I’ve spent many Thanksgivings alone, at least over the last six years. Okay, so “many” may be four. But whatever. The point is, it doesn’t really bother me.
What are the reasons people love Thanksgiving? The Food. Being with Family. The Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Well, I’m not a huge fan of Thanksgiving food. (Gasp!) Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potato pie, pecan pie – not a big fan of any of it. I know, that’s completely sacrilegious. Regardless, I can do without it. I’m going to have veggie pasta today, and it’ll be yummy. Lick my plate yummy.
Of course I would like to be with family. But I’d like to be with them multiple times throughout the year, not just one day. I love the idea of an “orphan Thanksgiving,” and I have often invited people in the past who have been alone. I’ve gotten those invites, as well, and I’ve gone. But at that point, it’s not about being with family, at least not your own. It’s just being with people. While I always appreciate the offer to come to someone else’s family dinner, it actually makes me feel even worse than just being by myself. I’m uncomfortable, and I was thinking yesterday that the reason for that is because most of the people at dinner are strangers to me. But I realized today that it’s more because everyone else at the table knows each other, and I am a complete interloper. It’s actually harder being in a room where everyone knows each other but you know no one, than in a room where everyone knows no one.
The Thanksgiving Day Parade. Was it always as staged and promotional as it is today? Actors plugging their tv shows. Performances of Broadway numbers and Troupe Dances on the “stage”. I simply don’t remember that from when I was a kid. Give me the Parade of Roses any day.
Of course, the worst part of spending Thanksgiving alone is that people always ask, “What are you doing for Thanksgiving?” or “What did you do for Thanksgiving?” And when they hear that you’re alone, they give you that pitying look, “Oh, I’m so sorry.” Really, it’s okay. I’m fine.
Now, Christmas? An entirely different story. Christmas alone totally sucks.
(And, thank you Mr. E., for the offer to spend Thanksgiving with your family. I do appreciate the offer, and I know I would have been welcomed.)