Why do I hate Thanksgiving? In the first place, it's just not my holiday. I don't love Thanksgiving food, the turkey, the yams, the cranberry sauce, the stuffing. Ew. Ew. Ew. I like mashed potatoes though and somehow over the years macaroni and cheese has entered our Thanksgiving menu (probably because I love it), so I usually eat those two things. If there happens to be a ham, I'll eat a piece of that too.
But in general, the whole FEAST thing, not my style.
And then there's the idea of family, everyone piled into one house for an entire day or gathered around a table. For most families, I'm finding, that's a nice image. For my family, well, that's just not realistic. Any situation in which my entire family (or even just me, my mom, and my dad) are stuck in one place with no way out equals utter disaster. Most of my childhood memories of Thanksgiving end in tears, usually because my mother ended up screaming at my dad or me or both.
So the past couple years, my cousin Lindsey and I have constructed a nice, mellow, intimate Thanksgiving. It's just she and I, her boyfriend John, her mom, and this year another aunt is coming, an aunt who is techinally not "family" since our uncle cheated on her and divorced her for a golddigger, but we love this aunt more. It's nice. It's just those we love and can stand. It's a safe space. Plus we kind of do our own menu. Lindsey makes a Tofurkey which I avoid like the plague because I'm allergic. John makes a heavenly macaroni and cheese. Last year, I made Tirimisu and this year I made a pumpkin mousse pie. Yum! And I already mentioned the sweet mashed potatoes. We do our own thing and it works and it's very low-stress. Just the way we like it.
And despite that, I'm still anxious. Not for any good reason, but I know it's residual energy of horrible Thanksgivings past. This holiday just doesn't agree with me.
And that brings me to the symbology, the history of this holiday which I just don't agree with celebrating.
This pretty much sums up how I feel about Thanksgiving:
Yes, why don't we celebrate a holiday that commemorates the conquering of a foreign land, the decimation and rape of its native peoples, their way of life, and the gift of small pox. Yes. Let's gather around, stuff ourselves until we're huge and recall what we're grateful for instead of mourning the atrocities we enacted in order to celebrate this momentous occasion. That's really something to celebrate.
Okay, I'm done pissing and moaning. I hope you all have fantastic Thanksgivings. May your families all be wonderful. May you all get tremendously fat. And when you're recounting what you're thankful for, try to remember an entire culture of people still struggling to realign itself in the world because of the actions of our "forefathers."