I mean, it was never my favorite holiday by a long-shot. I mostly appreciated it as a break from school. But the last few years I have become more and more disenchanted with the day. I mean, is it really a holiday? Is it? Every other holiday, in addition to the big meal, has something else associated with it. Christmas has presents! Halloween has candy and ghosts! Valentine's Day has flowers and chocolates and SadFM! St. Patrick's Day has booze! Hell, Arbor Day has trees. But Thanksgiving? Has a big meal and a contractually obligated sense of shame and guilt for not feeling more thankful the rest of the time, especially when you're sitting there trying to think of something you are actually thankful for and all you can come up with is your new pair of fluffy winter socks.
This year's Turkey Day was particularly doubleplusunfun. We never go anywhere, and the only person who comes to our place is my Grandpa, except this year he was going to my uncle's. So it was just us, and that exacerbates the sense that this is a sham holiday. Everyone just sitting around in their pajamas, cooking, bitching because so-and-so doesn't like water chestnuts but everyone else loves water chestnuts and I guess we'll just make two stuffings then! Speaking of which, does anyone actually like stuffing? Stale bread, mixed up with eggs and broth and whatever shit your mom throws in, which is generally whatever shit her mom threw in, and then you bake it, and that's supposed to be good? I know! Slop some gravy on it. Now it's ~delicious.
No. Stuffing is not delicious. No matter how you prepare the turkey, the white meat's a little dry and the dark meat's a little greasy. The veg is just there, a sad, woebegone accompaniment that no one really cares about. The jello salad always sits forgotten in the downstairs fridge. And if anyone shows up all, oh, my stuffing is divine, and here's how I cook the turkey so it's always perfect, and I am also thankful for everything because I am a Good Person, I swear, I will shiv you with the wishbone.
I find it hard to enjoy eating the dinner even in the best of years. The morning is spent cooking cooking cooking! Then it's EAT EAT EAT ALL THE THINGS. Then it's several hours of dishes. (Remember - you're going to have to wash the stuffing pan. Have fun!) Yesterday I felt a bit like Sisyphus. I thought I was done, and then I turned around, and behind me were vistas of dishes yet to be washed. By the time I did actually finish, I was hunched over the sink like a legit old lady, cursing about how no meal is good enough to justify two days of cooking and more time washing up than was spent eating.
Next I had a lie-down. I didn't actually sleep, just contemplated the ceiling for a bit. At that point I felt bilious and over-stuffed, even though I had done my best to only get two or three bites of each thing, and I paced myself and sometimes even set my fork down while I chewed. But I didn't know what was yet to come.
What was yet to come was INDIGESTION. Ugh. I mean, you cook forever, you don't really enjoy it when you eat it, you do dishes forever while the tryptophan is singing in your veins, and then your stomach naturally rises up in rebellion. It asks, "What the hell just happened? What did you just toss inside me? Did you actually think that was going to fly?" Now I really don't feel that awesome, and what is there to do? You can't go shopping anywhere - the stores are already filled with crazies. There's nothing on TV but sucky football and old movies you either don't care about or you've seen a million times. So I sort of half-heartedly watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and wandered here and there and then it was time for pie.
Normally I am a fan of pie, and normally six hours after the big meal I'd be ready to eat some pie. But not yesterday. I ate pie anyway, which was a mistaaaaaaake. Pumpkin pie, which was good; pecan pie, which was fantastic. I love pecan pie. We pretty much only have it on Thanksgiving. It's a great, great pie.
But here's the thing. When you're already fighting indigestion, sugar nut pie is really not the thing to layer on top. In fact, that might be the definition of dumb. By the time I finally toddled off to bed I was just like Blergh City. But you never really know how bad indigestion is until you lie down. OH GOD. ALL THE ACIDS, BURNING. I ended up having to prop myself up on pillows all night and get up and mainline Tums and it was just the perfect end to the day, really. I'm glad that this year, my sister and I decided not to do any of the early morning sales, because it would not have happened. She just left to go see if she could find some cheap DVDs, and I thought about going with her, but I was entirely too slow at the junction this morning and by the time she was ready to go, I was still huddled in front of my computer, hair wet, in my jim-jams, thinking dark, dark, murderous thoughts about the pilgrims.