Giving the bird to Thanksgiving
November 22, 2006
This time of year, there is only one question a single person fears hearing: “So, what are you doing for Thanksgiving?”
During the holidays, the populous is bombarded with images of family and togetherness, love and cherishing, making memories with the ones you love.
With just a dash of guilt thrown in for good measure. We feel guilty for being successful, fortunate we can provide gifts and dinners for those we care about ” and it bothers us.
Somehow single people, successful or not, are beginning to get lumped into this group in need of saving.
“Oh no honey, that poor single guy at the office doesn’t have anywhere to go for Thanksgiving. Let’s invite him over here.”
“Darn it, Petunia, that means I got to wear pants.”
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While I can’t speak for the rest of singledom, my response to this question is usually the same: Thanks, but no thanks.
If that doesn’t work, I have developed a clever, disarming follow-up answer. I tell them I’m going to watch football in my apartment and have turkey with some friends.
Translation: A bottle of Wild Turkey and my friends Jose Cuervo and Ms. July.
But don’t cry for me, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. You see, I had all that growing up. I had the big family gathering with the nice clothes and the smell of turkey wafting through the house punctuated by the smoke alarm going off every 10 minutes.
My childhood holidays were great, but very different depending on which side of the family we spent it with.
With mom’s family, it was elegant, with the “good, shiny dishes” that ” as I was reminded one year ” “would indeed not make good Frisbees.” It meant saying grace ” one of only three times each year we did.
With dad’s family, it was homier, with some sort of country-fried vittles and side dishes as far as the eye could see. Shotgun pellets make a surprisingly good tenderizer.
There was corn with butter, whole loaves of bread and butter and my personal favorite green beans and bacon with lard ” and butter.
Oh, it was music to a former fat kid’s arteries.
There was many a year I’d push the plate away and wonder just how many starving children were the direct result of the food I’d just consumed with such gusto.
But with half of my family in Colorado and the other half in Kentucky, the chances of that happening again are as good as Ms. July lifting the restraining order. Barring a judge who’s a subscriber or an airline that flies for free, it’s lookin’ like nada.
So my logic is this: If I can’t have my family, I would really prefer no family.
Besides, I have developed my own “single” Thanksgiving traditions. I get up late, put on my Nebraska sweatshirt and “island fun” beach pants, and make a pot of coffee.
I watch the parade, counting how many of the band members deserve wedgies, until the insipid announcer makes me scream at the TV.
“No, Catie, this is not the best parade ever, the Snoopy balloon is humping the Energizer Bunny. (Pause) OK, but not the best E-V-E-R.”
I cook myself a huge meal containing nothing that ever had wings. Last year, it was barbecued-pork sandwiches, and this year I’m making lasagna, with butter.
It’s the best of both worlds; I get the food (the best part) without having to wear pants (the worst part). I’d invite you over to my place, but frankly Ms. July doesn’t like new people.
How did you spend your single Thanksgivings, past or present? Tell me about it.