So, back to the flashback, since it is the month on November, which is Thanksgiving, I figured I could talk about the first Thanksgiving I had away from home.
I was 23, and I had been living in Florida for about 8 months and was in my first semester of graduate school. I moved to Florida in January, even though school didn’t start until late August. I wanted to get my state residency sooner to save money. Not the worst decision I ever made, but, looking back, I could have done things a little differently to make a difference.
Anyway, I had already flown back to California that summer for my best friend’s wedding, and I was going to fly home again for Christmas. I didn’t have any money to fly home for thanksgiving, especially for such a short period of time. So, I stayed in Tallahassee.
I figured the other grad students would be doing the same thing. Well, I was wrong. Several people were flying home, or driving. Most of the grad students had families only a few hundred miles away. Here’s the thing, even though I had been hanging out and studying with these people for the last few months, the one’s I was really friends with were flying home. I didn’t want to impose on anyone’s family time. It was an awkwardness that I wanted to avoid.
I had roommates, but they were going to their families places too. My roommates were a bit weird anyway, so I really didn’t want to get stuck with their families. If their kids were messed up, I couldn’t imagine how their parents were.
So, I decided to hang out by myself on Thanksgiving. I wasn’t all that confident in my cooking ability that year, nor did I have a sufficient kitchen to really do anything. So, I made tuna fish casserole. Just like the pilgrims did. (cook noodles, drain them, stir in a can of cream of mushroom soup, a can of drained tuna fish, some salt and pepper, and BAM, you’re done).
Holy crap did that suck. I did call my family and talk to everybody and put on a happy tone, but yeah, that just added to the depression. And I missed my grandmother’s mashed potatoes. I didn’t even go out to the bars that night. I did eat an entire apple pie I bought from Publix. It wasn’t as good as the pie made by the Dashing Sister, but it was darn tasty. The large bottle of Tres Delerium probably didn’t hurt. (that is a 9.5% Belgium beer that has pictures of pink elephants on it.)
Side note: Publix has the best bakery of any supermarket, ever. And better than some professional bakeries. Their carrot cake and chocolate overload cake are A. MAZE. ING. For those of you going to Disney World, find a Publix, and get some cake.
I watched some of my movies (we weren’t getting cable in our house to save money), and that was my first Thanksgiving on my own. The remainder of the Thanksgiving weekend was fine. I did get a lot of writing done for class papers, so I guess it was a good thing.
I found out later that several other grad students had stuck around and had similar experiences. After that, I decided that I wasn’t going to let that happen again. The next six years, I hosted a Thanksgiving at my house. I learned how to make turkey and gravy, I already knew how to make mashed potatoes. I had people make or bring other stuff and it worked out great. One year, I think I had 14 or 15 people over. It was a lot easier when I owned my house, had the wonderful Dashing Fiance/Wife around to help.