Well, not so much anti-Family with a capital 'F', but anti-MY family with a small 'f'. I don't normally air my dirty family laundry on my blog, but on this holiday I want to put my stuff out there because I know there are others out there who feel the same, whether they choose to boycott their family gatherings (as I have) or not. And I think it's important to validate what for many of us is a healthy, sane perspective: that being around our natural-born families around the holidays (especially around the holidays) can be downright depressing, dysfunctional and ill-advised.
H. and I have decided--for the first time ever, for me--to spend this Thanksgiving holiday alone, without either of our families. It's been a tough year for both of us in different ways, and lately my family is just triggering me in all kinds of ways that are just bad for my health. And it's not just triggering--I've done a lot of work on myself to keep my family from being able to trigger me, which has brought up a whole other set of questions and issues for me, such as: why do I choose to spend time with people who do not value me, who don't know me, and don't care to get to know me? If these folks weren't my family I wouldn't give them the time of day. And although in other times I can see the reasons for sticking around family anyway, this year I just can't see it, or stomach it. And who wants to spend this eating/glutton holiday around people that sometimes make your stomach turn?
I know that sounds harsh, and if you, dear reader, are someone I am fortunate enough to know personally, you may one day hear the whole sordid story behind why I have such disdain and low tolerance for my family. Suffice it to say here that I and my partner have made a healthy and exciting choice to steer clear of family dysfunction this year, to take care of ourselves, and to spend a nice, quiet holiday with each other.
Oh, and we are going to eat, although it won't be a turkey dinner. We're spending our Thanksgiving dinner at the famous and kitschy-opulent Empress of China restaurant in the City. Gourmet Chinese food overlook Chinatown and North Beach evening lights. Ah, I feel more relaxed just thinking about it. Sure beats watching football games I don't care about with people who don't know anything about who I am or what I do. And although at first the idea of eating OUT for Thanksgiving seemed anathema to me, I'm actually excited about it now. We're going to dress up and have a grand time.
Whatever you are doing on this hoilday of family and gratitude, I hope that you are happy and safe and healthy.