The Thanksgiving that Didn’t Go According to Plan
I was 24 years old and working nights at my local newspaper; my team was there 365 days a year. But my coworker and I made a deal that if I worked Thanksgiving so he could have off, then he’d work Christmas so that I could have off. Since my family lived in another state, it meant I’d have to get a bit creative with my turkey dinner.
The day before Thanksgiving, we saw a large paper bag in the break room fridge that said it was for the “Thanksgiving night staff only!!” The mystery of that paper bag, and the fact that someone thought to get us anything was so exciting! So the next day, I chose not to pack a dinner; we usually got off a bit early on holidays, and besides, there was good food in that paper bag. When we got to work and broke into it, here’s what we found: cheese and crackers, some salami, and cookies.
Very kind, but not much of a dinner.
No problem, I thought. My friends and I were going to meet up after deadline to do some Black Friday shopping (hey, if I had to work Thanksgiving, I might as well go keep the retail folks company too, right?) I figured I could subsist off crackers and cheese until we got to the mall, then I’d get a real meal.
Except everything – even the local fast-food joints – was closed. If you can believe it, apparently no one really wants to eat hamburgers on Thanksgiving night. So, after a few hours of shopping and my head starting to spin from lack of food, I called it a night and headed home to eat a can of soup while watching TV.
But before you feel too sad for me, know that I was off work the next day, and I hosted “Friendsgiving” for my other homeless friends. Instead of family, it was a mashup of me, a couple who couldn’t afford plane tickets home, a couple of enlisted sailors, and an Egyptian-American friend whose family also lived far across the US.
I cooked the turkey and everything. (I definitely burned it too.)
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