Don't Let Holiday Relacide Happen to You

[Note: I read somewhere that if you have a blog and you are single, separated, divorced, widowed, or part of the GLBT community, it's practically a law or something that you write a post on being alone during the holidays. In accordance with the aforementioned expectation, I give you the requisite it-sucks-being-alone-during-the-holidays-but-let's-pretend-it-doesn't post. Enjoy.]

Single and alone on Thanksgiving? Look on the bright side. Relative-on-relative homocide rates spike 293 percent on this holiday compared to other days of the year. Okay, I can't back that up with any actual data, but I do know I have personally had to channel the strength of Zeus in order not to shove the big turkey fork into the carotid artery of a particularly annoying relative over more than one holiday spread.

So, besides eliminating the inevitable desire to commit relacide, there are lots of other advantages to spending the holidays alone. And this isn't only for single people; you married folks with annoying parents and/or in-laws should feel free to use one of your sick days to call in and miss today's "festivities." Here's just a short list of things to be thankful for if you must (or choose to) spend today alone:

* If you're a chick, you don't have to listen to the endless droning of announcers and crowds as the relentless sounds of football waft through the air with the smell of burnt rolls.

* If you're a dude, you can have the football games on all day long without fighting for the remote, negotiating for time away from the Macy's Day Parade, leaning around well-meaning bearers of Doritos and pork rinds, or missing important game commentary because of the endless droning of Aunt May about your third cousin's newborn who has colic.

* You don't have to answer the question, "When are you going to get married?" or any of the other [frequently more annoying and distasteful] derivatives (e.g., "You DO like men/women, don't you?" or "Do you think it might be time to lower your standards a bit?" or "You do realize, I hope, that at your age, you are more likely to be killed in a terrorist attack/struck by lightning/attacked by a rabid hyena/commit relacide than get married?") .

* You can drink as much as you want without the fear of letting it slip that Cousin Pete is the ONLY person who doesn't think his toupee looks obviously like a toupee and that when he's not around you semi-affectionately refer to him as Squirrel Pelt Pete.

* You can eat as much as you want without apology, without wishing you'd worn looser pants, without the judging eyes of your grandmother who always said it's a good thing you're so smart because your sister/cousin/niece is "the pretty one." In fact, you can unbutton your pants and slide your hand inside the waistband Al Bundy-style and sit that way all day long if you want. Hell, take your pants off. It's your house.

* If you cook a turkey, you get to pull BOTH sides of the wishbone, guaranteeing wish fulfillment (bonus: you don't have to tell anyone what you wished for).

I guess none of these ideas is particularly unique, and perhaps all are inadequate in staving off the achiness that comes with spending a family-ish holiday alone-ish. But when it comes right down to it, Thanksgiving should be more about personal gratitude than a jockeying for position around the sweet potatoes and big screen TV. That's why this Thanksgiving, I'll be spending a few moments writing down a list of things for which I really ought to remember to be more thankful. Right at the top of that list: the fact that I have family members I love enough to miss today, and friends who love me enough to help me miss them a little less.

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