not your usual thanksgiving post

A year ago today, I was home alone on Thanksgiving.  It was a choice I made on my own, simply because my family and I don’t really have holiday traditions that involve NEEDING to see each other on the day, and Thanksgiving tends to be a holiday whose celebration REQUIRES 45 million turkeys being killed and set in the middle of the table.  I had been vegan for a year (I became full vegan the day after Thanksgiving 2008) and didn’t really feel like being around that.

Plus, I just didn’t feel like going out and having to interact with people when I could just chill at home.

I decided to make some traditional stuff on my own at home, just to have.  I made some mashed potatoes from the box, some veggie gravy, and 2 pumpkin pies (you can clearly see what my priorities were), and relaxed at home watching movies in my pj’s.

There was a friend of mine named John whom I had dated a few months prior, and it hadn’t worked out simply because he had some shit that he had to work through, mostly due to his mother passing away prior to us dating.  However, I had fallen hard for him in those few weeks we had dated, and hadn’t yet really learned how to just let people and things GO (though I thankfully did in 2010).  Despite his distinct shift in attitude towards me after his personal issues got the better of him, I still wanted to be around him. ( Hell, the only reason I ended things with him romantically was because I hoped that we could salvage something and try again once he got over what he was going through.)  I tried to be his friend, and while we talked almost every day, he never let down his guard, often teased me more than I was comfortable with, and kept me at arms length.  But I was stuck on the guy I had originally met, and not only was I hoping the old him would make a resurgence (foolish), the guy was going through some heavy stuff, and I wanted to be there for him.

On Thanksgiving, I stayed home.  I chatted with him online for most of the night (since he was working), and then drove over to his house and left some Thanksgiving food on his porch, since I knew he didnt have any food at the moment, but also wanted to be left alone because he usually spent the day with his mom and was sad.  He was thankful, but indifferent.  I never did get my tupperware back.  A month or so after that, he kinda just disappeared.  I would occasionally send him a hello text, but I quickly realized how pointless it was.

Now, i don’t fault the guy, really.  The stuff he was going through was pretty terrible.  While I certainly wish he had just not spoken to me at all, instead of sending mixed messages about wanting to be my friend, I let myself get treated as a someone who didn’t really matter to him (or maybe I did…to this day, though I haven’t spoken to him in months, he remains a mystery to me.  Probably always will.)  Whats funny is, I haven’t really thought of him in months, and it’s been even longer since I thought about that Autumn of last year.  For some reason, it popped into my head on Thanksgiving.

There is a fine line between showing someone kindness when they didn’t ask for it (because sometimes you need to push past people’s barriers so they can let other people’s kindness in), and simply just wasting your time on someone who doesn’t want it (or as was the case with an ex-friend of mine, doesn’t appreciate it).  This year I spent Thanksgiving with people.  With my boyfriend’s family.  In Mississippi.  Who despite being Southerners to the core, let me veganize half their dishes so that I could join in the meal, not just “eat my own separate thing”.

I’m still not big on Thanksgiving, and probably would have happily spent it at home doing nothing if I’d been alone…but it was important to Billy.  And I love his family (and they love me, despite how different I am).  I am happy to know that when I do something nice for him or for his mom, I am doing it for people that APPRECIATE it.  I knew that when I spent money to buy Billy a video game I couldn’t afford, I wasn’t doing it because on some level, I was trying to win his approval (which, if I’m honest with myself, was the driving force behind a lot of the kindness I attempted to show John).  I did it because I knew it would genuinely make him happy.  Our relationship has definitely taken a few hefty kicks to the groin over the last few months, but it has left our bond that much stronger.  And it’s nice to know that him (and ALL of my friends that I have chosen to keep around) are absolutely worth the effort. 😉

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~ by Alli on Friday, November 26, 2010.

One Response to “not your usual thanksgiving post”

  1. Growing up – we haz it?

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