The Thanksgiving Letter

November 26th, 2009

The Thanksgiving Letter - Thanksgiving

 submitted by Kara at

Listen to a dramatic reading of Marney’s famous letter.

After years of trying, Marney agreed to sit down with AFP and discuss her famous letter.

And now, you can get the official Marney Shirt! Image of regulation-size casserole dish included.


3,042 Responses to “The Thanksgiving Letter”

  1. Michelle says:

    Am I the only person who is a little sad that this isn’t my family? As pissed off as I would be getting this crazy instructional manual for dinner… I would have a solid month of something to rant about (Marney) and the best story/email chain to talk about with my friends!

  2. Cat says:

    I would like to try Amy Misto’s mysteriously unjudged apple pie.

    • Cheryl says:

      Of course the apple pie is not commented upon. That’s because Marney thinks it’s awesome, but of course, she’d only spare a comment on it if it’s seriously subpar. (which is clearly almost everything). In that case, she provides a recipe….and instructions re: lidding, spooning, kniving, plating, etc.

  3. Julie B. says:

    I cannot tell you the amount of joy I’ve gotten in reading this. For that Marnie, I thank you. I thank you for your 15 G.D. pounds of potatoes and the fact that somehow YOU don’t own enough serving-not-soup spoons and the fact that y’all probably had some nice sundaes but no pie. I thank you, Marnie, for gamely serving turnips even though no one likes them and for letting the newlywed bring vegetables as if to say she’s barely above one herself. I thank you, Marnie, for having the foresight and chutxpah to send your mini-manifesto because, frankly, it has made my ever-loving day and even though I know none of the parties involved, I know that for years to come, at Thanksgiving tables all over the country, there will be stories of, “Well, let me tell you what my friend’s mom/sister/aunt/neighbor/dentist’s wife/sister’s mother-in-law/postal carrier’s uncle’s grandmother did LAST year!!!”

    For all of that, Marnie, I thank you. You are officially the TGiving Shizz. And you’re right – Monopoly is stupid.

  4. Rich says:

    It’s too bad that Amy Misto isn’t “into” the Web.

    She probably won’t see this Website, ….. and, thus, will never know what an icon she has become.

    LONG LIVE the Amy Misto’s of the world !!

    • Cheryl says:

      I think we should all make and wear t-shirts that say something like:

      “I’m with Amy Misto”

      “Give ‘er hell, Amy!”

      “Long Live Amy Misto!”

      “Team Misto”


      • jean says:

        I’ll take one!!!

      • Caroline says:

        Excellent idea! Someone should send a t-shirt to Amy Misto in the mail and tell her to check out this website, since she’s not particularly inclined to go on the web often and without prompting.

  5. John says:

    Soory, Marney, my invite must have gotten lost in the mail. I’m just gonna show up with a regulation-sized 2-gallon bottle of Jack, 4 stuffed sausage pizzas and that special knife that could carve up anything. And this year, please, please, please act like you’re happy to see me! The Byrons, the Chesterfields, the Davis’s, the Bobbles and even Amy told me all about it and everyone assured me that my presence would be really appreciated.
    Your loving son,

    • mllesatine says:

      I laughed so hard at this. Thanks John, your presence and the 2-gallon bottle of Jack will not only be appreciated but REQUIRED.

      • John says:

        Can I join your family?

        • John says:

          Oh, one more thing (or two): I don’t really have a knife, I love turnips and, if invited, could I be allowed to make my sweet potato/apples/cinnamon dish in the container of my choice? I heard Marney had the toughest time washing that off the dining room wall and had to toss the curtains. I’m over it.

  6. fpaton says:

    This is the reason a gracious host demands nothing from anybody. Isn’t there a saying” If you want something done right , do it yourself ? Why would anyone subject themselves to this kind of behavior? When you get there, is there a “right” time to have that glass of wine or nibble on the appetizer? Is there a breakdown of the party so everyone knows what they are allowed to do at any moment? NO THANK YOU! I’d rather eat at Wendy’s than put myself at the mercy of being in this person’s home.

    • NOTpc says:

      I believe I would show up exactly on time, with the requested dish prepaired EXACTLY as asked. Wearing very muddy combat boots, even if I had to create my own mud puddle before I left. Dirty tank top, my oldest (and most comfortable) jeans full of holes, dirty fingernails, and a couple of unbathed kids. While being scolded at the door by Marney, I would point out that the email I recieved said nothing about attire. But Amy assured me it would be fine. After dinner I would give my best attempt to pass gas in the kitchen while helping clean up.

      • jean says:

        Actually, with the reference to the “regulation size” casserole dish, I got the impression that Marney had been in the army. So she might be proud that you wore the combat boots. But for heaven’s sake, take a shower! =)

  7. Pammie says:

    I think it would be funny to have Curtis Stone ambush Marnie at the grocery on an episode of ‘Take Home Chef.’ Wonder what she’d say to him?

    • jessa says:

      “But Curtis, this is not a regulation size casserole dish! You idiot!”

      Then she’d smack him in the head with a serving spoon.

  8. Adrienne says:

    is Marney actually Kate from Jon and Kate?

  9. pplzizcrazy says:

    Wow, one of these years somebody in the family will snap and we’ll be reading about it in the papers…

    “Woman Has Oversized Blue Bowl Removed from Nether Regions at Local Emergency Room After Thanksgiving Spat”

  10. TJ says:

    So what did you expect Thanksgiving with Martha Stewart to be like?
    (BTW-there will be a scale at the door. When I say 15 pounds, I do NOT mean 14.5, nor 15.5!)

  11. cck says:

    Will she be at the door with a clipboard? Will you be turned away
    if you don’t follow regulation?
    How the HELL do you keep warm dishes warm and ready to be served? You
    can bring a non-regulation crockpot or a chaffing dish.
    The fact that she was so ticked that she remembered the very
    color of a bowl is freaking AWESOME!

  12. Mickie says:

    What I want to know is who is Kara and to what family does she belong? (I’m betting Amy Misto’s…)

    • Tony says:

      from TFA:

      “Yes, this is a true letter. No, it’s not about my family, nor did I write it. It was written by a dear friend’s family member’s coworker. I got permission to post it, and I changed the names to protect the innocent from the litigious. :-)”

  13. monkeyandbugsmom says:

    Why would Marnie leave one of the most important dishes for Amy Misto to bring? (Not like she would read the email anyway)


    • kimsy says:

      Maybe she’s hoping they’ll all be full from the 15 pounds of potato?

    • Jolly says:

      Marney calls everyone every other day (she calls Amy every day) to make sure they haven’t forgotten which bowl to use and not to bring soup spoons when she specifically said serving spoons like June Davis did last year.

    • Js says:

      I think Marney just has extra pies waiting to replace the ones that she KNOWS Amy Misto won’t bring anyway.

  14. ProudMary says:

    Well, the opening paragraph does say…”I truly appreciate your offers to assist with the meal preparations”.
    Marney’s just making sure everyone is on the same page, so they must have offered. I’ll bet she’s a actually a hoot and the life of the party, and that her bark is worse than her bite. Lets hope and pray it’s not what we fear!

  15. Kek says:

    What’s with the casserole obsession? You know, not everyone likes casserole…

  16. Rich says:

    Actually, the “answer” to the “regulation size” casserole dish is given in the instructions to the June Davis Family.

    June is “allowed” to use TWO regulation sized casserole dishes for her 15 pounds of mashed potatoes. — Or seven and a half pounds per dish.

    Now, THAT’S one mambo sized casserole dish! — And she gets to bring TWO of them!

    I shutter to think of what her over-sized blue “bowl” looked like. — It probably was a blue wheel barrow! — And, yes, I agree with Marney. A blue wheel barrow does not belong on the table.

  17. MB says:

    Marney would never mess with family tradition! Make sure you bring the turnips that everyone hates.

  18. Janet says:

    OK, here’s my take on this: Surely, please God, Marney is feeding 100 people, which is why she needed to organize it like a little army.
    My dad’s family consists of 10 kids (each with wives, kids, hangers-on, etc.) and we just show up with what we like and grandma makes a couple of turkeys. It somehow works out and we end up with extra food, so we each fix plates for our single friends. It’s kind of chaotic, but it’s loads of fun and you always wonder what will be on the menu each year.

  19. PK says:

    OH- I can tell you how this type of email has come about. Marnie hosts Tgiving every year because no one else wants to do all the work. People who say they’ll bring appetizers arrive 2 hours late; the person bringing the salad walks into the busy kitchen with a big bag of greens and whole tomatoes, no salad dressing, etc. The person with the stuffing arrives with it unbaked, and wants to put it in her oven for 60 minutes when there is no oven space. The person bringing the pumpkin pie makes it vegan sugar free low carb.

    This email is WAAY over the top, but I can sympathize with Marnie in a way. It looks like she could use a hormone patch or a good mixed drink, however. 🙂

    • Anne says:

      Hi Marnie.

    • cck says:

      Yep, my family does that kinda stuff every year too. I work my a** off to
      make a nice meal for all of them. But guess what? It’s
      SO NOT the point. Who cares? Its a meal, not heart surgery.
      How about not looking a gift horse in the mouth (regulation sized
      mouth, brown spotted (SPOTS not flecks!) horse.)?

    • Pammie says:

      PK, I’m with you. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the salad prep; uncooked casserole person show up at my house. And the time we had my husband’s officemates over for dinner and 75% of them brought ‘last-minute, store deli potato salad.’ The last person to arrive was his boss and his snotty wife, with a bowl of homemade POTATO SALAD! Somewhere between Marney and spontaneity is a good place.

      • jean says:

        The funny part about my white-trash family is that my cousin will tell me what grocery store to by the potato salad at! And tell me that I can just get the pre-made veggie tray from the store. Then again … I’m single. Maybe the expectations will rise if I get married.

  20. Adelle says:

    Poor Marney

    I wonder if she has to brag up any and all accomplishments, real or imagined? Or, does she drop names like mad? What other insecurities does this poor person display. How unhappy for her. whew!

  21. Bobbie says:

    Did anyone show up at her house for Thanksgiving???? That’s the burning question!

  22. Heidi says:

    Oh my God!!! This is hilarious!!! I wonder how many cassarole dishes at the factory were thrown out because they didn’t meet the “regulation size” requirements.

  23. erin says:

    I’m dying to attend a Marney fete… dying!!!!!!!!

  24. Tami says:

    Does the whole family have the manual for what is considered “regulation” bowls and pots? I’d be scared to death I would make something wrong and face the wrath of Marney the Miserable.

  25. magillicuddy says:

    I think that this takes the cake. I cannot believe someone would be so tactless as to send this to family and friends. Unbelievable !

  26. jen says:

    my friend’s mother had fallen and broken both of her arms just days before thanksgiving. my friend, feeling badly for her mother decided to take all of the ingredients up to her mother’s house and prepare the meal there for her. i can’t remember if it was the oversalting of the potatoes or the fact that there was no asparagus served but soon a fist fight broke out between 115 pound friend and double casted mother, cops were called. if marney had simply made assignments i’m sure the time in jail would have been drastically reduced.

    • Sam says:

      That is so distudbing and so reminiscent of my husband’s family.Only fistfights don’t just break out at holidays.They start them at funerals too-like grandma betty’s where Aunt Ty knocked grandma’s casket off the stand.Maybe if Marney had plnned the guest list….

      • dontcallmebutton says:

        And I thought MY family put the “fun” in dysfunctional… I recently had surgery and your comments had me laughing so hard my incision hurts 🙂

  27. Olivia says:

    I LOVE the “regulation sized casserole dish”. It makes me think of Happy Gilmore. “Is that goal regulation size or what!?!”

    Holy smokes, am I ever glad I don’t have a relative like that to deal with. I’d probably slip a handful of Xanax in her drink. Yeesh.

  28. Bret says:

    15 LBS of mashed potatoes in a caserole, but not in the oversized serving dish!!!!! Did they use a 5 gallon bucket last year? Is that the “oversized blue dish she used last year?” hahahahahahah

  29. Liz says:

    My mother-in-law’s name isn’t Marney, but it might as well be. Last Thanksgiving, we were told in which order we were allowed to fix our plates. (You first, her second, him third, etc.). When we got to the table (there are only about 10 of us) there were placecards denoting where we should sit.

    Boo to all the Marneys out there.

  30. kristina says:

    WHAT is a regulation sized casserole dish?? Apparently June Davis doesn’t know either because she has an over sized blue serving bowl.

    • Gina says:

      That jumped out at me too! Will they be disqualified if theirs is too small?

      My God, was this written by my mother-in-law? The sadder part is that she will have nasty things to say about each and every one of these people, regardless of whether they follow all her instructions to the letter. I know what I would bring in a covered dish to her f-ing dinner…

      • Louie says:

        I died laughing thinking about them being disqualified, I wouldn’t be surprised if Marney was scoring the family on spreadsheets. Pardon me if I wouldn’t want to eat what you’d prepare for Marney, but I’d love to see you serve it up to her…

  31. Ellalee says:

    Uhm, I think the name Marney has substituted for the name of my mother-in-law to protect her identity.

  32. Keri says:

    I would intentionally do everything she asked me NOT to do just to annoy……and bring plenty of wine!!

  33. Katie says:

    HJB got off easy

  34. Matthew says:

    Well since they all seem to come every year she must either make a dam good turkey or some dam good threats to visit them all and spend a month living with them.

    Kinda reminds me of Mrs. Bucket from “Keeping Up Appearances”

  35. Lisa says:

    This woman has some major issues, but I bet everyone will do exactly as she asks, because they fear the repercussions. Tragic.

  36. Shiba says:

    My sister actually came up with this comment, so funny!


    Why do I think she’ll be stage-directing the entertainment as well?

    “Now for Charades, the Mike Byron Family will be doing movies, but not too animated like you were last year…you know how Mike feels about that!”

    “The Amy Misto Family will be doing Farm Animals, although why I bother wasting my breath is beyond me because she will probably do Zoo Animals instead!!”

    “The Lisa Byron Chesterford Family will need to bring the board games but as a married woman contributing on the adult level keep it fast paced and exciting, NO MONOPOLY, no Trivial Pursuit of any kind.”

    “The June Davis Family – A bottle of clos du bois chardonnay”

    “The Bob Byron Family will need to bring either cards or A bottle of clos du bois chardonnay”

    I’d be tempted to purposely do the wrong thing everytime and be all like: “What? I thought you said to bring 15 LBS of TURNIPS in my oversized blue bowl just like last year!!”

  37. Amy says:

    Is this even real? I can’t imagine anyone actually writing that!

  38. whl says:

    best post on this site so far!

  39. Dodo says:

    Oh my god! Control freak!!! This is so sad!

  40. Vee says:

    Organized chaos at its best with ThanksgivingZilla
    Seriously, what family goes through 15 lbs of mashed potatoes?!
    I love the paragraph on Lisa. Its says you obviously can not cook and/or are not trusted with an actual real responsibility except to not use the plastic tray from the store because after all, once you are a married woman you become an adult and adults do not use plastic trays or cover dishes with aluminum foil.
    I do also wonder how the Michelle Bobble Family will travel with their stuffing.
    And my best friend says:
    ” I would bring all different sh*t in those aluminum serving dishes with tinfoil covers and soup spoons, and I would bring red wine, and spill it on the carpet”
    And that, I have to say is something to look forward to at this party!

    • AC says:

      I am laughing hysterically at your friend’s comment. Hahaha!! Good plan.

    • Emily Rose says:

      15 lbs of potatoes is like the size of my cat… (yes I have a fat cat…lol)

      I agree “Lisa as a married woman you are now required to contribute at the adult level.” is like her saying, “well b4 u were married, you were like a 5yr old in my mind, now that your married and have a life ahead of you, here’s how to be an adult.” (wow, thanks for that beautiful ‘implied’ complement-if that’s what you can consider it) cough cough… ack, I think she might just feel the need to shove her “light, non-bean, no-cocktail-sauce, and non-filling hors d’ouvres right down Marney’s throat with her non-plastic-serving-tray…


      • Hannelina says:

        I also love the paragraph on Lisa. She’s told she is now REQUIRED to function as an adult, then is told exactly what to bring (something easier than the pies assigned to Amy Misto), and THEN she’s told that she can’t just go to the store and buy what is needed. Crazy. Can you say perfectionist & martyr?

        • John says:

          You people are all just jealous of my unmarried adult status. Til I walk down the aisle and get hitched I ain’t got to bring nuthin’.

        • butcherbaby says:

          yep, if i were her i’d be really insulted….and i’d bring shrimp cocktail, three bean salad, and seven layer dip as my “adult contribution”

    • pplzizcrazy says:

      Makes me wonder what Lisa’s contribution was before, on the “child’s level” if Marney still only trusts her to handle a veggie tray. I have a few choice words to describe Marney, but they wouldn’t get past the mods. 🙂

      • Laurie says:

        Lisa is the “baby” of the family who has shown up empty-handed to these functions her whole life. She has continued this tradition well into her thirties under the guise that it is “only her” and because her mother brings something. It’s the equivalent of a child signing his name to a birthday card even though he didn’t pick it out or pay for it.

      • Js says:

        And don’t you feel badly for Lisa’s new spouse, having married into this madness?! Poor guy has NO idea what he’s in for.

    • zanbusch says:

      Well, the one good thing about not following Marney’s instructions would be the potential for NOT being invited next year…

      • jean says:

        If you didn’t follow the instructions, I think you would still get invited … you would just get a passive aggressive comment next to your instructions. =)

  41. Neil says:

    I have a feeling I’d like the Amy Misto family the most.

  42. Sunny says:

    I might laugh if this weren’t so incredibly sad.

  43. Dave says:

    The one thing they can all truly be thankful for is that they don’t LIVE with Marney. God help her husband. You know how he is.

    • Callie says:

      Lol, yeah I don’t think they’re all thinking “that’s Mike” about the cheese so much as thinking “here’s another Marney email” and laughing at her when she’s not around. Probably deciding to do all the things she specificially described for them not to do!

      • katie23 says:

        Hahahaah I’m actually laughing out loud at this comment. Are there really people like this out there? I’m fortunate enough to have NEVER come in contact with this sort of control obsession.

    • Hannelina says:

      He will probably never read this, either. That or he is the one who posted it.

  44. Angi says:

    Poor Marney would have had to sit all alone on Thanksgiving if she was in my family.

    • Hannelina says:

      I vote for your family!

      The most outrageous part was where Marney said
      (why do I even bother she will never read this)
      as if no one else would either!

    • pplzizcrazy says:

      Same here. After we’d given her detailed instructions on just what she could do with the turkey. And this list.

  45. Marthawannabee says:

    Well…..I must say Marney does have a point. I do a huge TDAY every year and although I will probably tone it down a bit I will use a nicer sort of plan! Having said that, I actually like her take charge attitude! Just way more wine…

    • profroy101 says:

      I know it’s a lot of work prepping Tday dinner, but the point is when someone invites others, THEY will do all the work, but it is polite etiquette for guests to bring something.

    • The Mirror says:

      Then your invitees see you just like the commenters on this post see Marney…

  46. cantstoplaughing says:

    Chaos will ensue when the The Michelle Bobble Family has to pack up and leave for Marney’s. No instructions were left as to how the stuffing should be covered. No mention of lid, certainly no foil–so should they just leave it open???

    • kimsy says:

      And there were no instructions for the proscuitto pinwheel either! I hope they checked these things with Marney prior to 11/22….

    • kristina says:

      I also noticed that there was no mention of a lid on that one! I was wondering what they were supposed to do too

    • H says:

      Obviously Michelle got those things right in the past, meaning there was no need for specific instructions. Good job, Michelle!

  47. alysse says:

    I think some of you do not appreciate how helpful Marney would be in certain family situations. For example, my aunt (let’s call her Carol) was once asked to bring potatoes to Thanksgiving dinner. It was a generic request, I’ll give her that. No one clarified with ‘a potato dish’ or ‘potatoes cooked in some way as to be appetizing,’ or even ‘not raw potatoes.’ She brought a bag of potatoes, fresh from the store and unwashed, and dropped them in the sink before the family sat down to dinner. Awkward.

    Needless to say, no one ate potatoes that night.

  48. Spiderslion says:

    Why do I have the feeling everyone overindulged in that “dinner wine ” to get through this event. Wow. just wow. She must be a virgo.

    And why ask for turnip casserole if no one likes it? Is there such a thing?

  49. Hairball says:

    “Marney” is the type who informs all of her family and friends what colors they are “allowed” to use for holiday gift wrap so that it will coordinate with her holiday theme for that year.

  50. Anne says:

    Actually, the funniest thing in this message is the last line. If the people you’ve invited require this kind of instruction and/or if you’re compelled to provide this level of detail, I don’t see how you could possibly look forward to the event!!!

    And P.S. if I got this message, my response would be “I have other plans for Thanksgiving.”

    • jules says:

      OMG, I think I would the same thing, we have OTHER plans. We are going Micky Dee’s! How very. very rude. If she is this picky, why not just charge everyone $15 fix it all yourself and be done with it?

    • John says:

      Had I been the recipient of this invite I would have appreciated all of these instructions, especially the last line. Silly me, I might have shown up on Wednesday the 27th with my piping-hot amount of whatever-it-was-supposed-to-be in an internationally sanctioned container (with a fully-retractable, weather-resistant carbon-fiber lid, mind you).

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