(...Whether you're flying Solo, can't stand your family or fighting with your Bae/BFF/Mom/Cousin/Dog...)
This weekend, there will be no tidying of the pantry or decluttering of the spice rack, in preparation for Thanksgiving. No- we have other beloved home sites for that type of advice...
No, this weekend, we are going to really think about what kind of Thanksgiving Holiday we TRULY want to have, and what to do if we are stuck in a situation we wish we, well, weren't...
What To Do If You Are Flying Solo This Thanksgiving Holiday
I mean it. I get you may be feeling lonely. But try to think of this solitude as a valuable possession. Do you know how may people would literally chop off a finger to be you? A lot! Trust me. I know it's not easy, when you feel like everyone has someone, and a perfect family and people that love them, and you don't. But ask yourself, first of all, a la Ms. Byron Katie, is that really true? Probably not! So move on to the next tip.
Go to the Movies.
Like, that blockbuster you are too embarrassed to bring a friend or date to. Something along the lines of Thor, or with legos in it, or that stars Tom Cruise. Do it up. Popcorn, non-diet soda, pretzel or hot dog. Talk about a free pass! Enjoy yourself, dude. You are one lucky duck.
Volunteer. (Before, during and after Thanksgiving)
I have met some of the coolest people of my life volunteering, many who have become life-long friends and even colleagues. Do not underestimate the value, of all levels, of volunteering, period, end of story, especially when you are feeling like no one gets you, you are lonely and feeling down in the dumps. The interesting thing is, with so many non-profits around, and so many interests, you can find a group that is aligned with yours, and one that is probably either running or participating a great feeding program this Thanksgiving. If you live in a smaller town, you can gas up and get on the road early, and may need real help the days leading up to the Big Day, cooking and chopping and preparing side dishes, desserts and turkeys. Do you know how invaluable you become when you volunteer to not ONLY help prepare cook, but serve on the day, AND stick around to clean up and organize. Dude, they would probably hire you, and on the spot! And there is no way to dislike someone after chopping onions with them for two hours straight, believe me. Lastly, there is the incredible feeling you will get from helping others in need. Who, (yes dude!) have it far worse than you do, believe it, no joke. Thanksgiving is supposed to be about gratitude. You are WAY ahead of the game by volunteering on the evenings leading up to, and the day of, Thanksgiving itself. (Plus, you may score a drinks or even dinner invite on the day itself, yippie, problem solved!)
Work On Your Art, Go for Long Walks, Foster an Animal from the local shelter for the long weekend...
All of these things are awesome, too, and restorative, and connecting you to your more peaceful, child-like or creative self.
Go On a Cultural Whirlwind!
Go see a play, an actual play! Yes, you can go by yourself, its incredibly glamorous, but if you're too chicken-shit, go to a matinee performance (cheaper, probably, too!0 Hit THREE museums, then your city or town's gallery row. Go see that foreign film playing downtown no one will go with you to see. And, if you are strapped for cash, my friends, sign up for Filmstruck, which is akin to Netflix for true film buffs. They even have a free trial! (#yourewelcome)
Cook Yourself Everything You've Always Wanted from the N.Y. Times Cooking Section.
I actually have a fantasy of me and my future Jewish husband-to-be, living on the Upper Westside of Manhattan, and choosing dished to cook from the amazing email you can sign up from the N.Y. Times Cooking Section, "What To Cook This Weekend." I know, but it makes me nostalgic for a life where one of the main priorities are cooking then eating and enjoying it, right? Lucky you, you can shop for yourself, and cook up a storm, catching up on your Netflix shows. as you tidy up your adorable space. (I'm jealous already!)
What To Do If YouHate Your Family, Need Time Alone, or Fighting with Your Significant Other This Thanksgiving Holiday
Yes, I know, we are supposed to love our families. But some of have terrible families, or are forced to visit and sit down and break bread with the terrible sides of those families. And if you have young children, or are fighting with your hubby/wife/GF/BF/BFF? What to do? Here are a few suggestions:
You think I'm joking? I'm not joking. Okay, maybe just a tiny, little bit. But! If you can hold your liquor, and do not have issues in this area, pick up that wine glass! Trust me, it's number one on the list for a good reason. (But please, once again, only if you can hold liquor/do not have a drinking problem/and can drink very responsibly!) This is permission that some times, things ain't gonna change. And it's five o'clock, baby.
Sit Far Away from Your BFF/Relative/Significant Other you are fighting with/snarly at.
Tell your favorite cousin to white lie and pretend she needs a shoulder to cry on, and move yourself down to her end of the table. You can do with any relative/friend/dog/cat/child allowed at the dinner table, and that you can maneuver away from whomever you need to maneuver.
Sit At the Kid's Table.
This is not a joke. First of all, you will be a godsend, if you are single and offer to do this. Second, you will dodge clean-up, because you are being such a great sport! Third, where the hell else can you get all the latest family gossip, hold court with a rapt audience, and dish about Taylor Swift's latest relationships for hours on end?? You will have more fun than anyone else at the "adult" table, believe me, but keep that wine close at hand...
(Just in case!)
Offer to Prep/Clean/Soak/Marinate/Serve/Clean-Up
This only truly works if you get along considerably well with the host/hostess and other helpers in the kitchen, but trust me, this can work. Just make sure you are, in fact, really up to the task doing all of those required kitcheny things. You can also dodge the conversation when your uncle brings up the "Trump Conversation." Phew!
Fake A Work Emergency.
Life is short. Family can be hard. Especially if you've been working on yourself, your relationships, and they simply, well, haven't, your peace of mind and hard work is far too precious to lose. Guilt can be agonizing, but it won't kill you. Yes, people will get upset, but they'll get over it, and soon fall back into their same old patterns, hardly missing you, probably. (A hard truth!)
This post, quite simply, is to get you thinking about how you want to feel this Thanksgiving Holiday.
Take this weekend to really think about it.