I’m listening to Tegan & Sara and eating an embarrassingly large number of Hershey Kisses (sorry not sorry) while the most precious of little boys naps next to me. I don’t hate it. This is one of the few chunks of my day where I’m not following a one and half year old around saying things I never thought I’d have say to another human being. For example, “you can’t eat your shoe” and ” don’t put your hands in your poop”.
Very soon I shall be boarding a plane (annoyingly early in the morning) back to the home in which I grew up for yet another beautiful Thanksgiving. There will be pumpkin pie, endless hugs, and probably — definitely — dancing in the kitchen. Thanksgiving doesn’t get enough credit. People who know me at all know that I may be pretty passive when it comes to lots of things, but I am at the front lines in the war against starting Christmas too early. You know, because I pick important battles. Listening to Christmas music / watching Christmas movies / putting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving enrages me. Thanksgiving is a beautiful holiday, and gosh darn it, give it some space! Sure, Christmas is the bee’s knees. I get it. I love Christmas just as much as the next tall redhead, but because I love it I don’t want it’s season to get soiled! And the fact that Christmas is awesome doesn’t mean that Thanksgiving can’t be! Ya’ll, we can have more than one enjoyable holiday. Starting Christmas in November is ludicrous. It overshadows Thanksgiving and it makes me exhausted of carols way too soon. I can only deduce that if you’re in a rush to get Thanksgiving over and done with, you never had a slice of my Grandmother Charlotte’s pumpkin pie. Let me brag a little: my family does Thanksgiving right, ya’ll. A bonfire with s’mores the night before as we all arrive from out of town, an early morning Thanksgiving 5k complete with turkey hats I am too embarrassed to wear, cooking together, chowing down together, plotting our Black Friday excursion, disagreeing about which movie we’re going to all go see Thanksgiving evening (you can’t know how happy I am that the “Twilight” series is over – I’m exhausted from dramatically declaring, “I WOULD RATHER BE PUNCHED IN THE FACE THAN GO SEE TWILIGHT” — yes, sisters, this is directed at you), a 5am Black Friday start time, auntie anne pretzels, punching clingy and obnoxious employees at Bath & Body Works (this has never actually happened but every year I’m amazed it doesn’t), an Olive Garden lunch, a nap, etc.
This year in particular I AM SO EXCITED FOR THANKSGIVING I CAN NOT SEE STRAIGHT, and I think it’s because of all of those little traditions. I know what to expect at Thanksgiving. It’s familiar. It’s count-on-able. Thanksgiving is my longest and most consistent relationship. It’s with the people I have known most deeply. The people who know me better than anyone else. And because I’ve spent the last few months being the new person in a city that confuses me, familiarity sounds amazing. Instead of attending a gathering where I only know three people and have to introduce myself over and over and over again (uggggghaskdfakuweh), I will instead be attending a gathering where every attendee has known me for twenty three years. Ahhhh, to be known.
To be really really known and understood. To end a day in conversation with a friend who knows your backstory because she lived it with you. A friend who knows the reasons behind your quirks. Most often what I find I miss about Florida is simply the time that has already been invested there. By that I mean the fact that my friendships aren’t a few months old, but years. When I tell my mother or one of my old roommates something, we’ll call this hypothetical something “IT”, they consider it in the context of who I am and what I have experienced. Because they know my backstory they know how IT will affect me / how IT makes me feel / how wonderful IT is / how terrible IT is without my having to say so. And maybe even more lovely, they know how to show me love. Ask any Christian female, we all have “love languages” and it’s the most marvelous thing for yours to be known and met by others. For instance, this is a freebie for anyone interested, one of the languages that communicates love to me is hand written letters. Okay, I will grant you this is not one of the 5 technical languages, but it’s mine. Letters and words and stationary sets and pressed leaves. I eat that up. The fact that I have people who know this and send me notes mean more than anything. It has been so exciting to make new friends in Memphis, and frankly I am crazy about the ones I’ve met. But we don’t fully know each other yet simply because we’ve had only a few months and not years and years to laugh and dance and argue together. This will come (even the arguing), and I’m looking forward to knowing them and being known fully.
Till then, I am thankful for my aunt’s delicious turkey stuffing and being known.