I know I'm about to voice an extremely unpopular sentiment. I'm quite sure nobody is going to chime in and be all, oh, me too!
I hate Thanksgiving.
It seems popular to hate Christmas. Lots of people hate Christmas, which is a holiday I love, despite family baggage. But last week the Internet was full of posts of thankfulness and joy. It's a holiday of family and food and more food and who doesn't like that?
I just couldn't muster it. And you sound like an ingrate and an asshole hating thankfulness, right?
The thing is, I used to think it was about weight paranoia and fear of pie and everything food-related. But it isn't.
Honestly, holidays in our house were very stressful. You never knew how my dad might behave on any given day, but Thanksgiving and Christmas tended to be bad ones for him. And consequently for us.
He might drink and be belligerent. He'd certainly be moody. He'd pick on my mom. I'd fight with him because she wouldn't. I can't remember a winter holiday that wasn't stressful and fraught with emotional peril.
The best Thanksgiving I ever had was when I traipsed off to Cancun with Jen just before I started dating Nick. It was so much fun. Nothing but fun. And Latin porn.
Now we go to Nick's family in New Jersey for Thanksgiving. Even when nobody is being an asshole, there's nothing relaxing about it. Typically we drink our faces off. Self-medication, I know, I know. It wasn't an option for me this year.
And fall and winter are not my friends. The lack of light sucks out my soul. I am never at my personal best this season. And pregnancy is its own mindfuck.
Truthfully, I'm kind of struggling. Which is a whole nother post. I'm currently working on the illustrations.
So the Sunday before the holiday, Nick called his mother. He had us all on speakerphone.
Wait, let me back up. Nick has never liked her cooking. So the last several years we ordered a honey baked turkey sent to her house. So we could have delicious turkey and she wouldn't have to do a lot of work.
Turns out she hates turkey. Last year we bought turkey AND ham. They love the pork products. We figured that would make everyone happy.
This year we were told NO MEAT. She wanted to make pork roast. We could bring dessert.
And so on this call, Nick asked, as I mentally clapped my hand over his mouth, "So, mom, what should we bring?"
Before I could give her a chance to say something like "suet pudding" or "lard tart" I said, "We're bringing pumpkin and pecan pies."
Normal, traditional, delicious. No? I love pecan pie.
To which she responded, "Don't bring pumpkin pie. I HATE pumpkin pie. Nobody likes pumpkin pie."
I'm not proud of my behavior, but I will say that for me right now the line between rational and able to bite my tongue and raving batshit crazy is not so much in existence.
And so I said, "That's right! Let's just never fucking have turkey or pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving again!"
She snapped, "It's MY house and I get to have things the way I want them."
She may have said more, but I stormed upstairs, slamming doors and such. Like I said, I'm not proud of any of this.
I raged around. I threatened to stay home with Jordan so Nick would have to go and be miserable all by himself. I was very Very VERY angry. She's unreasonable and immature, yes. But I was fantasizing about fiery car crashes and the like.
Not good at all.
Nick asked me, in the interest of family harmony, to please go, and to behave nicely. We were talking in the kitchen. I was standing at the sink when he said, "We make compromises in marriage. We both do things we don't want to because they're the right thing to do. I'm asking you to do this. Do you agree that it's fair?"
I agreed it was fair, and the right thing to do. And in a small voice added petulantly, "But I just don't want to!"
We went...and most of Thanksgiving evening was incredibly uncomfortable. His mother didn't speak to or look at me except when absolutely necessary. It got better as the night went on, and later in the evening, she invited me to go shopping on Friday.
I got up the next morning, found his mother alone, and apologized for the outburst on the phone. All I could say was that I'm really emotional and irrational right now. And I don't really care about the pie.
She said that the pumpkin pie (because we brought three) turned out to be very popular. She'd had no idea.
And then we were fine.
But I fucking hate Thanksgiving.