“Thanksgiving is a magical time of year when families across the country join together to raise America’s obesity statistics. Personally, I love Thanksgiving traditions: watching football, making pumpkin pie, and saying the magic phrase that sends your aunt storming out of the dining room to sit in her car.” – Stephen Colbert
So, last week, most of us Americans spent a whole bunch of time – way more than usual – with our extended family for the Thanksgiving holiday.
While it was great to spend the weekend surrounded by loved ones–eating yummy food, watching movies, talking and laughing–the holidays always tend to stir up a sense of anxiety within me.
Part of the anxiety simply comes from being around my elders. Even though we love each other to death, there’s always a natural tension between the adult I am today and the child that they remember. Once you add in the fact that my Grandma still doesn’t quite get “this natural hair thing” and that she’s reached the age where she pretty much feels at liberty to say whatever is on her mind, well….you can imagine!
I’m sure most of us have some sort of similar situation with relatives – whether it be about hair or weight or marital status, no one knows how to hit you where it hurts like your family. With each remark, you find yourself getting more and more heated. But then you have to remind yourself of how fortunate you are…that so many people don’t have their loved ones with them anymore to share the holidays. So, you suck it up and try to cram as much bonding as you can into just a few short days. During that time, you can’t help but notice how your elders are slowing down. All of a sudden, they need to take naps or medication between meals; but not before sneaking in a few more back-handed remarks. So, you find yourself alternatively feeling sad and mad. Ultimately, as a result of all this tension-filled togetherness, you find that you’re relieved when the holiday weekend has come to an end. And then you find yourself feeling guilty about that.
My whole feeling about the Thanksgiving holiday can be best encapsulated into this conversation I had with my dad after he called to let me know that the elders had made it back home safe and sound.
CURVY PAPA: We’re home!
CURVY CEO: Awww…
CURVY PAPA: What’s wrong?
CURVY CEO: I’m depressed.
CURVY PAPA: Why?
CURVY CEO: Y’all get on my nerves when you’re here, but then I miss you when you’re gone.
CURVY PAPA: *laughs* I think that’s just about right….
Am I alone in this? Holler if you hear me!
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