Simon Wood

Hump Day: Thanksgiving

Ah, Thanksgiving is just a day away. It’s a time for Americans (and Canadians last month) to give thanks for what they have. Supposedly, this American holiday is second to only to the reigning champ, Christmas. It’s a biggie.

Not for me, it isn’t, though. This is my fourteen thanksgiving and I’ve yet to feel anything for it. My friends go, “Yay, it’s Thanksgiving.” Me, I go, “Yay, four-day weekend.” I just haven’t latched on to the significance of it. But I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t partake. I’m quite keen on the big dinner and the boatload of desserts—except for pumpkin pie. Pumpkin is not a fruit or a relation of chocolate. Chucking all those spices in it does make it edible, but it’s all a delusion. It’s vegetable pie. It’s a lie like carrot cake. So I shun you pumpkin pie, the Cuckoo amongst heaven-sent desserts.

I watch my American family and friends getting into the spirit and I feel very distant. I know what it is to be a foreigner and an outsider to this culture. I know the stories, history, the Macy’s parade, Dallas Cowboys football game and all that, but it’s just not my holiday. I didn’t grow up with it, so it has no meaning—except for dessert. I like dessert. Did I mention that?

It’s not that I’m trying to be a grinch type character who has nothing good to say and it’s not like I haven’t got anything to be thankful for. It’s just that I just don’t connect with the celebration. I think it’s because there’s no presents. It’s a big celebration without gifts. I can’t get that through my head. What’s that? Thanksgiving is about the gift of friendship, you say. Hmm, let me ponder…friendship…humility…nah, I’ll take the presents please. Oh, don’t look at me like that. You know T-day would be so much better with gifts. Tell me, it wouldn’t.

Of course my attitude might change over time. I’m not totally stuck in my ways. The longer I’m here the more I will assimilate, but for now, I’m happy to eat more pie. It’s a compromise, I know.

Well, tomorrow is a day off too. I’ll be a loose end, so I’ll hit the stores. I’m sure it won’t be busy.

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