We all have had our fair share of holiday get togethers. From the huge Easter dinner where everyone is dressed like they’re going to a Cabaret to New Years Eve parties where someone is guaranteed to either fall asleep before midnight or fall down the steps.
But those holidays aren’t for a while so let’s focus on the second-most treasured holiday of the season, Thanksgiving.
Over the years I have experienced quite a few things at Thanksgiving dinners. Allow me to share with you some of the Dos and Dont’s of this most treasured holiday.
Or at least ask if you’re required to bring anything. There is nothing worse than opening up your home to people and once they get there they give you their coat, head for the liquor (because they’re drunks), attack your food, fall asleep, wake up, take home two plates and then leave. If you plan on being this guest call or text ahead first to see if your host needs anything before you come through like Hurricane Sandy and fuck everything up.
No one likes a wallflower at a family dinner. Especially if you’ve been invited to someone else’s family dinner. You cannot simply sit on the couch for five hours ignoring everyone because it’s rude and you may not be asked to come back again. Plus, if your family is anything like mine, as soon as the doorknob hits you in the ass on the way out YOU will become the topic of the evening over late night drinks and mockery.
Let’s face it, most people hear the word Holiday and immediately think ‘ALCOHOL!’ (ie 4th of July? BEER AND RIBS!! Christmas? ‘SHOTS FOR BABY JESUS!’) and sometimes the party starts just a little too early at home with a few clunkers*. When you’re at home it’s hard to gauge exactly when you’ve had too much to drink because if you do reach that point you can go to your room and sleep it off. You can’t get trashed at the crib THEN go to someone else’s crib and get even more trashed.
*I don’t know if this is an old Southern term but my Aunt Mildred used to call a drink a clunker and my dad still uses this term now. So I’m just keeping tradition alive.
This is an error I tend to make because, out of all my friends, I’m the one who’s always late. I remember one year my homegirl hosted Thanksgiving dinner and by the time I got there everyone was gone. I felt bad, but feeling bad doesn’t turn back the hands of time. There’s nothing worse than saying you’ll be somewhere at 6 and showing up at 9. You may as well have just not come at all. Please honor your commitment.
I feel bad for my nephew Aaron, my niece Nyla and my goddaughter Tatum. Because they’ve all inherited Five drunk uncles. And there will be a family gathering when they’re older where the three of them will be eating in the kitchen listening to the six of us talking loudly and drinking everything we can get our hands on. One of them will turn to the others and ask ‘Are they drunk again?’ Though I’m sure at that point they would be surprised if we weren’t drunk.
We all have family members who are the Life Of The Party (aka The Drunk) and when they finally reach Level 10 please don’t say shit like ‘I think you’ve had enough to drink’. You will be met with expletives, eye rolls, staggering, and eventually they will pass out on the couch until their spouse collects them to drive them home and make them sleep on their own couch.
Yet another error in judgment I have made for decades. My friends used to get up early on Thanksgiving to go to the King/Germantown football game at Germantown Field, which is literally ten minutes away from where I grew up. Five minutes driving. And every year I told them ‘Yeah, I’ma be there’. I think I went once out of the 20+ years that I lived on my old block. Mainly because the night before I was out getting fucked up somewhere and had no desire to get dressed and stand in the cold to watch Germantown kick King’s ass for another year. So to compromise I would always go to the let out at noon, scoop up my friends and go get a drink or two at a nearby bar.
(which normally lead to my annual repeating of #4)
You know, macaroni and cheese, greens, stuffing, cornbread and yams can bind you up kinda nice. All those starches, dairy and sugar can get all up in ya and incapacitate you for a few hours. And then when you get home I hope you have enough Febreze, Lysol and Glade Scented Candles to expel those demons from yo’ stankin’ ass. But what if you don’t make it home and have to use the bathroom at the family dinner residence? You don’t want to be that person. If the food is really good just make your To-Go plate early.
Yes I know what I wrote in #7. But if you come in making a plate before you’ve even tasted anything, that shit’s just tacky. If you wait until after you’ve sampled a few things and know what’s gonna go after the rest of the savages arrive then by all means make your plate like a greedy ninja: quick and unseen. There’s nothing worse than going back for another slice of MomMom’s sweet potato cheesecake to find an empty aluminum tin with nothing but crumbs. The pumpkin pie just won’t do at that point so don’t play yourself.
And drunken Thanksgiving football is an entity all by itself. It is one of the best parts of Thanksgiving because people who like to drink and talk shit LOVE watching football, drinking and talking shit. Get ready for laughter, tears and most importantly drinking. If you’re not a fan of the game either sit and wait for someone to say something funny (because they will), keep eating or find something else to do.
And not just on Thursday, but always. No mater how bad you think you have it best believe someone else has it much worse. You can’t become bogged down with the notion that you should only give Thanks one day out of the year. Be grateful for what you have all year because you could lose it all in the blink of an eye and be left with memories of a time when you had all you needed but didn’t appreciate it. Thanksgiving, at its base, is a time to remember just that.
Aiight now, lesson over. Happy Thanksgiving people! Enjoy.