Many of us are expected to spend the day with people who may not love and cherish us in ways we deserve. The undercurrent of stress and the strain of polite conversation may be a little too much to bear between bites of pie. I understand how it’s become a culturally abnormal event to have an enjoyable gathering for many extended families, but here’s the thing, friends.
I fixed spaghetti for supper today. You know why? ‘Cause we want spaghetti. Tradition holds with turkey. We’re supposed to have turkey and all the trimmings, right? We’re not anti-turkey here. We’ll have turkey when we’re hankering it. But green bean casserole, yams, and congealed cranberry anything? We’re not going for any of that mess. If we were having a traditional Thanksgiving supper, we wouldn’t eat that on accounta that’s what’s expected of us. You feel me?
Our lives, our relationships, our souls are too precious to be squandered on what’s expected of us. We’ve spent too many holidays around too many tables with people who, by virtue of shared DNA, make the day a livin’ hell. I’m not suggesting you never speak to your families again. I’m making the case for not putting yourself in situations on accounta that’s what’s expected of you.
So many of us are trying to make it through family gatherings today. We need to address the refugees in the room, yes? We should acknowledge them. I feel weird wishing anyone a happy Thanksgiving when we all know the historical and present day gunk we have centered around the festivities. As I peer out at the rest of the world, eating my spaghetti and playing poker with my Littles, I have this lump in my throat.
My heart’s hurting for people on the run and families caught at sea and everyone stuck in between. As my family sits here safe, my mind keeps wandering back to those in crisis. My heart breaks not only for those families, but for the families here who fear and despise them for their need. It’s as if our country’s having a giant dysfunctional family Thanksgiving feast and we’ve got people on the front lawn in terrible need.
I can’t think of a single person I know who wouldn’t open their home today, who wouldn’t make room at their table. I guess it’s different today when it’s mashed potatoes we’re sharing. I dunno how to end this post, friends. Don’t do what’s expected, I suppose. We ought to do what’s best for ourselves and for one another. Learn peace. Love now. Spread the word. B.