So yesterday I mentioned that the top reason we are hanging back in Wisconsin this Thanksgiving is the nightmarish travel. However the good ole extended fam bam is a very close runner up on my list of things that make my blood pressure rise to unhealthy levels during the holiday season.
Years ago when I was younger and more naive, I was gaga for Thanksgiving. I loved going to my grandma’s or aunt’s for the event, envisioning turkey day unfolding like a family dinner on any given episode of Parenthood. Complete with eating my weight, going back for dinner round two before round one of dessert… No one tells you this as a kid, but apparently all of that comes with a price once you are in your twenties and people expect answers. That price is socializing. And you pay that price when you are cornered multiple times by multiple relatives who want to know all of the things about you.
Yes. I’m talking about the Thanksgiving dinner conversations.
- Are you dating anyone? / Where is the boyfriend/girlfriend? / When are you getting engaged? / When are you getting married? / Are you pregnant? / When are you having another baby? / [Insert personal question here]?
Each stage of life during and after college seems to come with it’s very own daunting personal question that at least three different people will ask you as you make the rounds. Currently, we are knee-deep in the stage where people begin to openly wonder why there isn’t a baby in my uterus, and when they can expect one to be. I never know how to take this one. Do I get offended because aunt Mindy is probably asking because she’s (rightfully) confused by my Thanksgiving gut? Do I tell cousin Sue “yep” with a smile as I take a sip from the glass of wine I’m holding? I feel like responding with “well I was earlier this year but I’m not anymore” is not only an overshare, but a pretty sharp turn onto a dead-end street that no one wants to head down anyway.
I know people are being friendly and just trying to make conversation while pretending they don’t already know everything about you from social media, but I’ll be happy to delve into the risky business of politics and religion if we can avoid making people in their twenties feel like they aren’t reaching appropriate checkpoints by appropriate times. And I totally get it. I wonder these things about other people all. the. time. Wonder all you want, even ask behind my back– ask my mom! Moms love to embellish the hell out of the most mundane thing their kids are doing and make them sound awesome… just don’t ask me. 🙏😂
And hey, despite this slightly exaggerated & cynical for dramatic effect blog post, I’m actually a pretty open book and borderline over-sharer. So if there is news to be spread, believe you me, I’ll be spreading it like chicken pox through an elementary school classroom.
- What are you doing nowadays?
Gone are the days of kids being handed their GEDs and then heading off to the entry level business down the street to put in their 35 years and respective contributions to social security. And I also know that most aunts and uncles to us anti-social millennials are from that age bracket, so I’m totally aware this isn’t a touchy topic for them (or possible anyone other than myself) and should warrant a simple answer about whatever bill-paying endeavor we are currently rolling out of bed for.
But, when you’re me, a recovering shy kid, awkward, formerly insecure teen who, by the time year four of college rolled around, had already “tried out” three different majors including education, business, web design and an accelerated program in medical assisting and yet somehow still found herself working as a barista at Starbucks, this question not only reminds you of those four years and thousands of dollars of regret that you’re still sending a check to every month, but also has you struggling -while potentially inebriated- to come up with an explanation for why this is ok while still self-consciously failing to fully own the whole photography thing as of yet, all in one panicked breath. (Kind of like that run-on sentence. 😄)
Please. Someone mention Donald Trump. NFL Protests? Hear any good Russia rumors lately? Anything to avoid having to craftily disguise my basically-unemployed, housewifey photographer combo as a valid life choice when I have no children to speak of and the house is neither messy nor big enough for me to be home maintaining it full-time. 😂
Did I mention I used to be insecure? Or so I thought. 😂
All exaggerated kidding aside, I really do love the good ole fam. I’m excited for this year’s Thanksgiving because bro-in-law is coming and it’s bound to be an, albeit funny, millennial shit show, but of course there are bits and pieces I will miss back home. Like being surrounded by people who care enough about your life to ask the personal questions like only a family member can.
Oh, and the annual political argument between another bro-in-law and father-in-law, during which we take a selfie every time. But that’s another post for another day, and there’s always Christmas for that. 😉
What is your favorite part (or least favorite) about Thanksgiving??