Thanksgiving Blues


There are many things I give thanks for in November. My birthday. Pumpkin-spiced everything. The return of cozy sweater season. But my thankfulness for all these things can’t outweigh the one thing I’m not giving thanks for: Thanksgiving food.

It’s not that I don’t love eating. I’m always up for a toasted bagel, and I can appreciate a nice steak. But the thought of Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t excite me. While every normal American seems to look forward to eating their weight in turkey and stuffing, I have to stifle a gag at the thought of Thanksgiving food.

Let’s start with turkey: I hate it. It’s dry, gamey, and it’s especially disgusting when served hot. Believe me, I’ve given it a chance. It took years of choking bites down at family friends’ houses to realize that’s it’s just not for me.

The same goes for stuffing. I hate not being able to discern what exactly I’m eating, so stuffing is my food nemesis. I hate the bready texture that coats the inside of my throat and the weird taste it leaves in my mouth.

The only thing I hate more than turkey and stuffing is the reaction I get from Thanksgiving enthusiasts when I admit my disdain for their beloved meal. “What?!?!?!?” they shriek, as though my anti-Thanksgiving rhetoric poses a threat to our national security. All I can do is nod, knowing that there’s nothing I can say to make them understand my point of view. With any other food (except, perhaps, chocolate) no one would care. But since I’m not into a staple of American tradition, I am regarded as a near Communist.

Luckily, my family has always been understanding of my aversion to Thanksgiving food, and they never fail to accommodate. Over the past eighteen Thanksgivings, I’ve had prime rib and chicken more than I’ve had turkey, and for that I am forever grateful.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like the overall feel of Thanksgiving. I like seeing my family, and eating mashed potatoes. But with a main course so revolting, only one thing can redeem the day. That thing, of course, is pumpkin pie.

I wait all year for that perfect slice of the best pie ever: buttery crust, creamy pumpkin filling, topped with a big pile of whipped cream, of course. For a moment, as I scarf down my desert, even I forget how gross turkey and stuffing are. And for that, I give thanks.