Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Eve Meanderings

Out of all the holidays, Thanksgiving is probably my least favorite. I have worked every Thanksgiving since I was a teenager, and as I sit in my office right now and until 6am tomorrow, and then tomorrow night and the next night, I am trying to pinpoint exactly what it is I dislike so much about Thanksgiving.

I hate saying this, but I honestly think it has something to do with the fact that Thanksgiving was the one holiday where we didn’t stay at home. Christmas we have people to our house, New Years is family game night, our birthdays, not that they are holidays, but they were spent in the comfort of our own home. Thanksgiving is the one holiday where we left our house, went to my aunt’s house, or my grandparent’s house or God only knows where else to have dinner.

But leaving the house isn’t really the problem; the problem is you never know who else is going to be at the family member’s house you are going to. You forget that there is a totally different side of the family you are not used to encountering. And I think this particular Thanksgiving, when I was probably in 5th or 6th grade was the one that did it in for me. (NOTE: Please do not get offended by the rest of this post, I am not meaning any type of disrespect, I used to work with people with disabilities, and I commend anyone who has worked with/lived with/had anything to do with people with any sort of disability. It is tremendously admirable.) That Thanksgiving we got up the usual time, got dressed, probably skipped breakfast and began the 2ish hour journey to my aunt’s house, my mom’s sister’s house. Everything was going the way it usually went, food was cooking, football was on, everyone was catching up with everybody else, good times.

And then…my uncle’s son showed up. Dun dun dun. And he brings, a client, I guess you would say, from where he worked at the time, with him. Not only do I not really know my uncle’s son, but I definitely have not had any type of interaction with someone with any type of retardation and I was frightened and annoyed that this person was there in that house, with my family on Thanksgiving. I remember thinking that the tradition we usually do every year…ugh, was going to be incredibly awkward. Every year everybody gets 5 popcorn kernels and we all have to think of something different to be thankful for, for each kernel, and there can be no repeats, 2 people cannot be thankful for their mom, only 1 could be. It was made even more awkward by the fact that my brothers and I had figured out that the only thing this guy who was drooling on himself and refused to remove his thick winter coat was able to say was “Church,” “Soap,” and “Kappa pee pie.” Please don’t even ask about the last one, I have spent years trying to figure out if he wanted a piece of pie or needed to use the restroom.

Eventually, Thanksgiving was over, and we were on our way home and I guess it was then I was really thankful for being the way I am and having my health and my family to be with not just on holidays, but anytime I need them.

And even this Thanksgiving, while I will not be with my family or my friends, I continue to be thankful for every single one of them.


Lauren said...

And I'm thankful for you too, Dani-bo-bani!

Dani Leigh said...

Awww, just when I was beginning to think nobody reads this blog anymore! Lauren, love ya chica!

Katherine said...

I love you and we are doing our girl night soon.

I wish you didn't have to work tonight, even if it is your least favorite holiday.