Everywhere you look this week you will find helpful articles designed to show you how to reuse the remaining turkey and relevant accoutrements you may have on hand after Thursday, as if Thanksgiving had never happened before (and as if you were not just going to make hot stuffing sandwiches until you ran out of gravy with which to reconstitute it). This is not a problem, necessarily; some of the articles are very good and who among us is too good for a new recipe (might I suggest this for the more literal-minded among you)?

But in flush and heady times like these, when you have instructions for gravy-soaked stuffing muffins in one hand and mashed-potato sculptures in the other, it can become all too easy to forget the limitations of leftovers. There are so many things you cannot do with them, and it would serve us all well to remember that which we cannot achieve.

You cannot give your leftovers to your dog, who only a few years ago was hale and hearty enough to snatch turkey skin right off of your plate but now has this complicated stomach thing and can’t eat anything but boiled chicken and rice. You joke about how ridiculous and inconvenient cooking for him is, but if anything happened to him you’d be inconsolable.

You cannot change the past or make anyone who loved you once love you again. Those mistakes are made.

You cannot use it to find your old Xanga journal that you password-protected back in 2003 and you’d do anything to see again.

You cannot use it to become any more agreeable, more easy to get along with, slower to speak in anger or easier to love. You cannot use it to become anything other than more like yourself.

[Imate via Flickr]