Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, in part because it’s the only holiday that’s also an adjective. Each day of the week becomes Thanksgiving blank. Since Thanksgiving Thursday, Friday and Saturday are recognizable, if not exact anniversaries, it’s easy to create your own traditions. Along with eating turkey on Thursday, I also run on The Course, a loop around my neighborhood my father and his friend created during the running craze in the 80s. The Course is mostly hills. No matter how many times I run it, I always want to quit at the second to last one. The one thing that keeps me going is that stopping would be irrefutable proof that I’m in worse shape than I was the year before. On Thanksgiving Friday, my childhood best friend and I get pizza at Italian Village, our favorite spot from high school. Due to my ever maturing pizza palette, I realize that their pizza is pretty mediocre. But my friend and I have been going there on Thanksgiving Friday ever since we could drive, and their pizza is oily with nostalgia. Another reason I like Thanksgiving is that my parents fell in love over the long weekend. They had met at a wedding in the beginning of November and went off to their respective schools for the rest of the month. Upon return to suburban New York area over break, they went out on Thanksgiving Wednesday, Thanksgiving Friday and Thanksgiving Saturday. My mom still likes to make fun of the checkered pants my dad wore on their Saturday date. As Jeffrey Eugenides pointed out, it is hard to see my parents—or any parents, really—on the starting line-up of love. But that also means it’s impossible to imagine more emotional depth to my parents’ relationships beyond their initial meeting and, more importantly, having me. I tend to romanticize the first part of their relationship to give credence to the second part. When I picture my parents going out this weekend, 35 years ago, I imagine their conversation went something like this:
D: “You know what we should do in like 11 years?” M: “Have a daughter and name her Rebecca?” D: “You read my mind!” M: “And maybe, in like 35 years, we could adopt a dog and name him Clint.” D: “I like the way you think. Let’s get married.”And that’s my parents’ love story. Have a good break everyone!