Giving Thanks

Its that time again. Fire up the family dysfunction and let the games begin.

What I am thankful for is that this is no longer my reality. For the last 5 or 6 years we have been spending Thanksgiving with my brother-in-law and his family. 10+ hours in the car each way is a walk in the park compared to contemplating Thanksgiving with my family.

Thanksgiving, like every other major holiday, was always a minefield with my parents. Someone was always pissed. Anger and resentment add spice to food beyond what Mrs Dash is capable of. I think there is a missed opportunity here. If a food conglomerate can capture the flavor of holiday dread it would be an excellent weight loss aid. Sprinkle it on and watch your appetite disappear!

On the other side of the gut clenching anxiety and volatility was the overwhelming boredom of a day of enforced contact between people with nothing good to say to each other. I think thats why football is on all day – folks can stare at the TV and don’t have to talk. Just smoke.

17 people packed in that tiny house, 10 of them chain smoking. Four are now dead of cancer.

I spent my childhood idolizing the Walton’s. Their chummy, good natured we-are-all-in-this-together attitude was never shinier than when there was a holiday special episode. I kept hoping we would magically transform. I guess thats what TV is all about.

Now, as an adult, deciding how to spend a holiday is a tremendous freedom. My friend remarked the the other night that “Holidays are enjoyable now that I get to choose my family.” So off we go to see my quirky, funny brother-in-law, his lovely kind wife and their perfectly normal children. No stress, no anxiety or hidden agendas, just family we choose.