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November 22, 2011

Last week I wrote about growing up and moving on, sort of. Today it seems I will continue that topic.

Last year was my first Thanksgiving apart from my immediate family. I chose not to go abroad during Junior year of college in the fall simply for that reason, my brother did the same (although, I have no idea whether or not Thanksgiving played as big a role in his decision as mine). I couldn’t bear the thought of not celebrating my (arguably) favorite holiday outside of tradition. For the first twenty-three years of my life I spent the day with my parents, brothers, grandmother and various cousins, aunts, and uncles. Last year I had been in California for exactly two days before Thanksgiving. I was disoriented, tired, and confused. Most of all I was nervous. Tradition is comfortable, it is normal, it is warm and feels like home. New is scary and different and I wasn’t looking forward to it.

I have cousins and an aunt here in California, and I am very lucky for that, but I hadn’t seen some of these cousins in years or maybe ever. I had just left the east coast, so it wasn’t that I wanted to run home, but I was incredibly…well, disoriented in Southern California for a holiday that meant frosty footballs in gloved hands, the sun going down at four-thirty as we began dessert, and plush oriental rugs (I don’t know, everyone in my family seems to have been given one of my grandmother’s rugs even before she passed away). Not to mention that it was the first year bringing a boyfriend to Thanksgiving. Well, we arrived and were directed to the bar. Yes, the bar, where my second cousins’ ten and eleven year old sons were bartending. For tips. And well, might I add. There was a fire pit in the backyard, not that you needed it, I was wearing a long sleeved shirt and left my jacket at the door. They had their own traditions, too. Traditions that are only legal in California, with a special government issued card. The cousins I barely knew at all have become real family, and the cousins back home, well, they know I’ll be back for Christmas.

This year will be a new first. For twenty-four years I’ve eaten turkey on Thanksgiving, and this year I haven’t eaten meat in four months, so this will be my first Thanksgiving as a non-meat eater. No turkey. And I’m officially in charge of bringing something. An appetizer. I’m leaning towards this, whaddaya think? Despite the no meat thing, I haven’t decided how I feel about missing out on the braciole


One Comment leave one →
  1. November 24, 2011 11:16 AM

    When I was a teenager I went through a vegetarian phase and Thanksgiving was where it ended. I made a big deal out of not eating turkey, but then I snuck around and ate some when no one was looking. Haha. Good luck resisting the temptation to eat meat on this day!
    Also, Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

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