Happy Thanksgiving. A day to be thankful. A day to count your blessings. A day to stuff your face and hide until the pie because your family is legitimately crazy… Wait, that just might be mine.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Thanksgiving. Probably because I’m not a very “thankful” or “thoughtful” or “positive” person. Also I always feel fat for the rest of the day and that is an undesirable feeling.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. I love my family. But “love” does not always equal “like.”
I’ve harbored a legitimate concern for my extended family’s mental health for several years now. I remember the first time it hit me. It was my sophomore year in college and I had to spend Thanksgiving break with my “foster grandparents” (it is another long story about who these people really are – I promise to tell it another day) because I couldn’t come home and they lived close to my college. Thanksgiving with them was so odd to me. It was quiet. We ate slowly. It wasn’t rushed, there was no yelling, no making fun of other people, no constant questions about who I was dating, no falling over, no farting, no burping – nothing of the sort. It was simple, quiet, pleasant, with normal guests. It hit me during dessert, that this is what “normal” must look like. I honestly felt like a stranger looking into the window of some make believe world.
My family spends most, if not all, major holidays with my Dad’s side of the family. Both my Mom and Dad’s families have their quirks, their stories, their traditions – it’s just that I get more of my Dad’s side on a monthly basis.
My extended family is just interesting… Not crazy… Yet. Though I do have a running bet with myself about who will snap first (it’s gonna be Me or one of my Uncles, I just know it).
Traditions at family gatherings include:
– someone always leaving early because they are sick/mad/sad/hurt/angry/bored
– someone (usually Uncle ‘D’) making an inappropriate joke during dinner and no one laughing
– someone (my sister the vegetarian) informing people of the fat and caloric content of all the meat
– someone (my sister the vegetarian who is also in vet school) making me try to identify/guess the different bones of whatever meat we are eating
– someone taking a joke too far and actually hurting another family members feelings
– someone asking all of us cousins (all girls) who we are dating/why we are still single/don’t we want to get married/don’t we want to give them great-grandchildren
– someone spilling something on the table
– someone (Grandma) spilling something on themselves
– all of us cousins will be on our phones/iTouches constantly
– 1/2 of the family falling asleep in different places
– there will be a meltdown (usually a cousin, or 2nd cousin, sometimes a Mom/Aunt/Grandma)
– someone will say something racist
– someone will complain about how skinny/fat another relative is
– someone will get way too into a game of Yahtzee/FanTan/Skip-Bo
– my cousins will try to make me play Apples to Apples which is never fun with just 4 people
– we will all be sarcastic
– we will all make fun of each other at least once during the meal
– there will be at least one dish that almost no one touches, and whoever made it will get mad
– there will be some sort of accident/injury that will occur within the 24 hours of the holiday
– someone complaining about having to do this for every holiday
And these are just a few of the lovely things we do within the first 2 hours.