In my opinion, Thanksgiving is for eating food with friends, reflecting on that it’s the family you pick that you’re truly thankful for. Plus, there’s beer.
But sometimes Thanksgiving is traveling to the houses of current girlfriends to meet their families, making my life seem like the Woody Allen movie I never wished it would be.
One was in Green Door, Wisconsin. The girl I was dating at the time was the daughter of a nurse (lovely woman) and a circuit court judge (total asshole). Now, I’ve always gone over well with parents. Sure, there’s the whole “I’m getting with your daughter” awkwardness, but I can be a pretty self-effacing guy when the chips are down, so I wasn’t too worried. But this father. Yikes. To preface, this was a law family. Everyone was associated with criminal justice in some sort of way. They all had that authoritarian attitude that makes you feel distinctly uncomfortable for being the art college student who believes in the decriminalization of drugs for economic, social and selfish purposes.
At any rate, the first instance of “I cannot believe this fucktitude” was when we were sitting down for dinner and her father made a point to spell out my name for her uncle, a local County Sheriff. He did this so the uncle could, I shit you not, run a check on me in between dinner and pie. “He checks out.” he winked at the dad as he sat back down and buried a lump of pumpkin pie in his fat piggish face. I silently brooded in anger over this invasion of my privacy and also thanked god that the pot-dealing charge I had been hit with when I was seventeen had been expunged from my record.
Seriously, this shit was like my own personal Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, but with the racial tension replaced by people talking about Nascar. Awkwardness the whole night and only later would I realize that the fact that the girl I was dating thought all this was normal and acceptable behavior probably signaled the first cough in the death of our relationship.
That Thanksgiving sucked.