What Thanksgiving means to me

I spent five days doing nothing, and what makes it worse is that it wasn’t enough.

by Katharine Hargreaves

I’m going to be honest with you: It’s been one of those weeks. I don’t mean one of those weeks where you have an essay and a rectal examination in every class, or even one of those weeks where you lose an arm to a pack of wolves at the bus stop – just like that! – and now have a raging infection to worry about. No, I mean it’s been one of those weeks where I simply don’t go to class.

If I were honest, I’d admit that it’s because I’m lazy, but I’d rather look good, so I’m going to blame it all on the holidays. They kill me, they really do. It’s not that I don’t love Thanksgiving, because I do. It’s just that I spent five days doing nothing, and what makes it worse is that it wasn’t enough.

Oh sure, one could argue that this past break was just enough time to enjoy family and feasting in moderation, but then again those are the people that I choose not to be friends with. I like people that eat their body weight in food. I like people who have to pass out after dinner in order to simply live through the night. In other words, I like people who are like me. More than that, however, I like people who get rip-roaring drunk with their grandmas every night of break and wind up in Tijuana with their name changed to Skullzor – this is where my Thanksgiving break fell short.

I was catching up with two good friends at Hard Times, and, of course, we had to rehash the time-honored topic, “What We Did Over Break.” Don’t get me wrong, I love this tradition, but this year, I really couldn’t hold a candle to my amigos. This year, my story fell flat .

You see, my friends got drunk with their grandmas. I, on the other hand, drank milk (not iced – although that would have lifted my spirits). Thanksgiving is for celebrating, and celebrating for most red blooded humans involves drinking and last weekend, I did not drink – that is, unless you count the half glass of Summit that was grudgingly given to me in a sippy cup, and only on the terms that I waited three hours afterwards before leaving so I didn’t drive home drunk. But I digress.

After much crying, wringing my hands and deep pondering, I have come to the conclusion as to why my family did not, unlike previous repasts, partake in the Festivus of Bacchus. (And no, it’s not that I’m only 20 and all my relatives know this.) It’s that this year, my Uncle Bob was not at our Thanksgiving. As I mentioned in my second column, my Unkie B is a big guy: a man who eats raw meat; a man who instills fear in the hearts of my prospective suitors; a man who finishes his fifth of whiskey before lunchtime – and that’s just in his coffee. Now, I’m not saying that my family’s not a fun-loving group, because we are. We’re the kind of people who make fun of one another for sport and spy on my 15-year-old cousin as he makes moves on his first real girlfriend as they sit in the living room. We party.

It’s a fact that if you want to have a successful party, you have to invite the friend who gets plastered before 5 p.m. People feel less awkward around someone who is so embarrassingly drunk that they don’t even care about inhibitions, and, thus, feel more encouraged to let loose themselves. I’m pretty sure my uncle is that guy and that if he had been celebrating with us this year, we would all be reliving the memories now. Hell, we probably could have gotten my mom to take her shirt off, and I wouldn’t have been left looking like a geek squad of one at Hard Times.

In the end though, I learned my lesson: That even though I’m sometimes boring, my friends still love me. And even though my parents won’t do keg stands with me, I still love them. It’s what the holidays are all about.

Kat Hargreaves welcomes comments at [email protected]