There were periods of my life when I’ve been pretty anxious about going home for Thanksgiving. Not because of the family, the food or the football. No, it was the extended-family conversations that often had me on edge, conversations that seemed to slip into a sort of life status update chat. One had to have at-the-ready a set of polished answers for any number of questions about life, work, relationships, money. (And isn’t it funny how many of those questions end in “yet?” Have you found a new job yet? Are you dating anyone yet? Did you find a place of your own yet?) It felt like a scoring session for another year in the game of life.
When I began a relationship with my future wife, I had the privilege of spending a couple of Thanksgiving weekends with her family. Now Marci’s parents are some of the kindest and most accepting people in the world, and I now have (or at least believe I have) a really good relationship with them, but at the time, it seemed like I was there for a different sort of scoring session — the one where the parents get to decide how well I was qualified to pursue their daughter. This was all compounded by the fact that Marci was pretty clearly out of my league, and everyone there knew it, with the possible exception of the dog, who enthusiastically accepted me for who I was as long as I kept throwing the tennis ball.
Yes, Thanksgiving can be a blessed, restful time with our loved ones, but there can be some awkward moments as well. How about you? Do you embrace the holiday whole-heartedly or secretly fear parts of the day?
By the way, while on the subject of awkward moments you might be faced with during the holidays, here’s a cute little video called “Stuff Christian Singles Hear” by comedian Jon Felts. Ring any bells? Would you add any cliched comments to his list?