Posted by: laughs4dads | November 24, 2010

Thanks for Nothing

At the risk of seeming ungrateful, my family hates Thanksgiving, and not for the same reasons everybody else does.

Oh, don’t deny it. Most of you out there hate Thanksgiving. You hate the traveling, whether it’s the obligatory flight home for a whole four days at a time when airports more closely resemble the streets of Pamplona during the running of the bulls, or the equally obligatory drive to a family gathering that more closely resembles a lunatic asylum.

And you’re not that thrilled with the family gathering itself, and the realization that, after the first few minutes, you really don’t have enough to talk to these people about to get you through the whole Thanksgiving dinner, much less a weekend. Also your cousin Fred’s kids are brats and if your sister doesn’t get her life under control you might have to initiate an intervention.

And the turkey is dry. Again.

And you hate the inane patter that Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera and Al Roker have to utter during the parade and, really, if you have to watch one more mediocre TV personality lipsynching a stupid song from a float while surrounded by dancing elves you might puke in advance of dinner. Also, the high school marching bands all sound the same no matter what song they’re playing, and you’re beginning to suspect that there’s really only band in the parade and it simply changes uniforms and runs to the back and starts over.

And the football games always seem to be lousy match-ups with teams you rarely care about (the Detroit Lions again?).

But here’s the thing: my family always had the opposite problem. We had nowhere to go and no family to be with.

I know…I’ve brought you to tears.

It just always seemed like every family member who lived in our vicinity was always going to their in-laws, and I was in no hurry to fly to Florida to visit my mother, who once bought a pre-cooked turkey from a store and then cooked it again so that it tasted like the back of a yellow legal pad, only with less flavor.

One year, in desperation, we went to a Thanksgiving buffet dinner at a local restaurant which may have been the single most depressing evening of our lives because everybody was there out of desperation, and it showed. I’ve been to funerals where there was more joy in the room.

So, for a few years, when Casey was younger, we’d take her out of school for the week and go to a Club Med, which is run by the French, so they ignore Thanksgiving altogether. And we’d fly back the day after Thanksgiving to avoid the heavy travel days

And the next week, when everyone else was over-stuffed and exhausted from being with their families, we’d be tan and well-rested.

But we never had leftovers.

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