“Write about a tradition or ritual you’ve come to observe or don’t observe.”
Scene I: So last year, my sister and I pregamed thanksgiving, she drove in and we sat together watching the food network Thanksgiving special. Alton Brown mocked Giada and we sat transfixed by the comedy displayed on my LCD screen sitting on my Goodwill coffee table.
We made a recipe a friend of ours had invented – cinnawaffles – “you put the dough on your Foreman waffle plates and deliciousness ensues.” In my 1-bedroom space, we created a home.
We both had the feeling that Thanksgiving would be awkward that year — as we pretended to have a normal family dinner with my grandparents — as a man named Pancho was a more welcome presence, if strange, than my dad.
But as we ate cinnawaffles and cookies from the grocery store down the block, we were content to sit — not awaiting the poorly scripted indie film which was my family — but just sitting on my floor couch with a shared screen in a quiet house.
No expectations or suppositions of what the day should be — no photographic attempts to capture what was never really there — but content with what was and what could be, for us.
And so as my sister and I decided that regardless of the ensuing madness, we’d meet when we arrived in a place we had considered our home, now place only formerly known — we had already had our Thanksgiving.
Scene II: So a friend from the cafe I frequent invited me to spend thanksgiving with her — with the orphaned and far-flung grad students — I hope my sister comes — in a quest to build a life away from my family, this feels like a step.
And yet when I shared this with my mother, she was surprised, not stunned or taken aback, but curious. To build a life apart, does that mean separate? My father is gone, but the place I knew, the space we three developed post-graduation is missing.
And so we build our own it seems, for NOW AT LEAST. A space that is manageable, controllable, and ours. For we have pregamed the holidays before and now the game is ours.
Maybe we’ll make cinnawaffles. Sounds like a lovely tradition.