delicate, but then she wouldn’t be the Marney they know (and obviously keep coming back for every Thanksgiving dinner).
She’d be on her way to being Stepford Marney with a frozen smile, perfect dinner, and never any complaints. Somehow I doubt that is what her family wants.
This is absolutely delicious. Thank you, Marney, for the fun read. Don’t listen to the critics. You are organized, articulate, and yes–a bit uptight–but people like you make the world go round. My life would be complete if you released your Christmas letter.
I’d have to opt out of being in Marney’s family…and eat alone at home out of a bowl with a foil lid. This is ridiculous. Isn’t Thanksgiving supposed to be a day of THANKS? Like THANKS for thinking to bring something. Or THANKS for keeping me company.
I’d have to agree with you that eating alone would be preferable to eating with Marney. Your response was hilarious.
I don’t understand why people can’t deal with this or read between the lines (whatever the font / character).
And I agree w/Well Mell, if you’re really family you’re comfortable to say things honestly.
W/respect to her attention to detail, if you look a little closer, you see she’s doing it on the familys’ behalf (and hello maybe to protect her sanity as well??!), if you read her instructions for cooking asparagus: “no cheese sauces, you know how Mike is.”
I imagine she’s a great lady and her family love and appreciate her for who she is (ie: not a Stepford Mom you shove in the kitchen to prepare a perfect meal all with a frozen smile).
Ugh. I have a sister like this. It took me almost 50 years to cut her out of my life. If I were to receive a letter like this, I would not even go to this dinner. Can you imagine what the actual gathering itself was like? *shudders*
I like her! If you’re family, you feel comfortable to say things honestly. The precision of the letter just makes it easier to please the person whose home you’re going to. I would love to have her in my family, heck… I would love her to be my mom! WAY TO GO, MARNEY!! (see what I did there, all caps).
I agree, what a great, organized Mom!
I find this letter hilarious. Every family needs a Marney, and every family needs someone who is just the opposite. It helps with the balance and the dynamics. I have a brother in law who was supposed to bring mashed potatoes for a holiday meal, showed up with a bag of raw potatoes, and didn’t understand the problem.
I think this lady is a great organiser. If I had to turn up to a meal with enough, but not too many mashed potatoes for more than 2 people I would have *no idea* how much to prepare. I certainly would not be insulted by her advice! It’s great she gives helpful tips on quantities and also appropriate containers (so everything will fit on the table!). She’s clearly been lumbered with hosting this event previously and so she knows what needs to happen to make it all work out. Go Marney!
I live in UK and we dont have thanksgiving. I do however, meet with a group of friends a few times a year for singing and we all have lunches which we bring contributions for. It is always a disaster. There are too many people needing the oven for quiches and pizzas, bread etc. and always too much of one thing (bread or dips). There are foods that clash – curries and salads! It is a disaster. Whoever’s unfortunate enough to host ends up doing everything and their kitchen is a bomb site.
Last time I had nowhere to sit and all the hot food had gone before I got a look in. This was true for the host and also another attendee. I very nearly decided to walk out and go to a cafe. I wished I had done the usual and brought something I knew would make a balanced enough lunch for me if needs be – a cous cous salad and cold quiche for example.
It just does not work unless you have a list and ask people to do specific things. No-one ever wants to take charge of this in our group – everyone’s so dreadfully polite and unassuming! And so no-one has a good meal and we all struggle. I wish we had a Marney!
Personally I am very particular about things in our tiny flat and food is no exception. I don’t think Marney went far enough with her details really. I would’ve wanted to say how much butter and salt to add to the mash for example. But then I live with a scatterbrain who cannot seem to do anything sequentially or with common sense and I have to tidy up after him constantly. It makes me more and more up tight because I’m the only adult in the household! And I would love to be the one who relaxes and just goes with the flow but then our flat would be covered in jam, oven left on all night, taps left running to flood the bathroom and the front door open for anyone to walk in, within 10 minutes. I fully sympathise with Marney on this position. Other people can be so self absorbed and thoughtless. We should welcome people setting out tasks logically so that everyone benefits on the day!
I love this! Meticulous Organiser’s post is longer than the original letter! Bless your heart!
As we say here in the South……bless her heart.
LOL – YES! “Bless her heart”!
You’re much kinder than I would have been!
Benny, you must not be from the South because after ‘Bless her heart’ she then gets verbally stabbed in the back!
This was added to a Chowhound site thread on Thanksgiving.
ROFL. I’d bring instant mashed potatos in a ziplock bag, just to watch her head explode.
ROFL, Well then, that makes TWO of us. I think Marney has her priorities misplaced. Her head truly would explode at one of MY dinners/events. We get together to be TOGETHER and to enjoy one ANOTHER, the “food” is just an added bonus. I go out of my way to accommodate everyone. So what if someone doesn’t own a casserole dish, or their food item isn’t up to your “standards”. Dress it up the best you can (or don’t) and sit back and have FUN.
You and me both, John. Hilarity!
I love Marney! Yeah, she’s a little “intimidating”…but people like her make life interesting. She was probably a great General in a prior life.
Yep, I think she’s awesome too!
I’m glad not everyone takes immediate offense to Marney. She’s probably very interesting, fun to be around as long as you do what she says, and tolerated in measured doses.
I can see both sides of this situation. Some people must be led bu the nose on these type of occasions because they are so scatterbrained. They will show up with the ingredients for the stuff in a bag and expect you to provide the dish and oven to cook the dish and then try to con you into making it too. I am fortunate to not have a relative like that. I do think that the recipe specific instructions are a bit overboard, but understand that the mashed potatoes won’t fit on the buffet table in that oversized bowl. I would NEVER put hot mashed potatoes into a plastic container considering the chemicals it would release into the food. My solution, bring the potatoes in the smaller casserole and the remainder can come in the oversized bowl for the refilling.
As for Amy, just buy your pies at Costco, they are great!! You have a problem with being bossed around and I don’t blame you.
It could be worse, Marney could go gluten and dairy free anytime!! BTW Marney, WRITING IN ALL CAPITALS IS YELLING!!
Suggestion to all is stop having this event at Marney’s or just shut up and do what she says. When it’s your turn you can make the rules.
where is the discussion from Marney?!
I can’t imagine anyone having less of a sense of humor than this poor woman. I mean, I know people like this exist, it’s just amazing that she cannot laugh at herself and her crazy letter. I kind of feel badly for her and of course, her poor family who must live with a woman who would actually write a letter like this. All this being said, why doesn’t AFP sell those Marny platters anymore? I always meant to get one!
Love Marney! You go crazy lady!
Check out those gorgeous green eyes! And the way that matching cardigan makes them POP! This woman knows what’s going on. Lovely smile, tasteful jewelry, good figure. Society as a whole would do well to be more like this lady. Smart, sexy, and to the point.
If you don’t follow her instructions Thanksgiving dinner might be lukewarm… but Marney herself will always be SUPER HOT!!!
Rock on, gorgeous, rock on!
I’d like to see Marney in prison. Martha Stewart would eat her alive.
1. If Marney wants the pumpkin pie made to HER recipe, she needs to make it herself rather than demanding that someone else use that recipe..
2. How man of us have casserole dishes with lids? I have ONE, but I just bought it a couple of weeks ago. Up until then, I had none with lids.
3. I also come from a large family and we put out a list asking who is bringing what. We don’t “require” anyone to bring a specific dish or prepare it to a specific recipe.
4. Demanding which brand of chardonnay to bring? Really. Get over yourself, Marney.
I actually thought this was a joke..lol wow.
How easy it is to judge. I come from a very large family and it is not easy to organise a party for a very large family. I can well understand Marny . Maybe she had some bad experiences that led her to this way of reacting, I can really understand. We organised a party for my parents 40th wedding anniversary, including dinner, and there were people complaining about time between dinner and dancing. There is no way to please everyone. Let’s be grateful for people like Marney that host parties for their entire judgemental families. That way we all have something to talk about.
I have 4 casseroles in my oven consisting of sliced turkey that I carved earlier, and stuffing, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes, My first guest arrives and says. this goes in your oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, another comes and says I have my vegetables in bags I just need to platter them, and oh do you have a bowl for my dip and spoon? Another one says I need to put this jello in your fridge it is not quite set. This has to hit home with someone…way to go Marney!
I can understand Marney’s desire to want to have some control over the dinner details, but to do it in a group letter and to such minute detail is going way beyond “normal” control. SUGGEST that a particular person makes a particular dish, perhaps because that person has made it in the past and it proved to be delicious and well received. DON’T COMMAND it!! If you’re short on serving utensils, ASK that someone brings one…DON’T COMMAND it!! If you ask that someone bring a veggie tray, be willing to accept a ready made one from the supermarket, or don’t ask for one. Remember: the end does not always justify the means!!
Wow. I can certainly understand the need to organize but I would never expect to insult or be insulted to this extent by someone in my own family. If she were so certain Amy wouldn’t read the letter, then why belittle and insult her to the rest of the family. Just because you are capable of being a bitch doesn’t mean you should rise to the occasion. Our family is blessed that we know our strengths and accept our weaknesses. Glad we don’t have any perfect “Marneys” to ruin the harmony.
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