This is my first Thanksgiving at home after two years in New York City. Last year, I flew home for a few days, and loved being home--food, friends, food. The year before I ate out in the East Village with some friends who also did not go home for the holidays. I was really sad that I missed out on mom's turkey that year.
This year, I'm thinking about ways I can leave home, to escape the drama that comes with big family parties. Let me clarify-- only about 10 of the guests are actually family. The other 80 are friends of my parents, who come over, eat loads, dance all night, and then take off at about 4 or 5 in the morning.
Does this sound like good partying to you? Well, it is. My mom throws awesome parties. But this year I'm really in the mood for a normal family dinner. What does that mean? It means having Thanksgiving with family, instead of being subjected to multiple hours of small talk ("What are you doing these days? How's your teaching job?" etc.) and coercive activity (i.e., "You HAVE to dance. How come you're not dancing? Get up! Come on!") These are the type of events that make one uncomfortable in her own skin. The best analogy would be an office party, with tons of people who don't really know you and will never really know you.
The worst part is I feel a little guilty about thinking so negatively about the whole event. These are family friends after all. And of course, the food will be amazing. So why do I want to drive out to the desert and be alone this year?