Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In Keeping With Tradition...

Ah, Thanksgiving in the suburbs. Can’t wait. Once again, for those who don't already know, here’s how it will go down.

The week of Thanksgiving will come around and my Mom will already be going nuts with things she has to do; as if this scene wasn’t at all familiar to her from past year's experience. She’ll forget where she put the “good” gravy boats and force my Dad into manual labor up in the attic where it is constantly 400°, even in the dead of winter. My Dad will exhume himself from the attic a shell of man and thirty pounds lighter from sweating, empty-handed. My Mom will have found the “good” gravy boats five minutes after she sent my Dad into the attic, but will neglect to tell him this because something is on fire in the kitchen.

Once the smoke clears, it’s Black Wednesday in Palatine. This is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving where everyone in the suburbs goes out because no one has to work in the morning. Though most of us claim we are over traditions and are too mature to follow the crowd, eventually we’ll all end up at Durty Nellie’s. Usually you have to wait in line for like an hour to get into this bar that none of the people actually in line would ever hang out in on a regular Wednesday night. Then you pay an absurd cover charge just to see all the people you hated in high school come out of the woodwork. People fly in for this. People plan their family vacations around it. But it's worth it to see that the guy who turned you down for Homecoming is now a fat, unemployed alcoholic and fortunately for you, the girl he took instead of you is not there because she got pregnant after high school and is working the night shift at Kmart to support her three illegitimate children.

Once inside the bar, you’re obviously already ridiculously drunk because you HAVE to be drunk in order to have that same artificial conversation with three hundred people you haven’t seen in five or six years. It goes something like this:

Hey, what’s up?”*Awkward hug* “Wow, I haven’t seen YOU in forever. What are you doing these days?” *Stock answer* “No way, that’s great!” Well, I gotta get another beer, are you going to be here for a while?” *Turn and leave, no intentions of coming back*

That is, unless you run into the person who you had an intensely obsessive crush on in high school and is now incredibly HOT. Then, it’s okay to "accidentally" stumble drunkenly into them, tell them how cute you thought they were in high school and lick their face. Or…so I’ve heard. I’m not talking from personal experience, of course.

After Nellie’s closes down and enough people are trampled into the mud (it always rains) in that absurdly small tent, everyone heads over to the Slice (pronounced Slee-chay) for more of the same except in an even smaller bar packed with even more people, shoved up next to you, reeking of booze. There, either someone gets into a fight or shows their boobs and you realize, god damn, is it really 4:30 a.m. because you forgot that you are big time now with your Big Ten degree, corporate job and your new Honda Accord and you can’t afford to be hanging out with these people who you never really liked anyway because you actually have to be productive during the week. So you find a ride home in a police car or take a cab and wake up the next morning, groggy and hung over, Taco Bell wrappers strewn across your bedroom floor and wonder why in the hell you thought it was a good idea to lick that guy’s face.

You shower, down a quart of orange juice, sack up, drag yourself upstairs from your parent's basement where you stuff your face with assorted meats and baked goods until you pass out on the living room floor to the sound of your brother, who has had one too many Labatt Blues, shouting about the Bears losing again on Thanksgiving. Good times.


Anonymous said...

are you sure you don't live where i live? sure sounds like it...except i don't have a brother.

Lora said...

I love America the day before Thanksgiving. It is the same no matter where you go.

My dad is taking my kid up to Erie for the whole week of Thanksgiving, so since I'm baby-free I'll totally be licking face and showing boobs- er, I mean, watching people lick face and show boobs in one week from tonight.

Anonymous said...

As if you'd get turned down for homecoming.

Cunning_Linguist said...

I dunno..... looks to me like the Bears will win this year. ;)

Joanna said...

Ha - cracking up over this one.

JenBun said...

Holy crap, I have never had a Thanksgiving like that in my life...

... and now I kinda want to! Invite me over? Hee hee!