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In the Moment

Thanksgiving 1992 was my first holiday on my own. It had been a perfectly easy and comfortable decision--flying in and out of Birmingham was expensive--I was both taking and teaching MWF classes—I was going to be with the whole family for a much longer visit in less than a month.

I was fine, right up until I got up that morning, turned on the Macy’s parade, and burst into tears.

Luckily, the mood passed, because I had volunteered my place for a don’t-have-anywhere-else-to-go potluck. I had a loveseat that fit two people and no hope of a turkey--the “kitchen” in the grad housing where I was living consisted of 2 burners, a microwave, and a tiny dishwasher, because that was apparently more desirable than an oven. (I found pictures! If the interwebs had been around back then, I might never have moved in!)

But all my guests were similarly circumstanced (several lived in the same complex) and no one cared. I made meatballs, which still seemed Thanksgiving-y, since in my family, the turkey and stuffing and cranberries always followed lasagna or stuffed shells or such.

Everyone brought wonderful things, but what I remember was having my first-ever crab rangoon, which was made by a married couple from Kansas that I’d met going to the Tuesday student Mass. (The Catholic Student Center was literally next door and the service was followed by dinner, which you could share for a couple of dollars or by volunteering for a shift in the kitchen. Once we discovered it, several of my compatriots in the English department were loyal attendees.)

That night, a smaller group of us went to see Disney’s Aladdin and I loved it so much I saw it again Sunday evening, an official end to my holiday weekend.

Yesterday J and I had dinner with one of my dearest friends and we are happily anticipating see more of him and his husband over the next few days before they return home to Philadelphia. He was at that party in 1992, though we’d only known each other less than 4 months at the time.

This week marks a year since I learned the program I worked for would be shutting down, Decemeber 1st will be the start of my sixth month without a job. It’s hard right now, not to be anxious and bitter and hopeless, to feel resentful and rejected and scared—I do better some days than others.

Maybe I shouldn’t need a day like today as a reminder of all life’s blessings, but I am very glad to have it.

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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Nov. 26th, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
Great story.
Happy Thanksgiving, lspad! I hope you folks have a great and lazy weekend, too.

- Krista
storybystory
Nov. 26th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Great story.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mr. Husband and Clio! J just innocently asked if it might be time to heat up the pie, so, yes, we're having a fine time. (it's Whole Foods pie...I am afraid of pie crust.)
(Anonymous)
Dec. 4th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
Fresca here.

This reminds me of one of my favorite movies: "Broadway Danny Rose"--every Thanksgiving the talent manager (Danny Rose/Woody Allen) for hopeless acts serves his cast of quirky losers frozen TV turkey dinners. I made one for myself one T-giving I was spending alone. It was surprisingly good and good company too!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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