Every year around this time, I watch the Thanksgiving food enthusiasts close their eyes and lick their lips in anxious anticipation of a scrumptious feast. But I never join them. The truth is, turkey is not my meat of choice (too bland). And pumpkin pie doesn't thrill me either. The stuffing is really the only thing that semi-excites me, but that's probably because I'm an indiscriminate carb-oholic. Despite the hype, I have to admit that Thanksgiving fare generally under-whelms me.
But for me, Thanksgiving has little to do with the actual meal. It's about home. It's about family. And after nearly five months since my move to New York (and almost three since my last visit), I have never been so eager to enjoy a Michigan Thanksgiving.
Being an independent, sophisticated city-dweller certainly has its moments, but sometimes, a girl (or I should say, a Woman) just needs a break. I think I realized this two Fridays ago around 10 p.m. After my very first JDate canceled on me at the last minute, I found myself enjoying a quiet evening alone, catching up on reading and phone calls. I was deep in conversation with my dear friend Bari (who, despite my protests, decided to ditch me for the West Coast), when I smelled something. I walked over to the kitchen and found my frozen vegetable paddy on fire in the microwave--red flames, thick plumes of smoke...the whole nine yards. My first thought: Well, this is it. I'm doomed to be homeless. My second thought (which I verbalized): Shit.
Fortunately, when I unplugged the thing, the flames died down and I didn't have to practice my "stop, drop, and roll" skills after all.
Other than the pungent burnt stench that lasted over a week, there was no harm done. But the episode did get me thinking, if there had been a real fire, who would have come to my rescue? My friends in the city were most likely out (or at the library) with their cell phones on silent. And the family.... Well, it would have taken them a little while to get here.
That's when it dawned on me that I was really on my own. To my surprise, it wasn't a scary or depressing feeling. Just a realization. Further confirmation that I wasn't a kid anymore--liberating on the one hand, overrated on the other.
But non-kid though I may be, I still need TLC every so often.
Luckily a welcome respite from adulthood is in store--courtesy the 'rents. To think, I once refused their offers to help me carry my luggage upstairs and to shop for "no-particular-reason" gifts. Don't worry, Mom and Dad. I'm over that phase. Pamper away!
For certain, this year will be a different sort of Thanksgiving for me. It's my first time as an out-of-towner...the first time "home" feels like somewhat of an ambiguous term. Am I returning with a new pair of eyes? Hard to say.
Maybe it's simply that this year, more so than usual, I'll really savor the holiday--right down to the turkey and pumpkin pie.
For more tips on preparing for the holiday season, click here for more from Huffington Post's Living!