Okay, so for those of you south of the ol’ US – Canada border, we Canucks celebrate our Thanksgiving in October, not November. Reason being is that it’s very clearly based around the harvest, and ours comes much earlier than our southern neighbours. It’s cold up here, you know.
Here’s the thing – I don’t like Thanksgiving. Sure, I have plenty to be thankful for, and at least once a day I stop and think for a few minutes about how lucky I am to have a job, (I job I actually really like! Even though I’m still surrounded by morons…) some great friends, an AMAZING boyfriend, and yes even a relatively non-dysfunctional family. In fact, I’m probably the most dysfunctional one in the family. So yes, I have much to be thankful for.
I’m plenty grateful. I just don’t see why I have to express this gratitude by spending four days with my family, in a car, driving to a different province, to be poked and prodded and heaped under miles of awkward silences and forced conversation.
I don’t even like phone calls, or spending more than an hour or two with my family. What the hell made anyone think I would enjoy a family car trip? Did I mention I’m vegetarian?
Well there’s my grandmother, first and foremost. She’s overall an incredible woman, and very awesome. If you cross her, she will crucify you and everyone you love. She’s fought a hard life and I would say she won. You couldn’t even guess her age, she looks that great. She is, however, very draining at times. You don’t get an invitation to these family events, you get an informational phone call telling you what time you’re expected.
There’s my grandfather too. He has Parkinson’s and is getting more frail and confused, which I’m sure is going to be upsetting because he really is quite wonderful, and when the time comes I will miss him terribly. But the way I try to look at it, in his mind it’s 1947 again and I’m sure by the end he’s going to be back in a very happy place. He turns to my grandmother once in a while and says “You know, I married the most beautiful woman in the world. You would have just loved her.” She doesn’t bother to correct him, but instead laughs and takes the compliment he doesn’t know he’s giving her (which is the most sincere way, I guess.)
My grandparents are awesome, I’m glad to be seeing them.
As for the rest of my family. Well, of course I love them too. I just don’t like spending a lot of time with others in my immediate vicinity. And with the family, of course, you have to suck it up and put up with all those little annoyances, those little annoyances that would be my swift exit from any other such situation. You can’t say “Wow, and you manage to tie your shoes?” or “Hey, can we not discuss my finances?” at the dinner table – at least not without hearing about it for the next six months. There is an increased level of inhibition, and I hate the shit out of it. I hate pretending to care about other people’s day, I hate pretending to listen, I hate pretending like I have anything to talk about, I hate pretending that I wouldn’t rather be at home on my couch with my boyfriend, my weed, my bunnies, and a family that loves me from the other side of the city. When did ‘giving thanks’ turn into flooding the stores for the biggest pre-stuffed bird, jamming up the highways trying to get somewhere that will still be there next weekend, and exhausting ourselves putting on game faces? Ugh. Maybe it’s just me – it usually is.
When Josh and I are together, I’m all about spending Thanksgiving making out in the kitchen amongst food that may or may not get finished.
I’ll stop complaining now, before I bring some instant-karma whoop-ass on myself. I’m just saying that I’ll be giving my thanks when I arrive safely back home.
And really, does ANYONE like the idea of spending four days in close quarters with immediate family? Yeeeesh.