When I was young we spent most Thanksgivings with my grandparents (rumors have circulated throughout the ages that one year my mother’s mother stuffed the turkey with spaghetti, but I have yet to see proof of this). As soon as I was old enough to get a job, I had the bright idea to work in a movie theater. Small, independent theaters are fabulous for those who need to study and do homework as you can drag out the books in between showings, but it is also open EVERY FRIGGIN’ DAY of the year. I worked many a Thanksgiving (and Christmas and Easter and 4th of July and Friday nights when the rest of my friends went to the football game), which my family got used to, and the little group of us stuck going in would bring leftovers and we would snack all night.
Since I moved to California and away from my family almost ten years ago, my partner and I have spent Thanksgivings with various family of choice — friends, acquaintances, our landlords — and now family again as my father makes his annual trek to the Bay Area at this time of year (he claims it’s to visit us, but I know it’s really for the opening of Dungeness Crab season!). Sometimes we’ve done the traditional thing — turkey and all the trimmings, etc — and the non-traditional — a seafood buffet at a local restaurant and Italian meals with pasta. Sometimes I’ve hosted, sometimes I’ve cooked and schlepped the entire meal elsewhere, sometimes we just bring a little something to contribute to a meal at someone else’s home. This year, after I do three hours at the Y for a dance marathon, we are going to spend it with friends who are serving…pot roast. Don’t get me wrong, I like beef as much as the next flexitarian, but I am trying to wrap my head around…pot roast for Thanksgiving. I don’t know why and I’m sure I’ll love it going down, but that one seems so wrong. The only way I could get my partner to agree to go is to promise a traditional Thanksgiving meal on Friday. So while everyone else is out braving the insanity that is Black Friday, I will be slaving away over a hot stove making the whole shebang.
If you celebrate the day, what are you doing?