Thanksgiving is Three Weeks Away. What are you doing?
When you get that time off from work around the holidays, what do you do with it and are we any different than our straight counterparts? Is it a no brainer for Mom expects you home and you’d love some of her cooking? Is it the friends that are fortunate enough to share the high holidays with you at some tropical resort? Do you even get any time off at all? Of course all of these answers may depend on if you are single, married, have 15 cats or are in a L.O.C. (line of credit) relationship. This single, cat-free, self-supporting guy had that “free time” dilemma this Thanksgiving holiday and it was a tough decision.
FAMILY / TRADITION / (UN)HAPPINESS
My Thanksgivings growing up were all about family. My Mother’s immediate family and offspring would converge on my widowed grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, buffet style, eating the great holiday specialties each branch of the family would bring. It was aunts, uncles, and cousins at first, but now the cousins have husbands, wives, and kids, adding to the head count and celebration, getting bigger and bigger every year. I loved it all but as well, disliked it for it seems I’m always single for the holidays. I know what I have, a great family full of love and respect, but these celebrations also show what I don’t have. There’s always been the desire to share such a celebration of love and family with someone else, but as the single years go on, sometimes there’s a feeling of loneliness and sorrow that seeps in and the evening turns a little depressing and sad. Some years I have thought about not going for it seems the loneliness would outweigh the happiness. Am I the only one that feels like this? Am I being selfish?
Some of us do not get the time off from work. Like many I know, my poor friend Jason has to satisfy the retail gods around both Thanksgiving and Christmas, taking him off the list for travel or spontaneous fun. I did a stint as a part time Macy’s store manager for a couple of years from November to February. It wasn’t fun for my social calendar, but good for the discounts and extra funds. Those years revolved around buying, selling, and working, making me a slave to retail and limiting my holiday fun. I am not sure I would go back to that if I had the choice.
PARTY / TRAVEL
I’ve traveled for New Years for most of my adult life, but never for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Well, there was that 9 day trip to the Canary Islands, but that was out of the ordinary. Besides that one time in the past 40 years, this will be the first year that I have not been with family for Thanksgiving. This year finds me in Southern Florida, over 1700 miles away from relatives. Instead of making that lengthy commute, I’ve decided to try out a new city and a new occurrence, Gay Days – Fort Lauderdale. I dabbled in Gay Days Orlando this June, but not as much as I wanted to. This year will find me at the W, the host hotel, experiencing what Gay Days has to offer. Will I miss the family? Sure, but I am looking forward to the mini stay-cation and will have some new Floridian friends around me. I’ll keep you posted how it goes. I often thought of starting a gay travel site that focused on trips around the holidays. Would it be successful?
AS TIME GOES ON
I know I don’t desire to be a retail slave ever again and sometimes family holidays can be too introspective, but I will miss the relatives for after all, I am not heartless. But it may be time for something new, an adult / gay Thanksgiving. Gay Days it is.
As I am finishing this blog up, it just occurred to me that if I were home in Maine, this year will be quite different. This year is the first time in the 24 year tradition my grandmother doesn’t have a home, but is instead residing in assisted living. I haven’t even asked my mother what the plans are, if they will include everyone descending onto my grandmother’s new location. It does make me rethink my current situation. Yes, I am alone, but as the years go on, I may be even more alone as family elders pass on.
I had better go home for Christmas.