Lets go back a few years and explain this infatuation I have had with Thanksgiving. (yes,.. had). For as long as I can remember growing up, Thanksgiving was always spent at home. We never had big groups, crowds, parties, etc. We have had random family members come and go, Uncles, Aunts, Grandparents, etc. For the most-part it was the 5 of us as the core team. Thanksgiving was about the meal. It was a feast. We made a point to eat early enough, so we could eat at least two more times before passing out in a coma. Although sometimes we had to be revived from our respective coma's, in order to eat more. Friday was never spent getting up early and shopping, it was meant to continue the feast we started the day before, and we'd do it all over again, Friday, Saturday, and turkey permitting, we'd keep going until it was gone. It was my dad's favorite meal of the year, and it became all of ours as well. It was probably my favorite single holiday of the year. (We'll blog Xmas next month)
Over the next few years as my life grew a little more settled, I maintained this tradition and made this meal every Thanksgiving. I made it also on one Christmas, and even an Easter Sunday. That was the infamous weekend where my golden retriever (Cleo) got into the trash and ate the entire turkey carcass, every bone, every last bit of a 20lb bird, my dog ate. I can only imagine the scene sometime 3 or 4 in the morning, this possessed retriever consuming this entire bird, fending off my my other two dogs, because I know they didn't get a morsel. She was fine though, based on the laughter on the other end of the phone when I called the vet to inquire about what to do when a dog consumes an entire turkey carcass. Although she didn't eat anything else for a week. (I digress)
The last few years were altogether different, my new wife had a tradition which was diametrically opposed to mine. Mine was about staying home and feasting, hers was about spending the day at her uncles, with most of her immediate family (like my family times 10). I resisted this event as best I could. I could not fathom the idea of going to a Thanksgiving dinner, and having the meal start and end there. No leftovers? No gorging for days? What kind of tradition is that? This is the not MY holiday. All I can do is what I do best; sulk, get moody, and then try to make my wife feel guilty for a few days (I am a little shit sometimes).
So in April of this year I went Vegan (we all know this), and early on in this process, I remember talking to my wife that Thanksgiving was going to remain an exception to the vegan rule, and we were still going to cook a turkey. I think I locked that little secret away in my head and maybe it gave my psyche a little something to look forward to. So it wasn't until the last few weeks until it really started to hit home for me that I was not going to enjoying my traditional Thanksgiving. I've been sticking tight to twitter the last few weeks watching what all of my "vegans" will be doing, and the stories are mixed. Some of them are creating these monumental feasts that would do any vegan proud. Some are having mixed engagements with family, and others, like myself, are suffering an Omni feast as one in the distinct minority. So I'm torn, because I dont want to take away from any of the hard work of the last 8 month, but man would I enjoy a nice turkey dinner. Still I am tempted and haunted by food. But I know better than to even allow myself one little indiscretion. After all, you know how much I love more.
I laughed when I said it, but I quickly realized that I meant it. I thought back about this holiday, and it was always a few things to me. It was a nice long weekend away from school or work, and,.. well you know.. the food. Now don't misunderstand me and think that Thanksgiving meant so little to me. Well,... maybe it was a shallow, self serving holiday for me. Maybe I never really thought about a greater meaning, or looked beyond the gluttony. Food was/is a huge part of my life. A food centric event to me is a big event, not to be taken lightly. When the food is taken away, the event goes on life support. In this case, I pulled the plug. I declared it nothing more than a long weekend. Dead I tell ya....
So I wanted to leave it there, declare it dead, and dismiss the whole weekend and start thinking about Christmas (its not dead yet, although I cant guarantee its fate), but my wife refused to let me drop it just like that. She is making me think about Thanksgiving in a new way (well, in reality, actually start thinking about it at all). The holiday to me was mostly just about the long weekend and the food. So a new tradition will need to be born. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful,.. I'm thankful for many things, but I never really looked at this weekend to validate that. I truly looked at this weekend as a long weekend with a great buffet. I dont need to re-invent Thanksgiving. I need to INVENT it. I have a clean slate, now that the food is gone, I get to create a new reason for this weekend. My blog for has runneth over for now, so I wont suffer you my ramblings while I trying to figure it out. Suffice it to say, I first needed to discover where I was at, before I could decide where I needed to go. I plan to have a most excellent Thanksgiving, but I'm not going to lament the food that I once based this weekend around. I'll figure out what to make of this weekend in time.