Loser’s Thanksgiving

My Thanksgiving vs. the ideal Thanksgiving.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Imagine the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. The cooking goes without a hitch (because your parents had good enough sense to buy a cooked turkey instead of trying to actually bake one). Your side dishes include mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and stuffing; life is good. An entire happy extended family comes over to visit—the house is warm, with the smell of fatty goodness wafting around. Maybe you even see the hot cousin or the visiting step-sister or brother. You feel filled to the brim with a heartwarming emotion—thankfulness. Blessed be whatever deity you surrender yourself to for this food, this occasion, your life. And at the dinner table, there are no arguments or chit-chat about politics. Just beautiful stories that leave everyone feeling satisfied, in stomach and soul.

Now, based on my picturesque description of the occasion, it would seem like I am subject to these delightful events. Well actually, no. There has not been a single Thanksgiving where the smoke alarm didn’t start screaming and all of us nearly suffocated on turkey gas. Frick, I’ve never even seen stuffing in a turkey. It sounds gross. I mean, first, you’re shoveling a bunch of food into its ass. There has to be some animal rights movement against that. Second, what the hell even goes in there? And how do you even get to it? Last time I checked, you eat turkeys from the outside in. There’s no way that by the time you get to the middle of a bird’s carcass anyone still has the stomach for anything else. What even are mashed potatoes? And cranberry sauce! The last time I ever saw that was when I got Swedish meatballs at IKEA! To all of you out who thought the first paragraph was relatable in any way, shape, or form, that’s what privilege feels like. I hope you enjoy it.

Let me tell you how my Thanksgivings go. My two completely Chinese grandparents come over, only talking to demand me to “eat more” while heaping spoonfuls of whatever we’re eating onto my plate. Every time, I’m a little “too skinny” or a little “too fat.” Sometimes they ask if I have a girlfriend yet. Do I still play the piano? Do I have a job yet? How’s the food? No (unfortunately), yes, no, and, well, I avoid the last question. I can’t cap, and they won’t like what I have to say. It feels more like an interrogation than a wholesome family gathering. Sometimes I try to watch TV to alleviate the tension. But for some strange reason, every time people come over and I try to watch some honest anime, there’s some girl with questionable proportions flailing about and accidentally tripping chest first onto an edgy young male protagonist. And of course, that’s when my grandparents walk in behind me. Fantastic. Like I need to explain why there’s some animated p*rn on my Apple TV. The “It’s just a misunderstanding; this only happens once in the entire 10 seasons” argument won’t work on them, so I guess my reputation in the family will just be tarnished again.

Anyway, remember that previous question I tried to avoid? I could answer that question for days on end, but my family would disown me if I told them my answer. So, I will write it in my school newspaper and hope they never see it. So, how’s the food, Gabriel? To be honest, I’ve never seen golden brown, crispy skin on a turkey. It’s always some half-cooked slimy skin I have to slurp up before I bite into the meat (which, by the way, has the texture of sandpaper). How does it taste? See for yourselves, you old hags—how do you feel after eating it?

Sad. I feel immensely sad. And disgusted. I feel bad for the turkey that had to be eaten this way. It could have been deliciously roasted, but it was subject to being cooked by my family and digested by me. To the turkey spirit up there chilling in heaven and watching its body being desecrated this way, I’m so sorry. You deserve to be free-range, out in the fields, pecking seeds with your fellow poultry, and smashing hot chicks.

Next year, I’m going to padlock our oven to end these turkey shenanigans once and for all. Maybe the fridge too. Whatever happens, I will stop them from cooking ANYTHING over my cold dead hands. Hopefully, they’ll eventually give up and just choose to buy a damn rotisserie chicken instead.