Betty Thanksgiving Series: Part 6
Giving Thanks for Being Single
Why Thanksgiving is the best holiday for singles
As children, my sister and I spent Thanksgiving morning perched atop kitchen stools, stretching high on tip toes to help stuff turkey, mash potatoes and stir dumplings.
We’d dress ourselves, neglecting both political correctness and sartorial accuracy, in costumes befitting the historic occasion.
I’d solemnly braid my sister’s hair, slip worn summer moccasins on her feet, hang a fringed coin purse around her neck and declare her “the Native American.” I nabbed the plum role of “the Pilgrim,” which demanded an ‘80s floral print dress and a Little House on the Prairie bonnet. Obviously.
My parents generously indulged our dramatics. Because, really, what’s a family holiday without misguided thematic attire? And it beat listening to us sing “Some Enchanted Evening” for the 14th time that day.
While I often bemoan the loneliness of singledom during other holidays (Christmas? New Year’s?? Veteran’s Day??? Oh, the despair!), I cannot muster a single drop of self-pity on Thanksgiving.
It is a day for preparing glorious amounts of succulent food, a day for devouring bountiful savory dishes, a day for lingering with heaps of friends around a table overflowing with gratitude and gassy stomachs.
It is not a day for tiny boxes or sweet nothings. Thank God.
Thanksgiving is also the bridge holiday to independent adulthood. I still can’t bear the thought of skipping Christmas at home, but I bravely hosted my first Thanksgiving in Los Angeles two years ago. (Okay, my parents flew in from Nebraska and did most of the cooking, but I got technical credit as host since they used my turkey baster.)
Last year my sister and I combined forces, sans parents, to create a Thanksgiving production for dozens of our “orphan” L.A. friends. It turned out brilliantly, thanks to a few rules we’ve devised for a successfully single Turkey Day:
1) Everybody has to bring something - a side dish, a dessert, a Rogers & Hammerstein show tune or a second cousin from Slovakia who’s visiting for the weekend.
2) Time constraints? We laugh at thee! You must come late or leave early or never leave or leave with the next-door neighbor’s second cousin who’s visiting from Slovakia.
3) After the food and before the more food, there shall be exercise! You must take a turn around the neighborhood, act out the sad state of Madonna’s marriage during a rousing game of Celebrity or work off some calories creatively with someone new to our nation (preferably from a former Soviet republic).
I know my years of splendidly single Thanksgivings co-hosted by my baby sister are numbered. Someday one of us might get married. Or run off to Bratislava. Nobody knows about these things. For now, I’m relishing my relish-making time with her.
Last week I found a package in my mailbox, return address Nebraska. Hidden inside the brown paper were two identical aprons emblazoned with Thanksgiving turkeys.
Guess I know what I’ll be wearing over my Pilgrim outfit.
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving memory?
More in the Betty Thanksgiving Series: