I have always hated Thanksgiving. It was okay when I was younger because my sister and I used to dress up as either pilgrims or Indians, my whole family would come over, and I would get to drink sparkling apple cider all day long. My grandparents would give me my birthday present hen because it was only a week away and we couldn’t be sure we’d see them until Christmas. Then, when I became old enough to help my mom with the arduous preparations of cleaning (begun a week in advance) and the cooking that took all day, I started to get tired of it. That — and having to fill out those sheets at school about why I’m thankful — really made me dread Thanksgiving. I’m thankful that they finally decided that after ten years of peppering us with information, we’d learned enough about the holiday.
Also, Thanksgiving is the one big holiday without any special activity. There’s hunting for Easter eggs, trick-or-treating Halloween night, decorating the Christmas tree, plus presents, candy, and more. Even the assorted summer holidays have barbecues and beach parties! But not Thanksgiving. I had to do all that work, wear a costume, put up with all the commercials with unnecessary turkeys, as well as having my mom try to force mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie down my throat (which is worse than it sounds) — and I didn’t even get so much as a mint! I don’t even like Thanksgiving food! Even though my mom is an amazing cook, each year I try to persuade her to just order Domino’s and save us both the trouble.
Another reason I hate Thanksgiving is that I’ve never had a very good one. Something always seems to go wrong: I get the flu, my uncle and I get in our customary fight, my dad and I get into our customary fight (which usually gets me sent to my room), someone knocks my plate over into my lap, I have to go to a party with a bunch of people I don’t know, or worse happens. Let’s just say that Turkey day isn’t my favorite time of the year.
My least favorite Thanksgiving happened when I was five-years-old. It’s weird but even though I love potatoes in every other way, I can’t stand mashed potatoes. I can’t stand the sight or the smell of them, let alone have them on my plate next to the stuff that I actually deem edible. I was also a very stubborn child and would refuse to do things just for the sake of saying no. My grandmother, however, was not one to take no for answer, plus I’m pretty sure she’s the one who made the mashed potatoes that year. Now, you have to understand that my mom didn’t get her cooking talent from her mom, so that gave me another reason to push them to the very edge of my plate. Even my sister, who loves mashed potatoes more than life itself, was only taking small bites drowned in gravy.
So, as my mom was dishing out food, she just skipped me, knowing my obstinate pallet. My grandma, who was sitting next to me, noticed and told her to give me some. I told her that I hated them and didn’t want them. She got really mad and said that if I loved French fries, then I would love mashed potatoes and to just eat them. ‘If you can stomach that broccoli, you can eat my mashed potatoes,’ she said sternly, gesturing to the broccoli already occupying the very edge of my plate. I said (probably screamed) no, that I would never eat them and that she couldn’t make me, which led to her grabbing the bowl from my mom and dumping two heaping spoonsful onto my plate, demanding I eat them. Let’s just say that my plate ended up on the floor and I ended up spending the rest of the day in my room, alone. The condition for my release was to try the potatoes, which I did, and then made an obvious display of spitting them out and begged my mom for bleach to wash out the taste. As you can imagine, that landed me back in my room until my grandparents had left.
While I am definitely not proud of this story, you must keep in mind that I was five. I don’t think anyone enjoyed that Thanksgiving, but my grandma never made me try to eat mashed potatoes again and I have never made another attempt to eat them. The next year I got the stomach flu, reinforcing my opinion that Thanksgiving is the worst day of the year. The pilgrims may have been cold, hungry, and in a strange new country, but at least they didn’t have to eat my grandma’s cooking.