Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Tired of the Pity Party

With the exception of Thanksgiving last year, every Thanksgiving and Christmas since I moved to DC has been spent here in the city with my friends. It’s always been a really nice way for my circle of friends to all gather around and make our own traditions. It’s naming our thanksgiving turkey after our favorite drag queen or waking up Christmas morning to find that Baby Jesus painted our toenails purple or that Santa made sure we didn’t burn the house down and took the tater-tots out of the oven while we were passed out. It’s always a good time and nice to spend time with the people that truly know me the best.

But one of my annoyances with this time of year is that there is this expectation that in order to be complete you need to spend the holidays with your biological family – anything less than that is seen as sad and pathetic. Over the past week I’ve lost track of how many conversations I’ve had like this:

Prying Person: “So you have any big Thanksgiving plans??”

Mr. Bartender: “Yeah I’m getting together with friends for a nice Thanksgiving Dinner”

Prying Person: “Oh, so you’re not going home….awwww”

Mr. Bartender: “No it’s fine, my friend Mrs. Jesus is a really good cook and he’s having a bunch of us over. We’ve done it the past couple years and it’s always been a really nice time.”

Prying Person: “oh….how fun….. I’m sure you’ll get home for Christmas though”

Mr. Bartender: “No, I’m staying in town for that too”

Prying Person: “Aww that’s awful.”

Mr. Bartender: “No really it’s fine. I’m really close with my friends and it’s nice to be able to spend the holidays with them. They’re the reason DC feels like home to me”

Prying Person in the most forced and awkward voice: “Well be sure to have fun with that…happy holidays”

Prying person walks away with a look of pity and sadness in their face…

Look, I love my family. I make it home about once a year but I really can’t afford to fly home much more than that. Why should one arbitrary holiday be set above all others? Why is coming home for Christmas or Thanksgiving any more important than going home for my dad’s 50th birthday or for my mom’s family reunion? I stay in touch with my family, they know I love them, I know they love me.

Meanwhile, I’m here in DC and have been blessed with an amazing group of friends who have been with me through my highest of highs and lowest of lows. They have seen me through an incredibly difficult period of my life and helped me deal with things my parents wouldn’t have been able to handle. They are my chosen family. They mean the world to me. Please don’t pity me for getting to share the holiday season with people that I love dearly. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way…


At 1:03 PM, Blogger The Boy said...

Those people are just jealous that you don't have to suffer through the holidays! (like me).

At 1:51 PM, Blogger aklsdjhfa said...

Agreed. You'll be drinking to be merry and heighten your enjoyment of the day. I'll be drinking to buffer myself from my family.

Did I mention I'll be attending a HS football game for the first portion of my Thanksgiving? In North Jersey, no less. Anyone gotta flask I can borrow...?

I'm sure you'll have a great time! We'll all have to get together after the holiday.

At 2:30 PM, Blogger mrs.jesus said...

mrs.jesus loves spending his holidays with you!

At 2:39 PM, Anonymous copperred said...

Do you work surrounded by women with really big hair? I've noticed that women with really big hair are always the nosiest.

I usually have the escape of saying my parents live in France, my sister is in Australia, and I'm just fine here thankyouverymuch. If that fails and they as about relatives, I just say "We do not speak!" and look at them with murderous eyes. In fact the eyes are the way to go.

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Asian Mistress said...

I understand...I have tons of "family" here that I frequently enjoy holidays with. I see my parents every so often too, but it doesn't make either option better than the other.

At 3:35 PM, Blogger Dale said...

Friends are totally the family you choose! And obviously friends make any place home!! and I will second chips emotions of drinking to buffer rather than drinking to enjoy.

My uncle will be deep frying a turkey this year wearing all lacrosse gear including a helmet for safety reasons.... I swear there is something wrong with my family...

At 4:30 PM, Blogger Dudley said...

You bettah testify Mr. Bartender!!! Amen!

I have spent the last several Turkey Days in DC and have some fantastic memories. I'm pretty stoked that I'm cooking the dinner by myself this year for my peeps.

So that 'ho who gave you a hard time can go choke on some mo-freakin dark meat!

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Dop said...

I would guess the dude also doesn't have to travel half way across the country for holidays. Having done it for Thanksgiving, I've decided to NOT do it for Christmas. Besides, I can vouch for Mrs. Jesus' cooking! YUM!!

At 9:52 PM, Blogger Stef said...

I love staying in DC for Thanksgiving with my friends. Sure, even if you love your family it's a real drag to travel twice in a month to go for all the holidays. I stick with Christmas and a trip in the summer and I make Thanksgiving my own. I hope you enjoyed yours!


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