I hate Thanksgiving.
No. Really. I hate it. I always have.
Now before you get up in arms or fire off a flaming comment, please know that I don't hate being grateful or thankful. I'm very grateful for many things and I try to express my gratitude when I am feeling it.
Here's what I hate about Thanksgiving.
Everyone pretends that it is the great family time when everyone is on their best behavior and everyone is happy to see all their family and all their family's various and sundry orphans and all the orphans' orphans. And that it will be fun. And that those of us who are relagated to "not a cook" status enjoy hanging out with all the other "not a cook" people. There is an assumption that everyone has a history of traditional, warm, loving fun Thanksgivings to reminisce about. There is an expectation that even if you would rather stick bamboo shoots under your nails, you WILL PRETEND TO BE GRACIOUS and accept every turn of events as they come on. There are all the cultural assumptions that food is the only way we can show love and that you'd better like all the "delightful" Thanksgiving food that you would NEVER eat any other time of year.
I like turkey. Mashed potatoes and gravy are fine. Some corn. Maybe a roll. I didn't even eat pumpkin pie until I was in my mid-twenties...Food is not a reward for me. It is a painful punishment and brings about painful memories of other painful times.
Roby's birthday was usually celebrated on Thanksgiving when he was alive - the only good part of Thanksgiving, in my experience. Now, it is just another reminder that he is gone. It doesn't matter that it has been 16 years.
I hate being a bitch about it, too. Next year, I'm taking Thanksgiving off. Not just from work. I'm not playing. Opting out. I have already made my plans known to those who need to know. This relieves me of decisions and trying to figure out how to make things less painful. As soon as I decided that I wasn't going to participate next year, I felt a weight come off of me.
After today, I'm living Thanksgiving-free.