Friday, November 19, 2010

Being Thankful For A Little Space

So my family is a bit displeased right now, because I just told them that I'm not coming home for Thanksgiving. 

There's a myriad of reasons behind this, honestly. The first simply being a matter of convenience. I'm working on the costume crew for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year. That's all fine, and dandy, and great on the resume. However, it does require me to wake up at around 3:45 on Thanksgiving morning. After that I have to go to a hotel where thousands of people are going to get dressed and made up, take care of the people on my rack, and clear up the costumes at the end of the parade. By the time all this is said and done, it's going to be sometime after 1:00 in the afternoon. By the time I've hightailed it to a bus stop, gotten on, sat through the influx of traffic from the post-parade mass exodus, and made it to my parent's house (or my aunt's house, or whoever is responsible for Thanksgiving this year, I don't even know), I'll be lucky if I manage to be there before 3 or 4. 

At which point I'll scarf down some mashed potatoes because that's the only vegetarian food there ever is, not get to watch football because I have to socialize with my family, and then turn around and get on a bus back into the city because I have to work the following day. 

It really just doesn't seem worth all the stress. Especially when you factor in that middle bit there. You know, the part about not watching football because I'm socializing with my family. 

It's not really about the football. (Though I'm pleased that my plans involve football). 

Over the summer, I wrote a post entitled Family Barbecues: Answering THOSE Questions about all of the things that family gatherings force me to talk about that I frankly cannot stand talking about. 

This is really only magnified by everything going on in my life right now. 

I don't want to go home only to have all my aunts and uncles ask how my boyfriend is, because I can't actually tackle that discussion yet without a rather swift onset of tears. I don't want to talk about school because no one wants to hear about how many offices I've been in and out of and how many rude assistants I've had to talk to, and how even though I finished classes in July, the huge mess of paperwork has still not been completely solved yet. I don't want to have everybody asking about the new job that I just got, because not only does no one in my family have a clear concept of what I do, but the job that was supposed to be a solid position for 3 months has been cut drastically short due to a closing notice that was posted the day I got there. This of course means that I return to retail servitude with no other prospects as of mid-January. (Which leaves me, as I joked to a friend, in a perfect position to be alone and unemployed just in time for my next birthday. How delightful.) 

I don't want to talk about it. Any of it. Because my family is not known for being particularly... tactful at dealing with any of the above. I get ripped a new one for some reason or another, or are made fun of, or mocked, or some other such thing at basically every holiday dinner. I don't claim that everyone gangs up on me - my sisters get it too, as do various other relatives. While my dad has insisted that none of it is ever malicious and that people would be respectful of me, I just don't have the heart to deal with it right now. Any conversation that my family could possibly start with me at Thanksgiving dinner would have me on the brink of tears, and I'm not putting myself in that position. 

So this Thanksgiving, I am thankful that I am going to take a little space. I'm thankful that I'm going to hang out with one of my friends, we're going to eat turkey sandwiches and pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes and maybe cranberry sauce. I'm thankful that we're going to sit on her couch and watch football and then we're going to walk around the city and look at all the Christmas decorations. But most of all, I'm thankful that we're not going to talk about any of the things I don't want to talk about, because I know that if I don't bring it up, she won't ask. 


1 comment:

  1. I SO get what you mean. I love holidays, but the questions drive me a little crazy. If I have to talk about looking for a job, or not having published a book yet, or why I'm still single -- I may put a fork in someone's eye, possibly my own.

    So, I feel your pain on that front. Family may mean well, but the execution isn't always effective. I think your holiday plans are great. :)