so, what’s thanksgiving with your family like?

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  1. mark
    Posted November 20, 2007 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    I imagine the truth for most of us is somewhere between Norman Rockwell and sadistic torture. I’m just curious as to where most people in the audience fall on the continuum.

  2. KT
    Posted November 21, 2007 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    My family is of the toxic variety.

    You could deep fry a turkey in my dad’s bile.

    Wish me luck.

  3. Kirk
    Posted November 21, 2007 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    My Thanksgiving is more David Lynch than Norman Rockwell. I will spend the holiday at my father’s house in Flint, along with my brother, my deceased mother’s sister, her husband and their son.

    My Dad is a trim and sharp 95 years old and still lives alone in the house where I grew up. He has been deaf since age 15. My aunt had a stroke last year and is somewhat aphasic.

    My brother, my cousin and I are all unmarried and childless at age 52, 50 and 45 respectively. Dead branches on the family tree, as it were. At least two of us are gay, but at this particular gathering no one will mention it.

    My Dad and I are lefty Democrats and the rest are still cheerleaders for Bush. My cousin (5’4″ and 300+ pounds) used to work for the Michigan GOP and until recently was a lobbyist in Washington DC. He is now unemployed and living with his parents.

    I only see my aunt’s family a couple times a year but have spent every Thanksgiving and Christmas I can remember with these people. We are not close but share the intimacy of people who have known each other a very long time. We’ll talk about our jobs, our friends, our pets and each other and everyone will laugh a lot.

    No one has a drink but the straight men will watch football.

  4. Steph's Dad
    Posted November 21, 2007 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Let’s put it this way. Water boarding would be a welcomed distraction.

    My immediate family rocks though.

  5. stella
    Posted November 21, 2007 at 9:57 am | Permalink


  6. It's Skinner Again
    Posted November 21, 2007 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    My family is all dead. I’ll be having dinner with Carla (whose website is and Lisa (who has no website). None of our significant others can join us, so we’ll talk about them. I’ll be bringing chipotle guacamole and Prosecco. It should be fun.

  7. Mary
    Posted November 21, 2007 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    My real family (the members of which I do like a lot) is in California, but I’m not flying out. I’m eating Thanksgiving dinner with a colleague and her parents in a Detroit suburb.

    This’ll be the second time I’ve had another family adopt me for Thanksgiving and both times I’ll have tofurkey to eat, which, as a vegetarian, I appreciate.

  8. Lisa
    Posted November 21, 2007 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad somebody appreciates tofurkey! I’m pretty easy to please, but the very nature of it made me wonder if, in fact, it WAS food. I just make a meal of the side dishes.

    This year, provided I’ve recovered from the cold-of-death going around, I’ll be going to my partner’s aunt’s house.

    In previous years I’ve gone up to my mom’s husband’s parent’s house in Manistee. The schedule goes like this: Thursday – eat overcooked side dishes and turkey jerkee (what happens to turkey when you cook it for twice the recommended time). Friday – shop Manistee’s independent businesses downtown. Both days – try to avoid my Mom’s husband’s brothers – Mr. ‘I know everything and will prove it by following you to every room and telling you about it’, and Mr. ‘I’m working at a pizza delivery place at 58 and have ‘creepy’ written all over me’. Saturday – drive home. Wonder how my mom’s husband ended up so relatively normal.

  9. Anonymatt
    Posted November 21, 2007 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to my brother’s and we’re going to pick up a to go platter from his favorite sushi restaurant.

  10. Posted November 21, 2007 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    We will have the usual gang of the estranged, the rejected and the orphans–now all family: the two dykes and their two girls, the woman who’s going thru a custody battle, the ex-offender, the grandmotherly dyke who’s a widow, the bi-racial grandchild, the survivor of a double mastectomy, the young divorcee and her child. Hell, it’s not Norman Rockwell, it’s Peyton Place! (Probably a reference far too hoary for this age group.) But we will truly eat the harvest of our garden: pumpkins, sweet potatoes, fingerlings grown at home, pies made with love, some carefully treasured up tomatoes, homemade stock, a home-smoked cheese, and our bird is one we met (casually) at the home of our South Lyon “chicken guy.”

  11. terrygilmer
    Posted November 22, 2007 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I usually go to Whataburger which is the only fast food place here open on Thanksgiving. The roof is painted orange so that kinda fits the holiday.

  12. mark
    Posted November 22, 2007 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Thank you all for sharing your plans. I hope, however you plan to spend the day, you find something pleasant in it… I don’t say it often enough, but I do appreciate having you all as readers of this site, and I’d like very much to think that you’re all happy today. I know that’s probably not the case though. I know that some of you are in situations you don’t want to be in. I know that family isn’t a good thing for everyone, and something that they draw strength and happiness from. I know that there’s tons of pain out there, and loneliness. Comments like the one from Lisele give me hope. It’s great when people find their own communities and create their own traditions. I know that’s not an option for everyone, but I do hope that wherever you are, you find some bit of happiness today, even if it’s just leaving a comment here. And, with any luck, next year at this time there will be more. I know I dwell on the negative a lot here, but there really is a lot to be thankful for. As long as we’re alive, there’s hope… Anyway, my thoughts are with you.

  13. dirtgrain
    Posted November 22, 2007 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I love Thanksgiving the way we used to do it. But now we’re all going our separate ways. I’m going with my wife and son to my in-laws’ house.

    Whatever your plans are, don’t go into this day dreading it. Let go of expectations, embrace the world as it is, live in the now, and go with the flow. Happy Thanksgiving all.

  14. Posted November 22, 2007 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    My daughter’s first ever Thanksgiving. She’ll be joined by her mom and dad, both Grandmas and Grandpas, and two sets of Aunts and Uncles.

    I will enjoy the family company, drink beer, stuff myself silly, then watch the Lions.

    Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.

    God bless you all!

  15. dirtgrain
    Posted November 22, 2007 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Oh yah. I forgot about that. No beer. My in-laws are Mormons. Man. All of my advice in the previous post assumed you could always get smashed as a way out. Holy crap. If I get trashed before we go, will they notice?

  16. Posted November 22, 2007 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I am trapped in my IL’s basement watching the kids. Luckily, there is a computer with dsl here.

    And we get to go visit my parents tomorrow. I wish we were having dinner there today, because they specialize in political and religious arguments over dinner. I have fond memories of the feminism year (when my grandfather came to the kitchen after dinner to help me clean up, sending his 90 y.o. mother and his 50 y.o. daughter into conservative fits and handwringing); the Iranian hostage crisis year, when my dad started quizzing my cousin’s Iranian husband about how he felt about his countrymen; the abortion and religion year; and the gun control discussion. I was planning on bringing up climate change this year, but it looks like it will have to wait for Xmas.

    My IL’s are too polite and deaf for any discussion, so we all are very passive aggressive here over the dried out turkey. I guess there’s the scintillating discussion of the various times on Chicago suburban expressways times to look forward to later tonight. That, and the fact that my kids will eat almost nothing on the table except rolls (because it’s foods we don’t regularly serve at home), and my SIL will get all pissy that they won’t eat green bean casserole and orange jello with carrots in it.

  17. todd
    Posted November 22, 2007 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Happy Turkey day to Mark and the rest of you Michiganders!

    Gobble, Gobble!!!!

  18. Ol' E Cross
    Posted November 26, 2007 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    See for yourself, my uncle has already posted the video on youtube. Pretty standard stuff. We have a great dinner then all gather round and sing. This year, I wrote one special for grandma.

  19. Tybo
    Posted November 27, 2007 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    My Thanksgiving wen just as I’d imagined. No surprises. Everyone did just as I wanted.

  20. down and out
    Posted August 29, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    My wife beat the fuck out of me with a golf club, and then I had to pay a prostitute a shit load of money to keep her mouth shut about my sexual proclivities. I will be skipping Thanksgiving from here on out, thank you very much.

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