Awkward. Lonely. Rushed. Unnerving. Dreaded. How was your Thanksgiving?
Both my parents are on vacation with the rest of their respective separate lives. I went to my grandparents house feeling a bit like I used to, like I might just have to cry in the bathroom for a second or two, just to get it out. I was terrified of showing up too early or too late, or that it would turn to politics. I'm sick of talking about politics.
It turned out okay. I have the best grandparents in the world, both 82 and kicking. My grandpa and I talked about backpacking through Europe, religion, poverty, and how I'll find a job. Mostly he talked, I listened.
As I get older I really miss holidays I experienced as a kid. It felt like a different world every Christmas eve. I would get so excited, not for the presents, but to get to go to my grandparents' house and play with my cousins and see how many stairs I could jump off without getting hurt and tell secrets and stage plays. Now I sit with the same people and stare at my knuckles. I'm so weird.
There were a few moments where I thought: god, is this really my family? I guess all people feel that way every so often. Not that they're bad people, they are just so unlike me. They talk about gender roles I can't sympathize with. They gush about their babies, or worse, their investments. I used to identify my older relatives by which kid was theirs. Now I think, "Oh, that one's safe to bring up religion" or "Don't mention politics around that one". A few of my uncles are hardcore fiscal conservatives, and it makes me sad to see them say, as they did tonight, that some people don't deserve to be helped. I argue my point, that the largest percentage of the homeless are children, and I get a little shaky, a little red, and I feel bad, not good. I feel contrary and argumentative and radical and annoying. I wish I was apathetic or moderate rather than adamantly outspoken. But then I see my grandpa on my side, defending my point, knowing everyone in the room looks up to him, and I feel better. Thank you, Grandpa. You have no idea how much I love you.