This holiday I had five things to be particularly thankful for, and their names were Vicki, Tatiana, Charles, Jaeshaun and Addam.
I have to admit, when I woke up yesterday morning I was feeling really down. This is the second Thanksgiving I’ve spent away from family, and it doesn’t get any easier the more you do it. To make matters worse, my landlord never faxed over a copy of the lease, so Addam and I couldn’t get the gas turned back on. We had absolutely no way to cook anything.
Golden Corral was having some sort of Thanksgiving special that we were going to check out, but that would have required a four-mile bike ride and two bus transfers. I wouldn’t have minded the commute in, but I didn’t want to have to worry about making it back to the apartment in the dark. Not to mention, going to a restaurant just doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving. I would have rather sat outside and grilled up a dinner.
Luckily, a couple of Addam and my friends were kind of in the same predicament. They had a working stove, but they were spending the holiday away from family as well. We decided to meet at Charles’s apartment for our own make-shift holiday, and I can’t think of anyone I would have rather celebrated with. What could have been a depressing day turned into a night that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
Last year Addam and I were visiting his family in Ohio and spent the entire day cooking. This year all we did was show up with some drinks. (Honestly, as much as I hate to admit it, I’ve gotten into the baking thing and really wouldn’t have minded bringing a side or two. It was just an impossibility given the circumstances.) But, wowza, was there a feast waiting for us!
When we got to Charles’s around 5:30 p.m. everything was ready. Potatoes were mashed, green beans were casseroled, corn was cobbed, stuffing was…stuffed and rolls were warming in the oven. Everyone thought there was going to be a shortage of turkey. While that obviously wouldn’t have bothered me one bit, it never became an issue. There were a ton of left overs at the end of the night, and Addam and I brought a big pan of it home. Vicki and Tatiana seem to have done most of the cooking, and I have to give the ladies credit, because they really outdid themselves. Everything was absolutely fabulous.
We spent the evening playing cards and shooting the shit while our food digested. I ate more than I think I’ve eaten in the past week combined. (Seriously, I have no idea how I fit it all in. I have not eaten like that since I started my diet a year ago.) I didn’t have room for dessert, but the others enjoyed some pumpkin pie and warm brownies. (I told you they went all out.) After everyone was good and stuffed, Jaeshaun caught a bus home and Vicki, Tatiana and Charles headed back to Addam and my apartment to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.
We made a late night of it, so once everyone left Addam and I pretty much crawled into bed. I had to work bright and early this morning, and when I woke up I was still full. Being bloated didn’t make my day go by any faster, but it definitely reminded of the great night I had. It’s nice to finally have a crew. I’ve been missing my Chicagoans a lot lately, so it’s good to know that I have a group of people behind me again.
Speaking of people who always have my back — starting next week Addam and I will be entertaining different family members each weekend. Addam’s mom, dad and uncle will be here on Friday, and his little sister and her boyfriend will be here the next two following. After that is Christmas, and Addam and I are going to try to make a quick trip to Ohio to celebrate with the loved ones. Any loneliness I had will soon be nonexistent.
Now that I am off work and have an entire weekend ahead of me, I think I may try to get into the Christmas spirit. I plan to spend the evening decorating the tree and getting the place nice and shiny for the fam. I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday and took a moment to realize what is truly important about the season — the love and support of family and friends.
Charlie Brown: “I can’t cook a Thanksgiving dinner. All I can make is cold cereal and maybe toast.”
Linus van Pelt: “That’s right. I’ve seen you make toast. You can’t butter it, but maybe we can help you.” — A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, 1973.