Thanksgiving is always an emotional apocalypse for me. First, I have to deal with the flurry of media portraying perfect families throwing footballs, roasting perfectly browned turkeys, and sitting around the table being thankful for nothing but each others' company. I don't think I've ever thrown a football with my dad in my entire life. Our turkeys usually come out the color of Snooki's left breast. And my family mostly sits around the Thanksgiving table listing all our resentments silently in our head.
This year, we had company via several people from Taiwan that I barely know. People in Taiwan don't even know what a turkey is, much less Thanksgiving. They only participate because of the prospect of going to the Coach outlets at midnight. One bitch sniffed everything before she put it on her plate. She made it to the top of my silent resentment list this year.
Normal families are on their best behavior when company is around. My family does not understand this concept of keeping bones in the closet, not hanging our dirty laundry, etc., etc. In fact, the ice wine that company brings only serves as an uncorker for the mayhem that ensues.
My adorable mother complains that I have not cooked any Chinese food for our Asian guests so she plots to make a batch of last minute eggrolls. As she is being spattered by hot oil she complains about how she has to do everything around here. She collapses on a pile on the ground, claiming that nobody loves her.
My father, who doesn't really know how to be funny around mixed company without insulting me begins by asking repeatedly, "This is all the food you made despite cooking all day?" Actually, his words were, "Cook day all make only this?" At the dinner table, he interrupts the silence to make sarcastic remarks about how I will never graduate or find a job. Then he gets drunk and starts calling me "Iron Chef" and demands that I list every single ingredient in every dish to our guests.
Then he takes a skeptical look at the food and says that this would have been a good dessert if things like cake did not exist.
I've been spending the day recovering. Here is a breakdown of my hours.
Thanksgiving is also a trying time because it is especially difficult to be a closeted gay son. "No, I don't want to talk about college football." "No, I don't have a girlfriend." "Oh, the untitled 2010 Meryl Streep project? Let's discuss." It's only a matter of time before my quirkiness becomes blatant homosexual tendencies. So I'm not really sure how many more Thanksgivings I will have before the ultimate family meltdown occurs and the only thing I can do to escape is to hide in the cavity of the turkey itself.
Indeed, Thanksgiving always gets me thinking about family. And despite my efforts to lie at every turn and maintain the archetypal perfect son facade, my family is still hanging together by just a thread. So I wonder what would happen if I came out. At which point, I concede that the utter absurdity of Thanksgiving at my family's house is still a little better than Thanksgiving alone.