Surviving Thanksgiving, again

As we all know, Thanksgiving is a fraught time for fat people and anyone else trying to practice body acceptance and self-love. On the one hand, the whole holiday is about celebrating the bounty of food, which in many families means eating big servings of dishes you never even think about for the other 364 days of the year. It’s the one day we’re all “supposed” to do that shocking thing — unapologetically enjoy eating food. On the other hand, Thanksgiving often involves a lot of family time, which means many of us are put into close contact with the very people who helped to fuck up our relationships with food in the first place. It seems a bit unfair.

So, US readers, consider this your open thread to ponder, vent, celebrate, bitch, scream, praise, and do whatever you need to do to survive (and preferably, enjoy) Thanksgiving. We did this last year and it seemed to go well, so I suppose this is our very first annual Shapeling tradition. Have at it! What are your plans? Who will drive you most crazy? What are you looking forward to? Mr Machine and I are cooking a non-turkey-based meal for some friends, one of whom is about to take his qualifying exams — we feel they deserve a home-cooked meal (though we haven’t entirely decided on the menu yet).

Happy Thanksgiving, Shapelings!
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115 thoughts on “Surviving Thanksgiving, again

  1. The Hubs and I are going to my mother’s family for Thanksgiving. This means a huge amount of food eaten and a buffet of desserts more extensive than the rest of the meal eaten while people talk about how bad they are for indulging.

    I plan to tell them to shut the hell up. Maybe in nicer language but still. There is nothing of thankfulness in the stingy, miserly enjoyment they eek out of a second pie of pie loaded not with whipped cream but with recrimination.

  2. I’m looking forward to not having to focus on school for an entire day! That is… until someone asks me what I want to do with my life after graduating in May. Yikes! Good question that I don’t have the answer to just yet

  3. My fiance and I are spending thanksgiving at home, just the two of us – or three, if you count the baby inside me. It’s the first thanksgiving meal I’ve made in its entirety, but I’m definitely looking forward to my brother not eating all the stuffing leftovers before I have a chance to have some more on Friday or Saturday – I love stuffing and could probably have just that and turkey and be happy.

    There will obviously be no talk about how “bad” we are for eating what we want in whatever amounts we want. I’m actually thankful for the fact that my family never talks about that kind of thing at the holidays. But I’m looking forward to a quiet thanksgiving with no drama – unless the pregnancy hormones kick and I become a raging bitch. We’ll see.

  4. It will be a small Thanksgiving for us this year.
    I have been hosting Thanksgiving for many years, which of late has meant my family staying with me in addition to the big meal. I like preparing it all and have felt grateful for the improved relationship with my parents that makes it all possible.
    This year, for a variety of reasons, we will be just having a small Thanksgiving, and I’m grateful for that, too.
    Little one will be glad to be at home with us.
    Mr. Rounded will be resting.
    I’ll be doing minimal cooking, and we’ll head over to a friend’s house for leftovers in the early evening.
    I’m thankful for so many things, as I’m feeling antsy about being in midlife and not entirely sure where to focus, I know I’m thankful for this community.
    And, in the four walls of my own house, we will be blessedly free of anyone complaining about eating too much, or the wrong things. At least this year.

  5. I generally don’t go home for Thanksgiving, so it’s always been a time to experiment with traditionally cooking and get drunk with friends. This is the first year I’m not expected to cook the turkey (feminism FTW!), so all I have to make is mashed yams. It’s so refreshing.

  6. This year, like last year, my roommate and I are going to NYC to visit friends. Thanksgiving dinner was so weird last year with <10 people all eating at one table. My extended family on both sides is so big that I’d never had a holiday meal with fewer than 20 people at at least two tables.

    Bonus: Since it’s not my family or a significant other’s family, there is no baggage, guilt, or accusations relating to past holidays.

  7. My boyfriend and I are going over to my cousin’s. I am going to entertain her sprog while she takes care of (turkey-related) business. Our comically quiet menfolk will struggle to make conversation amongst themselves.

    My mother and stepfather, and my cousin’s father and stepmother, will come over for the actual dinner part. Stepmother will not eat anything except salad, but no one will comment. Maybe my uncle will pull me over for another politics-based lecture. We will drink lots of vodka, as Russians are wont to do.

  8. *sigh* I’m actually a bit depressed right now that I’m not going home. The last 6 years on this day I’m usually driving to NY to my parents’ house, but since I had surgery a week ago, I can’t drive yet. (Also? Ow. The incision is sore and I also have burns on my skin b/c apparently I’m allergic to the adhesive on the tape they used for my bandages. YUCK. Like having a 9cm cyst on my ovary wasn’t enough?)

    My one sister left this morning after staying with me through the surgery. Another sister is driving down to stay for another week until I’m hopefully cleared to drive again. But it’ll just be the two of us. I won’t see my parents or the rest of my siblings until Christmas.

    We’re having roast chicken and stuffing tomorrow, because chicken is easier than turkey, and not as dry, and the entire point of this holiday for us is stuffing. And chocolate chip pie because other than chocolate covered strawberries I don’t want my desserts contaminated with fruit. There will be no food guilt allowed, although comments about carbohydrate comas may ensue.

    And right now I’m thinking “Lord of the Rings movie marathon” for tomorrow as well. :)

    DRST

  9. Tomorrow the fiance and I will drive to my Aunt’s house for the big ksf family potluck-thanksgiving. We will be bringing 100% handmade turkey potstickers. (That was a big undertaking- should have gone with pumpkin bread). The extended family will be suitably surprised when I introduce my fiance, as my parents like keeping secrets. :-) So I’m hoping the conversation will be centered around “ksf is getting married? Ka-fwah?” than it will be “oh I’m so bad for eating this tiny sliver of pie”

    Friday and Saturday will be spent at his parents’ houses. I’ve never been to thanksgiving there before, but given my experiences with them, the diet talk will probably be at a minimum (fingers crossed).

  10. One friend is coming to our house and I’m making lasagna for the three of us (me, husband, friend). We’ll have salad and bread and something awesome for desert (purchased pre-made from Whole Foods, probs). We will watch horror movies and play Wii. I’ll miss stuffing, but not enough to change any of our plans to incorporate it.

    Meanwhile, at my parents’ house far, far away, my mother is hosting Thanksgiving dinner for THIRTY SIX PEOPLE. Yowza.

  11. Just me, DH, and the girls here in Portland. We bought an organic, free-range turkey and I’m going to try brining it tonight. We might clean the house, but it seems a strange thing to do with no company coming!

  12. Thanksgiving is always small for my family – me, my parents, grandma, my sister, her husband and their two kids. No one cares what or how much I eat. That never even really comes up. I’m starting to think my family is abnormal.

    I really only see Thanksgiving as the kick off for the holiday season, rather than a big deal on its own. it’s nice to relax and eat some turkey, though. I’m just happy to have a full day off from work.

  13. This year I am boycotting Thanksgiving. I can’t stand the drama. Husband is going to his parents tonight, he’ll be home tomorrow night and we’ll have some very non-Thanksgiving dinner. Probably brisket. I cannot tell you how relieved I am.

  14. I’ll be at home, with my family. A vegetarian surrounded by people for whom Thanksgiving dinner revolves entirely around turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes with turkey fat, and candied yams. T_T

    I plan to grab bits and pieces of whatever meat-free food is available and hide out in my room with my cats.

  15. I am flying out on Thanksgiving day to spend the weekend with my family. I don’t know yet how I’m going to deal with my family. For the first time in years, thanks to a good nutritionist and Intuitive Eating, I’m eating vegetables because I realized that: a) they taste good, b) my body is very clear about wanting a salad for lunch anymore, and c) I no longer live with the fear that eating my fruits and veggies means having to give up any other foods. The underlying message of which came from my mother, and right this second I’m struggling with the fact that I don’t want to eat vegetables (or fruits) in front of her because I don’t want her lecturing me when I eat pumpkin pie (mmm, pumpkin pie) or on not-Thanksgiving (i.e., the rest of the weekend) I eat what I want in the amounts I want. Or to deal with her trying to “make” me eat the foods she thinks I “should” be eating because I’m becoming a less picky eater.

    Hi, issues. Thanks for coming out to play.

    I have an appointment with my nutritionist (who is totally HAES-friendly) today, and she’s already told me that she wants to discuss with me ways I can “confront” my mother. The very thought terrifies me.

    So, yeah. Thanksgiving is going to be a very mixed-bag for me, emotional- and eating-wise. On an odder note, we’re going to be having “Thanksgiving” on Friday, because my sister is working on Thanksgiving night proper.

  16. I’m making pumpkin cheesecake, tonight, while also meeting friends for dinner and going to see “Australia,” because clearly in my hour and a half between work and leaving for dinner, I’ve got time to make a cheesecake. *sigh* At least my family has accepted the fact that not only CAN I cook, but I like doing it, and I’m pretty good at it. (As long as it’s non-essential cooking.)

    Tomorrow, I will eat whatever the hell I want, and because a certain family member won’t be there to egg everyone on, I won’t have to worry about diet-related talk. (I will get health-related “I shouldn’t eat that!”s, but most of the women in my family are lactose-intolerant, so that’s why.)

  17. I am so lucky to have a family that doesn’t get into the food dramaz. That said, it’s tough right now because my dad is recovering from some surgery and being clingy and self-centered and demanding as a way of dealing with his understandable anxieties about this, and my husband has got less than no patience about that, and about what he sees as my overeagerness to help Dad.

    Dinner will be delicious, though.

  18. Oh, thank you for having this thread.
    My great-grandmother, who always hosted Thanksgiving, passed away two years ago. She never had a thing to say about diets, and practically raised me.
    This year, Tksgvg will be hosted by a grandma who has spent most of her adult life on diets. She’s currently “on” WW. My mom currently works for WW. I must admit I’m scared to see what we’ll have for the meal.
    This is the family who, during my recovery for anorexia, had no qualms about discussing their “disgusting fat thighs” while surrounding me on the couch.
    Serenity now!

  19. Brits don’t do Thanksgiving, but I spent a couple with friends in the States and liked it so much that we now have a Thanksgiving dinner with expat American friends most years. (I love my family, really I do, but as dinner guests I’d rather have friends round any day.)

    We can’t manage tomorrow because it’s a working day so we’ve moved it to Sunday so as to have more time for cooking. Speaking of which, what’s everyone’s favourite pies? I was thinking apple, raspberry meringue, Missisippi mud, and key lime.

  20. This is the second year in a row that I’ve been close enough to see parts of my family on Thanksgiving. It’s nice, but it’s also sort of expected that I’ll go see them. This year I have the added bonus of being newly diabetic, but my family is being really accomodating.

    I’m excited this year because I get Thursday and Friday off of work. Plus, I don’t work Saturday so I have four days off.

  21. I’m going to my aunt’s house and while I’m pretty sure there won’t be any body related comments in my direction (though my dad has lost weight due to exercising regularly for the first time in forever, so I’m sure that’ll be a topic of discussion!), it’s really what won’t be there that speaks volumes: compliments.

    Back when I was still eating disordered my aunt, my uncle, my cousins…they went out of their way to tell me how great I looked. Since I found FA and started eating intuitively, I’ve gained back some of the weight I disordered away and those compliments have dried right up. And not only have the compliments dried up, but so have anything other than prefunctory questions about me and my life…it’s like, now that I’ve gained 20 something pounds I must not being doing anything worthwhile. Just eating.

    I’m not really looking forward to the day, though I didn’t realize how much until I started answering this question…I would much rather have been with just my parents, my sister, and my two crazy mutts. I’m planning on eating whatever I want and just trying to get out as early as possible. And spending all my free time with my 5 year old cousin, as she can be a welcome distraction.

  22. We’re going to see my mother in Florida. While the weather will be nice, well, I don’t like my mother very much. She is petty and selfish and thoughtless and entirely unpleasant. I try to keep family peace by visiting her a couple of times per year, but I dread it more each time.

    The only upside of my mother is that she doesn’t get on the Fat Hating bandwagon like my father’s side of the family does. A strange upside of her intense selfishness – I could gain my body weight 3 times over again, and she wouldn’t even notice because it wouldn’t be about her.

    So yeah, not my favorite holiday this year. There were 2 glorious Thanksgivings in a row where my husband and I didn’t travel to family. On the first we were poor students and couldn’t afford to travel; on the second, I was extremely pregnant. One of those years we went out and had wine and sushi – it was perfect. So much fun. I treasure those Thanksgivings and will try to relish their memory as I’m slogging through the awful weekend with my mother.

  23. We’re the hosts for this year’s family dinner, which means 11 people will descend on our smallish abode tomorrow. I don’t mind, I really enjoy the holiday and the meal – probably because a hard and fast rule in my husband’s family is that Thanksgiving is potluck. There are lots of undercurrents flowing through family gatherings, but thankfully none of them are food-related. My sister-in-law the dietitian eats as little as possible while her daughter stresses that she’s eating too much, but I can’t do anything about that so I’m going to try and tune them out.

    And while I enjoy the holiday and meal, I enjoy just as much being able to wave goodbye while everyone goes home to their own weird little lives!

  24. WellI hate to say it but it is this time of year that I am glad that I am no longer obligated to head to my family’s house at Thanksgiving. Thankfully I married into a great family who (gasp, shock, awe) love each other and treat each other with respect and kindness. Each year I don’t know if I am “required” by whatever human law says to contact my erstwhile brother and sister (frankly I don’t even know where to contact my sister) Usually I make a phone call and leave a message when I don’t think my brother will be home. Talking to him is just uncomfortable and brings up so many issues..I breathe a big sigh of relief if he doesn’t call back(He rarely does). I know my poor mother and father roll over in their graves each year that their children have grown so far apart. But one thing I have learned is that while I love them both I don’t need to like them. I look forward to the day because I get to spend time with my adopted family who love me and accept me and don’t need to make me feel badly about who I am. It is a warm day full of love and good food like it should be. I wish those that remain of my family well but as I get older I no longer feel the need to force myself into their lives and they into mine..It is ok. It doesn’t make me a bad person or traitor to my family. It just makes me a normal well adjusted person who will not give into the drama and the issues that come with my family contact. I want to be happy and at peace this time of year. That is what this time of year should be. Screw obligation. Be happy, relax, enjoy the day.

  25. Since I can’t go home to my family for Thanksgiving, I’m staying in town and spending the day with friends. My friends are the people who keep me sane, so it should be a great day.

  26. I’m boycotting my family for t-giving. Well, mostly my parents, because I can’t stomach being around them because due to my life drama, it really settled in that they’re selfish and could care less. So why should I drive all that way, and be tired, and deal with them when I could just say NO. So yeah. And I’ll conveniently avoid my family looking at me thinking, well, she’s gained some weight and talking behind my back about it. Here’s to the family you choose: FRIENDS!

  27. I’ve chosen to stay at home this year, and cook my own meal – I think it’s going to be tortilla and chili stew, biscuits, cranberry sauce, green beans, and pumpkin pudding. Extravagant for me, but not so incredibly stressful. I just don’t feel like traveling or dealing with other people right now, so instead of pushing anyway, I’m just going to chill for a couple days. And then maybe eat stuffing.

  28. I’ve been a vegetarian for many years, but my husband just became one (so proud!), so this will be our first cruelty-free Thanksgiving, and I’m very excited about that.

    I envy all of you doing the big-family-get-together thing, though. Even though my relatives drive me crazy, there’s something so warm and festive about a house packed with people and a table overflowing with food. *sigh*

  29. I *think* (knock wood) that this is the first year the spouse and I will be on our own for T-giving, and we’re both looking forward to it. Our plans are to get up and watch the dog show, then go to one of our favorite local restaurants that serves a bodacious t-giving feast. We’re both introverts, so it will be like heaven on earth to have the whole day to ourselves to do nothing but eat and slack. Zum Boden! (German toast that literally translates ‘to the floor!’)

  30. First let me say hi to all–noob on this site. Found you through Kindly Pog mo Thoin and the wonderful Zuzu!

    Doing my annual slog to Mom’s this year. I love her but at the same time I can’t stand being in the house for any amount of time. Add the stress of a million well-intentioned but very loud relatives and the huge number of people, and passive-aggressive games galore, and it’s a well-catered stressfest. Case in point: Everyone knows that every year I take the next-to-last bus home. Yet every year I’m pressured to stay overnight, and my brother plays this little game where he does his best to make sure that I come within seconds of missing the bus (ie he’ll park in such a way that nobody can get out of the driveway easily, claim that it’s “no big deal” if I have to stay over from missing the bus, etc). My Mom has really big control issues regarding food and sleep (ie she has no problem doing things that deliberatley wake me up at the crack of dawn on-purpose), and my brother reinforces the sleep thing (he takes special delight in doing anything that he knows will prevent me from sleeping, and then claims I’m being “hypersensitive”).

    The economic downturn has of course made things worse. I hear a lot of “oh, if you loose your job you can always move home.” When I tell Mom that this is just NOT happening, she goes on about how I’m “abusing” her by refusing to even entertain the idea. And that’s without me even saying the truth; that I’d rather kill myself than move home again (tried that once and it was a disaster–got nothing but sabotage from her and my Stepdad–things like having the washing machine run at 5 AM which would not only wake me up but make sure that there was no hot water for a shower for a job or job interview, etc).

    Not looking forward to this. Every year I tell myself that I’m going to book a vacation for Thanksgiving but it seems retarded for me to have to spend money just so that I have a “valid” excuse for not going.

    At least married couples usually have every other year off.

    In the back of my mind, all I can think of is “at least in 31 days this will all be OVER.”

  31. sistercoyote, my grandfather (and now one of my uncles) was a firefighter so we routinely celebrated holidays the day or two before or the day or two after. It led to a lot of extended celebrations. *grin*

    Good luck in dealing with your family. It sounds like you are doing very well – standing up for yourself is always hard but so worth it.

  32. We all get together at my sister-in-laws house, which I enjoy; I’m lucky to have family that I like. I’ll get to ask my oldest nephew what he thinks about his first bit of college too. I have a couple other nephews on specialized diets for medical reasons, so I expect any food-health talk will be about their diets, which is perfectly understandable.

    We all bring one dish, I’m coming the furthest so I’m bringing mashed sweet potatoes and a coconut milk pudding for the two lactose/gluten intolerent nephews. Both those travel well. I recommend the Cooks Illustrated sweet potato recipe, it really brings out the flavor of the potatoes.

  33. Last year my parents, brother and I got a cabin up on the mountain for Thanksgiving. It was GLORIOUS, beautiful, snowy, quiet. No cell reception, no one bothering us. It was the first Thanksgiving without my grandma and my mom didn’t think she could handle doing it at her house.

    This year my mom has to work on Friday so no cabin. And her brother will be there and he’s an idiot. The up shot is that no one is particularly fat hating especially no comments on Thanksgiving. If I can just ignore my uncle’s idiotic rants on whatever (2 years ago it was immigrants, but I think he’s on to something else now) then I should have a very nice time.

    I didn’t invite any orphans this year because I didn’t want them to have to deal with him.

  34. A bit off topic – But talking about it will make me feel better and that was what the topic is about right ….

    Anyway I posted a few months ago about going to a doctor and telling them that I thought I had PCOS because I had many of the symptoms, and he looked me up and down and told me I couldn’t have it because “usually women who have it are bigger than you”. Meaning he didn’t think I was fat enough to be suffering the symptoms I was reporting. So after being treated like I was either lying or crazy I finally went to the gyno and complained until they did an ultrasound….

    Turns out I am well within the range of PCOS according to the multiple large cysts on my ovaries … So this goes to show that the first silly doctor did me a major disservice by only evaluating me based on my weight. Now to start managing the situation as well as possible, at least now I can because i found a doctor that would listen to me.

    Sorry just venting.

  35. I’m going to my parents’ house and then to my aunt’s for Thanksgiving. Since my aunt is the oldest child in her family (and also very bossy and prone to thinking she knows all–Lady Catherine de Bourgh lives!), holiday shindigs are held at her place. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a week ago, and though I have been doing well this past week, I find that today I’m nervous in anticipation of the foods of tomorrow.

    I have something in common with that aunt at last, though–she and I can commisserate over the side effects of our medication, since she’s had type 2 diabetes for a couple of years and takes the same medication I do.

  36. My family drama this year is centering not on food, but on the holiday itself. Usually we all drive from western MA down to Connecticut, to have turkey with my dad’s cousin and her family. They’re all lovely. But my mom has a whole host of health issues (and some that are purely psychosomatic but no less troublesome) that have been cropping up all fall, so we are sort of on edge about whether we’re packing up and driving down tomorrow morning or not.

    Regardless, I have pies to make. We always do our own giant meal on Friday, because we cannot cope without a giant turkey and mounds of stuffing of our own. Dad’s going to experiment and make a sausage and cornbread stuffing along with the traditional white bread one, and I’m going to make about four batches’ worth of the Cooks Illustrated piecrust recipe so I can make my fantastic apple pie. (Use good apples that are not Delicious or Granny Smith, brown sugar, and freshly grated nutmeg. OM NOM NOM.)

  37. Ours is quite small. We sometimes go to friends’ houses, sometimes do ourselves, this year is ourselves. Spouse cooks an insane amount of food totally out of proportion to what we need or will eat, and can’t seem to not do that. On years by ourselves we also go out to see a movie, so this year it’s Bolt. Hope it’s good.

  38. Sistercoyote — my family does Thanksgiving on Fridays fairly regularly :-) Nobody’s into the whole watch-the-sports-game thing, and since almost everyone gets that Friday off from work/school, we can all travel on Thanskgiving itself and not have to worry about it.

    This year it’s a big-extended-family one, and so is on Thursday. I’m trying out taking the overnight train down. I am looking forward to my dad’s persimmon bread, made from genuine wild persimmons grown outside of the FDA lab :-)

  39. My mother-in-law’s mum passed away just a few months ago … mother-in-law, father-in-law & hubby are all having a rough time, m-i-l especially. We are having them for Thanksgiving, along with a couple of our close friends.

    The AMAZING part is that hubby’s temp job ended a few weeks ago, so he has been planning the entire meal, doing all the shopping, and will be cooking the turkey, stuffing, et cetera. I will be cleaning and playing hostess, but I still feel I’ve got it easy :)

  40. Moonlight0806,

    If you feel up to it, a letter to the first doctor reminding him of his “diagnosis by figure evaluation” and your GYN’s findings might be a wake-up call. Especially if you send a courtesy copy to your area medical board…?

  41. We’ll be having dinner with friends tomorrow. I’m sad that I don’t get to cook (other than pie, because Thanksgiving Does Not Happen without Twistie Making Pumpkin Pie), but looking forward to good food with good friends.

    On the upside, this year won’t be like the Thanksgiving that almost made me give up Thanksgiving a couple years ago. That one was a doozy. Some friends of ours offered their dining room for Thanksgiving if I would do the cooking. After I bought a 12lb turkey because there were only going to be four people at the table, the wife (I’ll call her M) went around the Christmas crafts fair she works at every holiday season inviting random people by the overflow method to come spend Thanksgiving with her and her husband (who we’ll call T). Not only did none of these people respond one way or the other on the spot, M couldn’t even tell me how many people she’d invited and the tiny turkey was already thawing in the fridge.

    Yep, on two days’ notice, I had to completely revamp the meal I’d planned for four people skirting the quirky and completely contradictory food issues of the other three people at the table to something that would feed an unknown number of people with goodness only knew what allergies, conditions, preferences, and food fears. I decided to plan on something roughly in the neighborhood of eight people and go from there.

    Come the day, Mr. Twistie had gone into Unhelpful Mode in a big way. I couldn’t get him to do anything to help me get ready. I got snippy in a big way. Funny how that happens when you need a one-foot area cleared on a table because you’ve got a dish hot from the oven in your hands and the only response you’ve gotten for half an hour of begging your spouse to move one damn thing off the table is twenty choruses of Billy Joel’s Allentown on the piano. Eventually he did ungracefully agree to help me transport all the food across town.

    M. was on her best behavior once we got there (her crime drove me nuts, but at least it was kindly motivated – she just Doesn’t Think when it comes to other people’s efforts when compared to her generosity), but T and Mr. Twistie were both in full butthead mode. T. made puking sounds as each dish was revealed, told me to my face that the stuffing was gross, and fed it to the dog at the table. Mr. Twistie sulked on the sofa until the rest of us were about three bites away from finishing dinner.

    I was so hurt and depressed I couldn’t even work up the energy to cry about it for two days.

    Never. Again.

    Even better, to this day not one of them understands why I have refused to cook Thanksgiving dinner for M and T since. They can cook their own damn turkey. Oh, that’s right! They don’t really cook! Too fucking bad for them.

    I’ve got an invitation for next year to go cook Thanksgiving for a friend who lives a couple hours away. I’m thinking of discussing with her inviting a bunch of fat, happy fangrrls who appreciate good food, good pie (which is a benediction in and of itself), and pretty men in full-on geeky entertainment (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Slings & Arrows, Stargate:SG-1, maybe some classic Trek) and really celebrating the bounty of life.

    I’m fucking exhausted with not really enjoying my Thanksgiving the last few years.

    Next year, I intend to reclaim my holiday.

  42. This is my first married Thanksgiving, and it’s going to be just the two of us. No travel! Meaning I don’t have to deal with snarky comments about my weight at ALL (Christmas and New Year’s will be an entirely different story. My MIL has been known to make such harsh comments that she comes close to triggering bulimia relapses. Oy).

    Anyway, we still don’t really know what we’re making yet. My partner is Jewish and keeps kosher; I’m a vegetarian. He’s going to have himself a lamb steak, and we’re making sweet potato fries, but I don’t know what I’m doing for my entrée. Also, we’re having cranberry sauce from a can. I’m militant about getting the cheap, sugar-filled can stuff.

  43. Oh yeah, and I forgot the punch line on my hellish Thanksgiving: after all the effort and all the expense and all the frustration of doubling the size of the feast, guess how many of M’s additional guests showed up.

    That’s right, ZERO.

  44. Oh, and I’m doing Thanksgiving with my boyfriends’ parents on Friday. They’re very nice but not quite as… boisterous? as my family so I never really no how to act around them.

    I’m bringing an appetizer but I havne’t decided what yet… maybe crab artichoke dip?

  45. Twistie: as I’m in England, I’m referring to Christmas. Been there, done that, banished the offenders from my realm. Every so often, you have to remind people of acceptable boundaries when you’re a guest or doing them a huge favour.

  46. My younger daughter can’t get home for thanksgiving and it’s just now starting to hit me… it shouldn’t be that big a deal but I’m tearing up about it. First time in 22 years she hasn’t been around for a holiday.

    My mom is cooking as always. She makes great turkey and stuffing and desserts. I’m making the mashed potatoes, with real butter and cream thankyouverymuch. My aunt will make the horrible “dump the canned sweet potatoes in the casserole dish and put marshmallows on” thing. I hate it. (I have a bag of sweet potatoes at home; when my daughter comes back next month, I’ll have both my girls over for another thanksgiving dinner and I’ll make mashed sweet potatoes for us.)

    I’ll probably end up making the gravy too. I seem to be best at it. I did it a couple of years ago while my mom was busy doing something else and everyone was like, ooooh, who made the yummylicious gravy? Busted!

    There’s not a lot of overt weight/food drama in the family. It’s mostly the talking behind my back thing. I know it happens, and I know there’s not a damn thing I can do about it, so we’ll just eat a damn good dinner, watch some football, grab a bag of leftovers, and go home. They can compare notes on the size of my ass all they want once I’m gone.

  47. This year, my mom managed to talk everyone into going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner. So we’re going to a buffet at a hotle, where I will be presented with a buffet of not just food, but of dieting and body-issues as well.There’s my cousin, who’s been making her husband watch his eating (they’re both heavy). My stick-thin sister, who’s constantly dieting and always complaining about how much she eats and how she can never make herself stop (gee I wonder why…)

    And then my mother herself. Her weight fluctuates depending on whether she’s on chemo, and when she’s been off for awhile and starts looking healthy she starts complaining about getting fat. She’s bragged about how she used to do so many stomach crunches when she was young that her stomach was CONCAVE (seriously, that is what she claims). She was always telling me how I was so pretty, and if I just lost weight I would be a real knockout (because that’s what it takes to snag and keep a good husband- NOT).

    Oh, AND she knows that I have in fact lost some weight recently (walking almost three miles five days a week to take a kidlet to school can do that). She doesn’t know that I have been trying to eat healthier (for my own reasons) because I’ve neglected to mention it to her (oops :P). But I doubt that lack of knowledge will keep her from making some comment about how I don’t want to undo my good work by eating too much, now do I?

    Yes, body love and self-acceptance are indeed foreign concepts in my family, how did you guess?

  48. SweetMachine,

    My bad, sorry, no offense meant to anyone and will mind my language more in the future. Sorreeeeee!

  49. Am I the only poor sucker who has to WORK tomorrow? (Hospitals never stop cranking out the dictation.) I do get paid double, and at least I don’t have to leave my house to do it. But for the second year in a row, it means no turkey dinner for me because I will conk out and be totally useless. (I have purchased stuffing and cranberries and plan to procure some turkey and eat them later, probably Sunday when I’m off.)

    But a hearty, not coma-inducing, meal will be on the menu for me and C. and his two almost-grown kids. I will be making the pecan-crusted catfish that was a big hit last year (recipe here). Plus garlic mashed potatoes, cornbread, the kombucha squash I bought when I visted Wellroundedtype2 in Olympia which I’m just going to slice and bake, cornbread, and a Marie Callender’s razzleberry pie. C. gets to clean up. :-P

  50. I’m working today, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fucking Retail.

    Politically this is going to be an interesting Thanksgiving> I didn’t even get home before arguing with my Dad, and I just had lunch with my youngest cousins and they could not seem to stop saying racist shit.

    Good times.

    Can I go home now?

  51. Grateful for the post and comments this year. Last year’s was a lifeline. Just knowing I was not alone was enough.

    Thankful, too, that schedules are keeping JB and me at home this year. We’ll do the whole shebang and leftovers for days. And when we wake up from the tryptophan nap come Monday it will all have been worth it.

    Oh, someone asked up above what kind of pie. Pecan! It’s actually the only kind of pie I eat. A fat girl who doesn’t like pie. It boggles the (small of) mind.

    Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

  52. Also, I don’t know if anyone else reads the Yoga Journal Daily Insight e-newsletter, but Monday’s issue was about how to avoid *gasp* OHNOEZ OVERINDULGENZEZ. One of the pieces of advice? Separating yourself from your friends to eat. uhoh .. .

    I wrote about it at my own blog, and then emailed the editor. And she emailed me back, and said she didn’t intend to promote disordered habits, and she’d consider my perspective in the future. So that kinda made my week.

  53. Me and my two doggies. That’s my thanksgiving, and I will be giving many thanks that I won’t be trying to play the “Hallmark Happy Family” drama with the rest of my biological relatives. I live 200 miles away, I could get there, but I choose not to. Going to the Evil Vortex (my hometown) only results in my own physical and mental distress for weeks to come. And these holidays just make all the drama worse because of the food emphases. I love my 87 year old mother, but I hope if I make it to her age, I will have better things to focus on than my body. She frets about her appearance/weight nonstop. I cringe for her pain. One of my sisters just got the lecture from her own doctor about how “OMG, you have to lose weight or you’re gonna DIE”, so she is more tweaked than usual about food/weight. My other sister has maintained a weight loss for a couple of years now and has gotten all morally superior about others’ weight (“it’s for their own good”).

    I know I am being selfish for not joining them. I know I am being selfish for doing my own thing here. I don’t so much feel guilty for my selfishness as I wish there were people who understood and/or accepted that I need to take care of myself. If I do what others want and trigger my own illnesses (ED issues, PTSD issues etc.), why is that somehow more holy than taking care of myself by staying away?

    I have seen such support for all sorts of viewpoints on this site, I feel safe putting my rather unconventional Thanksgiving plans up for view. I hope y’all won’t think I’m too weird.

  54. Hey, Twistie- I hope your Thanksgiving goes well this year. I know you like to bake, so perhaps the cheese-cake making will make give you a little happiness?

    After being the black sheep of the family for most of my life, no one really dares to comment about my weight any more. I still feel weird just opening the fridge and taking whatever I want at my parents house (years, years, years of my stepdad telling me I wasn’t allowed to do that), but I force myself to, now. The couple of years of holidays since finding SP have been so much more enjoyable. And this has been pretty much the most perfect year of my life so far, so even if my family act like complete jerkheads, not much can bring me down.

  55. A majority of my stress I bring on myself thanks to having a really annoying brain so I will consider it a fair victory if I manage to get through tomorrow without crying. I’ve been very weepalicious as of late and it’s quite silly-ass. The biggest potential drama is simply wrangling my mother since she enjoys her cocktails…a lot. And hoping my father doesn’t embarrass me by treating me like a servant. His favorite trick is to say, “Jane!” and point at his plate or glass or whatever to indicate that I should get him a refill or clear it. He chose the wrong day last week to do that and I ripped him a new one for it. He’s managed to behave since then, but with an audience? I’m willing to put money on him making me look like a jerkoff.

    Tonight, there’s prep to be done – a dip to make and two side dishes to get together. And then I will so enjoy sleeping in for the next four days, as my office is closed Friday.

  56. Happy Thanksgiving to all! and (((Hugs))) to all who need them.

    I will have a Marie Callendar’s (sp?) TV dinner and I’ll go and get a good book tonight so I can kick back and read tomorrow.

    That probably sounds bad to some but my family holidays were always so awful that I’m just glad to have some peace and quiet now that I’m across the country from what’s left of the family. Not to mention that I’m trying to get over a sinus infection. I’d love to make turkey and stuffing and sweet potato casserole (with – eek – marshmallows), however, way too much work when I’m by myself. I love leftovers but not *that* much. Not to mention with a frozen dinner I can sleep in!

  57. Sigh. I wasn’t going to post, since I’m usually a lurker, but this is the toughest Thanksgiving I can imagine. My husband died in September – actually took his own life – and Thanksgiving was always OUR holiday. Spend all week prepping, spend all day cooking, have friends over. I always made a huge toast about “family you’re born with and the family you choose,” and it was just the best time imaginable.

    This year, it’s me, my housemate, the cats, and maybe, I dunno. Pasta? It feels hollow and awful, and while I’m really really really glad I didn’t tromp over to the other side of the country to be with my family, it’s still insanely difficult.

    I’ll get through it ok, but I’ll be really glad when the holidays as a whole are just over.

  58. Oh my god, michele, I am so sorry for your loss.

    Grieving during the holidays is especially difficult. I hope your housemate (and your cats) can take care of you a little. ((((((((michele)))))))

  59. Oh, michele, I’m so sorry for your loss. May time put a glow on the good memories and fuzz over the bad ones.

    @Jane,

    When my preschooler does that, I ask “Now how do we ask nicely for what we want?” or “Say: Please may I have some milk?” And he comes right back with the proper words and a big grin. Somehow I suspect your father might not be so sanguine; but if you act a certain age, you should be treated as a certain age.

    And, even if you don’t do it, you can grin secretly to yourself thinking about it. Then say politely: “I’m sorry, I must not have heard you correctly.” Repeat until manners are instilled.

  60. For the last couple of years I’ve been going to my aunt by marriage’s home and let me tell you, it’s a feast! Food everywhere, and our family eats and enjoys themselves. I made a white potato pie and an “apple dapple” cake (both family recipes) for tomorrow.

    My mom will probably complain about how much she’ll eat, and we just tell her to be quiet, it’s the holidays, and don’t worry about it. I am lucky that I don’t get harped on about my weight. As a matter of fact, I’m one of the relatives that eats the least on Thanksgiving.

    However you celebrate, I hope tomorrow is a stress-free day for all us Shapelings.

  61. Am I the only poor sucker who has to WORK tomorrow?
    Nope, I’m working, too. But I live overseas, so Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated here. Though, strangely, the school I teach at has a half day tomorrow (Friday) for Thanksgiving, so I don’t know what that’s all about.

    I plan on having a turkey and cranberry sandwich for lunch, and then chicken pumpkin curry served in a pumpkin for dinner. On Saturday I’m having a huge expat Thanksgiving with a large group of friends at a British country club. (Weird, huh? But they do the turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and the pumpkin pie, so it should be good.) And the lovely thing about this? This group of people would never make a negative comment about anyone’s weight or appearance.

  62. From the author Paulo Coelho:

    “Let’s forget all that; you can read all the books you want, do all the exercise you want, suffer all the punishment you decide to inflict on yourself, and you will have only two choices – you either stop living, or else you will get fat…..

    Instead of artificially burning those calories, we should try to turn them into the energy we need to fight for our dreams; no-one has ever stayed slim for long just by following a diet.”

    The whole thing is at http://paulocoelhoblog.com/warrioroflight/

  63. (((Michele))) Please accept my condolences.

    And of course, it’s kabocha squash, not kombucha. Kombucha is the mushroom extract thingie. Stupid Google.

    chicken pumpkin curry served in a pumpkin for dinner.

    OMG THAT SOUNDS UNBELIEVABLE. Do you make that yourself, or get it in a restaurant?

  64. Jane: I believe the correct response to that is to point at your father and say loudly, “YOU NOT TARZAN” (*point to plate/cup/implement*) “THAT NOT JANE”. And walk off.

  65. I’ve made the same thing I make for most other holiday dinners: reservations.

    Once in awhile I’ll cook Thanksgiving dinner, but most years it’s just the two of us, and both of us hate travel over the holidays, so we see family at other times of the year (we do not need the added stress of a holiday when seeing our families), and we’ll have a nice dinner out at a nice restaurant, no clean up required.

    And I won’t have to eat turkey or yams or jello’d cranberries or pumpkin pie, none of which I really care for. (Although I’ll miss the green bean casserole.)

    michele, I am so sorry for your loss, and wish much strength for you.

  66. Ok, seriously, that is the cutest thing evar.

    And since I already had one Thanksgiving with my mom, I ate til I couldn’t eat anymore… and I was satisfied.

  67. I envy you people who get to have your own homes. ):

    I’m really trying to hold onto the few precious hours of today so I don’t have to experience tomorrow. Last week, we had a Thanksgiving party at therapy, and the diet talk just would not stop. I wanted to shout, “No SHIT they gained while on Weight Watchers! A naturally fat body can’t function the same way as a naturally thin body does!” When one of the staff was going on her diet tales she commented to me, “you’re eating so patiently! That’s they way you SHOULD be eating!” I just told her. “I stopped scrutinizing every bite I eat, and now I’m happier. I’m usually picky, but I’m balanced.” And then she was like, “…That’s right. It’s good for you.” Then went on about how the pecan pie was sooooo fattening. Never mind that I didn’t care because I’m allergic to nuts. And today, my favortie dessert was ruined because of the conversation about how many calories a slice of cheesecake has.

    Anyway, tomorrow, we’ll be having a traditional dinner, but my old man decided to use soy sauce, lemon juice, and chicken broth on the turkey. O_o I don’t think I wanna try it. And he’s putting sweet potatoes in the mashed potatoes (which I’ve tried; it’s watery and nasty) and like every year, chicken livers, oysters, sausage and gizzards in the stuffing. Eww. He always uses and odd mix of spices and sauces that gives off such a nauseating odor and he brags about how great of a cook he is, and everyone else agrees. This is the same man who calls me oversensitive when he bullied me about my weight and forced me to exercise and bullied my pets, told me I wasn’t allergic to anything when I clearly know that my mouth gets a rash when I eat nuts and made a tirade about me being victimized when I was picked on in school, and also verbally harasses my schizophrenic grandmother with Alzheimers and Parkinsons, and yes, he’s a fat-hater. And so is the rest of my family.

    My ex-stepmom can’t figure out whether to enjoy food or to diet, so she’s on again off again dieting, and my old man’s current girlfriend is bringing booze (yay) says she enjoys food, but has such negativity towards fat people (I’ve heard her say during a phone conversation “4x?! How do you get out of bed?!”) and I can’t stand to even look at her. My older half-sister who is heavy and has PCOS is on Slim-Fast and shows the same amount of bitchiness towards her children as old man did to us. And she promised to me she wasn’t gonna do that. She and her husband also believe that homosexuals are circus freaks and that sugar causes nightmares and hyperactivity. My step-brother (ex-stepmom’s son) is a pretty big eater and enjoys food, but married a supermodel-looking woman and says that his attitude toward food is because he is male. My younger half-sister (ex-stepmom’s daughter) is a typical Hannah Monatana teen, my older biological sister wanted to be acareer woman, but is now a somewhat traditional mom and a mortician…actually, that doesn’t sound ‘traditional’. And my biological brother is in Hawaii and hasn’t visited us in years (can’t blame him) and my biological mother who shares a lot of the same mental health issues will just tell me to stay with her away from everyone else. And now that the cats are gone because old man took them to the shelter, the animal-hater, I have no one to cope with. Well, at least there will be cheesecake, but my old man says he’s probably going to eat most of it then bitch about how he wasn’t ‘good’ and I have to eat it in secret before he rants about how it’s not good for me, even though I’m 23 years old and can make my own choces, despite my mental health issues. In fact, I wouldn’t even blink at a five-year-old eating his or her own birthday cake.

    At least there was Kung Fu Panda at the party last week.

    And when I get my own place, I’m getting KFC next year. XD

  68. Oh michele! I’m so terribly sorry for your loss. I know this is going to be tough for you. The first round of holidays after a major loss is always the worst. The good news, though, is that you can get through it. Eventually, you’ll even be okay.

    In the meantime, I’m sending strong, positive thoughts your way.

  69. I will be partaking in a generous supply of mulled wine. And I’m bringing my laptop, my Nintendo DS and my knitting.

  70. OMG THAT SOUNDS UNBELIEVABLE. Do you make that yourself, or get it in a restaurant?
    It’s in a restaurant. If anyone comes to Hong Kong I’ll take you there. And it is unbelievable.

  71. I will be partaking in a generous supply of mulled wine. And I’m bringing my laptop, my Nintendo DS and my knitting.

    Liza, if that laptop is an Apple, I think we might accidentally be the same person.

  72. I’m going to a rather nice restaurant in Boston with a good friend and possibly a last-minute addition of another mutual friend who just had a death in the family. I haven’t had T-day with my family in a number of years since most of them live on the other side of the country now and, though I miss them and our traditions, I do like celebrating with friends and/or their families and sharing their traditions and such. And I’m rather excited about going to a nice restaurant I haven’t been to before.

    Unfortunately, my T-day buddy ended the day yesterday by telling that she’d be up early today to go running so that she could eat a lot of turkey. So much for unapologetic enjoyment of eating.

  73. Pumpkin pie for breakfast is our only nod to the traditional dishes here. We’ll probably have grilled tuna steaks and homemade potato-leek soup for dinner (just the two adults; daughter will want tater tots or somesuch, son will probably just eat more pumpkin pie). Last year, it was spicy salmon and veggies over polenta–so the corn in the polenta was our nod to tradition then.

    Tomorrow, we put up the Christmas tree, and I’ll bake some bread (because if you’re going to be home all day, might as well bake bread).

  74. Oh, Michele, I’m so sorry. Please accept a hug from me even though you don’t know me.

    Thanksgiving was always the best holiday in our family — from the time I was a little girl it was low key — just us, no travel to or by other family members. When I grew up and moved far away nobody expected me to travel back for any holidays (including Thanksgiving).

    So I, and later my husband and I, have taken Thanksgiving as we found it. After my mother died I made many Thanksgiving dinners just as she had made them, but the last few years I have been exhausted, and this year we decided no turkey for us because turkey slaughter makes me sad (even though I like to eat turkey). My husband’s family is over seas, and my father is in a nursing home which will have a nice meal and we will visit him later. (Bringing him to our house would not be a good idea, and he wouldn’t even remember that he had been here.) Meanwhile, we will make a leisurely pumpkin pie (with real whipped cream), and other assorted favorites, and enjoy our meal, and enjoy thinking about all the lovely things in our life, and enjoy a quiet day. My husband, who has seen me gain about significant weight since we met almost 30 years ago, and who has expressed sorrow only that the weight gain bothers me, will continue his sweet ways of showing me that he loves me, and the only food conflicts will be those internalized conflicts that I still have (alas), not anything coming from him.

    It’s almost noon on Thanksgiving. I think I’ll go make that pie and some jalapeno (hmm, I’d put in an enye there but I don’t know how to) corn bread, and we’ll go enjoy the rest of the day.

    Happy Thanksgiving to Kate and Fillyjonk and Sweet Machine and all the Shaplings. You are a bright spot in my life.

  75. When I was a kid, I loved the holidays.

    Now, between the craze of work — you always have to do all the work you normally do PLUS the extra holiday stuff before you’re off — and family drama, I loathe the holidays.

    I never do T-giving with the family. Work is too horrid to add travel to that. But I generally do Christmas with them. It’s going to be agonizing this year. I haven’t said a single thing about the Obama win and I swear I won’t. But I will, however, wear a groove in my tongue. My mother and sister are massive bigots and carry on about the many deficiencies of blacks/latinos/asians while my non-white girlfriend of 13 years is right there in the room.

    And the last time I spent time with my parents, my mother was rhapsodizing about Mitt Romney, who wouldn’t blink at limiting her daughter’s citizenship or erasing my bond with my girlfriend. It’s just painful.

    And now for happier thoughts: Pecan pie is my fave. Unless there is a chocolate-bourbon pecan pie next to it.

  76. Cindy, if you don’t mind a word of advice from a relative stranger, I think you’d do well to find someone to spend Christmas with other than your family. Sometimes nature goofs and we need to find a real family on our own.

    Also? Your girlfriend is a saint not to have gone on a rampage. I want to do it and I’m not the one your family is being so cruel to. Hell, I’m of the Transparent Peoples and straight as an arrow and I want to bitchslap anyone who would do that to your non-white girlfriend, or ANY human being, no matter what color, ethnic background, sexuality, religion, etc.

    Holidays are better when spent with people who respect us. That’s why I’m not cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the guy who fed my stuffing to the dog at the table. What you’re dealing with is so much worse the mind boggles. If you can, I think you owe it to yourself, your girlfriend, and your sanity to opt out.

    Just my two cents, which you are free to use or ignore as you prefer.

    Also? Pecan pie is yummy…particularly when made with lovely fresh, home-grown pecans. They weren’t grown at my home, but a friend of mine has parents with a tree, bless her.

    But for me on Thanksgiving, pumpkin is king of pies.

  77. I am dreading thanksgiving. I am going back east to have it with family. You see, we used to be a fairly large family, but all the older people have lost a lot (lot) of weight and all my cousins are tall and skinny. I am now the fattest person in the room, and I kind of hate it. No, I really hate it. I am more self concsious and miserable at this point than any other. It is kind of comforting to see other people have issues with this too. Why should I think I look nice one day but feel ugly on thanksgiving? It makes no sense.

  78. Well we had our dinner last Saturday (not our year to have my stepdaughter today). Just the four of us- me, hubby, stepdaughter, daughter with a bunch of food and a Stargate marathon!! No body issues, no drama, no crap at all!

    Today the three of us that are here are just lounging….the hubs is playing WoW, the kiddo watched the parade and is now watching Nick (and yes, we saw the RickRoll on the CN float…OMG I was LMAO), I’m on the couch in my jammies with my laptop. Perfect way to spend a holiday IMO!!!

    I’m so sorry for those who are dealing with loss or drama today, if I could poof you to my house for quiet and relaxation I would!!!

  79. Krystal–sounds horrible! Talk about a negative space. One day you will have your own apt. and be able to have thanksgiving with your friends, and people you want to be with. Until then, hang in there. Or pretend to be too sick to go and have a nice dinner out somewhere.

    michele-so sorry

    Jane–I am impressed with your restraint. If someone pointed to a dish and said ‘Haystacks’ like that, I would pick up said plate and smash it over their head. And then say, ‘Oh, you didn’t want me to do that? You should have been more specific.’

  80. It’s just the two of us today, but we are still doing a full batch of stuffing and a 7-pound turkey breast because to my mind the entire point of this holiday is the sandwiches you make with the leftovers for the next week or so. Food will be done in about an hour! It smells delicious and I am super excited.

  81. You know what? I’m going to squee for a minute. I’m with my in-laws. Here, it isn’t about eating a huge meal (we had beef pot pie instead of turkey, and we’re going to have hot browns for supper); it’s just about hanging out. No guilt over food, just enjoyment. None of my muscular brother’s complaints that he’s enormous and fat (when he is 6 inches taller than me and I weigh 35 lbs more!), none of my cousins or my sister-in-law’s complaints about how they eat way too much. All of my thin relatives talking about how they eat too much and how unhealthy it is, while my husband and I sit there in our plump happiness, unworried about this stuff they’re working SO HARD to stress themselves out with.

    Bonus points that I don’t have to listen to them disparage “liberal politics” the whole time (Bryan & I are the only liberals in my family).

  82. I experimented and made something kind of cool: pumpkin candy. Pureed pumpkin (I had some from the freezer but canned would probably work well) and sweetened condensed milk cooked down until it’s carmel-y, and once it’s cook enough to touch, rolled in to balls and then in graham cracker crumbs. There were just a few shakes of typical pumpkin spices – cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
    Fun, easy, yummy and bite-sized.

  83. philosopherkrista,

    I can relate. My mil is not only a devout follower of ww, she also works for them. I have refused to go to her house because she acts outwardly repulsed by my body, and, she only eats her food in tiny amounts on baby plates. I mean, real baby plates, like disney, barbie, etc because she said it keeps her distracted from food.

    The last holiday I ate with her, everything was loaded with aspartame and splenda, and artificial sugar makes me sick :(

    She told my husband this year that she’s not going to change her menu or how she cooks, so once again, I did not go there. Instead, husb and I went out to eat for turkey and the goods, and had a good time.

    It is very hard to be around mil because she follows ww so rigid that we cannot get through a meal without talk about points, and “how bad she’s being” if she eats an extra little piece of something.

    All of the diet talk triggers me on way too many levels.

  84. (((everyone)))

    Made it through, though it was a super-hard day. Thanks for all the kind wishes, truly.

    I may make a pan of stuffing today anyway, because hey: stuffing!

  85. This year everyone was driving me a little crazy. I usually love the holiday, too. It was just very frustrating.

    Last spring my grandmother stirred up even more drama than usual, by going beyond her usual manipulative playing-of-favorites with her own children, and this time doing it with the grandkids. Namely coming right out and saying the joint birthday party she threw for two of my siblings was really only for the one of them she likes. (There’s history to that favoritism, too.) It made us all so angry that we don’t want much to do with her anymore. She clearly knows she went too far and is trying to be nice and make amends, but I’m sick of the crap. Then there’s the uncle, who is pretty mentally unwell so we are all patient with him, but he also abuses that patience and is really inconsiderate. And the fact that this year, more than in the past, it bothered me a lot that it’s always my mom and I in charge of a lot of the cooking. My dad helps a lot, actually, but my mom and I (and sometimes my grandmother) manage and organize most of it.

    And then my brother, who is kooky but usually quite progressive and accepting of people’s differences, started picking an argument with me about fat acceptance. I hadn’t said much of anything (I usually don’t, it’s not worth it), but he was really pushing me to watch Get Smart because we had loved the original show as kids. I finally said that I saw a bit of it on a plane and don’t really like fat jokes, and he went on for a while about how they’re not REALLY fat jokes, they’re really FUNNY. And then he got all sanctimonious about how his good friend lost 80 pounds and has kept it off, and it’s not genetic, and I’m taking away her hope. FoBT by proxy! He kept trying to argue about it and I just didn’t have the energy. Wev.

    And today there is a post on a generally feminist science blog that I usually like about the evilz of the OBESITY EPIDEMIC BOOGABOOGA, and how she needs to go exercise because she ate all that evil food on Thanksgiving. It’s a pretty fatphobic post. I’m not surprised, but I’m pretty disappointed. Thanks, that’s one less blog for me to like. The list is shrinking (I guess that’s good for my feed).

    Anyway, time to get back to making my thesis defense talk. Today I get to talk to my supervisor about how to bring up the fact that now we doubt the entire story I spent years working on for the dissertation. Awesome.

  86. Oh Michelle, I’m so sorry. I hope you got through it okay.

    InTheWild, that sounds pretty awesome to me. I actually can’t wait til I’m far enough away (Canada!) that I can decide where and with whom I want to spend the holidays. Right now I’m so close to home I couldn’t not go back without it becoming A HUGE THING, and anyway I miss my sister. But in five years she’ll be moving far far away too and she and my aunt are pretty much the only family I’d voluntarily travel to be with. So if I can’t make it to them, it’s anybody’s game.

    I’m thinking of discussing with her inviting a bunch of fat, happy fangrrls who appreciate good food, good pie (which is a benediction in and of itself), and pretty men in full-on geeky entertainment (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Slings & Arrows, Stargate:SG-1, maybe some classic Trek) and really celebrating the bounty of life.

    If I can be appreciating the pretty women instead, this sounds like approx the best holiday ever. Party at Twistie’s!

  87. Caitlin, I don’t care if you want to appreciate the men, the women, the aliens, the fax machines or the soda bottles. Appreciate what you appreciate. Just come party. Good food, good entertainment, good fellowship and good music are the orders of the day, as far as I’m concerned.

  88. My Thanksgiving was actually pretty okay. I made the meal, which meant there was nothing I didn’t like, and everything turned out really well. I even avoided food/body snarkage until this morning, when I had a nice big plate of leftover stuffing and chicken for breakfast and my mom decided to get shirty about it — you know, “Wow, you MUST be HUNGRY this morning, huh?” and, “How can you STILL be HUNGRY after that feast yesterday?”

    Um… I can “still” be hungry this morning because it’s actually a whole different day? And I’m not “still” hungry so much as hungry “again,” because it’s been like 14 hours since yesterday’s dinner? And people generally do eat a meal in the morning, and leftovers are awesome, and hey you were supposed to do the dishes last night and instead left them for me, so how about you shut up? Yes, that’s how.

    Heh. Apparently, I can’t wait until my mom takes off for her own apartment. Other than this morning’s stress, Thanksgiving was lovely here. I think I’m going to do it myself every year, because this was really much better than the usual.

  89. Haystacks- I’m glad someone finally understands me.

    Michelle- I’m really sorry. I’ve been selfish and only wanted to rant about how my holiday sucked. I hope things’ll be better next year.

    Yesterday completely sucked (there I go again). Did anyone see that one post on Sandy’s blog about how ‘political correctness’ is ruining the health of America? And I doubt that it’s really true that AIDS affects mostly homosexual men and blacks/African-Americans, unless someone shows me some cold, hard evidence.

    And the space aliens that called themseves my family were watching the most dreadful, racist, size-phobic movie ever created. It was recent and I forgot the title. Oh well. And old man made racist comments against Middle Easterns, and that’s the main reason why there will be nothing under the tree for him. That and the verbal toxic waste he’s been hurling towards my grandmother. Okay, so, she’s pretty high mainentence and wears too much perfume (I’m really sensitive to scents)

    And today my old man called me JUST to tell me to stay away from HIS MOST PRECIOUS cheesecake because it’s ‘no good for me’. And he always keeps a stash of candy for himself and bitches about fat people and how he needs to be pretty for the woman he’s cheating on. I was so livid after I hung up, I threw the phone across the room, then quickly repaired it so he wouldn’t notice.

    I’m gonna tell all my relatives that my hair is not THEIR problem that needs to be fixed, so that way, I can make darn well sure that I don’t get relaxers and shampoo for Xmas. And I’m buying Kate and Marianne’s book for as many people as I can afford. I spent yesterday and today both wanting to cry and actually crying. This Xmas, I’m totally ditching and going to Mitsuwa.

    But, I did get to watch Full Moon wo Sagashite (Find the Full Moon) and playing Kingdom Hearts 2, but I purposely didn’t go to the places with the Large Bodies and Fat Bandits. Oh, and Pence is totally cute. And I played with Audacity to prepare my songs for Anime Central. Now, that’s a holiday. Three days in a hotel AWAY from those space aliens and singing in ACen Idol. I should probably start the world’s first feminist otaku blog.

  90. Oh, that’s right I forgot the book wasn’t out yet. Oops. Fine, then. I’ll just save money and buy gifts for my friends, then ditch to Mitsuwa.

  91. krystal, I’ve learned (belatedly, unlike most of the fatosphere) to take Sandy’s political opinions with a very large grain of salt. She’s not unbiased. Her bias is very different from the bias we hear everywhere else, so it can be a great counterpoint, but really, her political views are kind of reactionary. I don’t even articles that show up on my feed that have titles about politics anymore.

    I’m sorry your holiday was so awful, too! I support your decision to ditch the fam for Xmas! That goes for everyone, actually.

  92. Family is funny, huh?
    …and by funny, I mean really, really frustrating.

    Anywho, I was working on Thanksgiving (hotels never close)
    So, a friend and I made Thanksgiving dinner just the two of us!
    Neither of us really knew what we were doing, so it was really funny to watch us try to roast a turkey breast!

    She is pretty body positive, so it was great to just cook things and not apologize for using butter in every recipe, or pretend I “forgot” to take it out.
    Also, taking seconds (mashed sweet potatos! yum!) without feeling eyes on you is a fabulous feeling…

    It was a great bonding experience, and probably the least stressful and hence, happiest Thanksgiving ever! :)

  93. (off topic, sorry)
    Krystal, if you do decide to start that blog, you have my full support! And, KH2!! Yes, I’m glad that someone else noticed the wrongness of the Large Bodies and Fat Bandits included among the ranks of the Heartless. Because of course, all fat characters are evil and/or comical.(eyeroll)
    Sorry for that little sidebar (ends threadjack).

  94. My thanksgiving was once again ruined by the one woman I would rather kill then know, my grandmother.

    Long issues with her, but some how because I had a cold (which sucks at a holiday anyway), I was denied food, seriously. She cooked a HUGE thanksgiving meal (which is weird since it’s just her and mum since I’m at home sick) and then said, since I couldn’t be there…I shouldn’t get any of the food.

    So I ate a sandwitch and tried to forget it was a holiday, and the one holiday I actually allowed myself not to care I was eating five starches in one sitting.

    *shrugs* Maybe for Christmas I’ll buy her a gift card for her favorite restrant…and then manage to make both myself and my mother unable to go at any time (yes, I am bitter).

    And Quiwi and Krystal, the Fat Bandits and Large bodies are not there as an insult, but as diversity amongst the heartless. Not to mention, their ‘fat’ is a defense, which is kinda cool. It’s not saying all fat characters are evil, just look at Pence (who IS overweight, though not as large as a Large Body).

  95. I’ve been down in chi-town at my sister’s place. There’s delicious food and I’m gorging/indulging without judging myself or flaring up my bulimic tendencies which is pretty awesome. Heard a few negative grumblings from others “I shouldn’t have eaten that much”, “I need to not eat for the next week” that i called out on eventually, but everyone has their own way of dealing. Lord knows I’ve been the person who doesn’t even eat enough (or at all) to indulge in self-bashing for many years–bringing on a different sort of attention to my eating at weight. I understand the sentiment all too well. So long as body-bashing talk isn’t directed at me, I’m good. I don’t condone what others do but people need to feel what they feel and i won’t judge them for that.

    I kinda miss being home (nyc) and at my homeboys dinner but this is nice as hell. Not sure how I would be emotionally if my parents were here this time but i actually missed them (for a change). I’m just destressing, drinking a lot, watching south park/trash reality tv and acting like a happy 8 year old. Awesomesauce.

  96. My dad was diagnosed a week ago with esophogeal cancer, and he and my mom got home from the hospital, where he had been having a J-tube installed, on Wednesday night. We cancelled the non-family guests and had a very quiet Thanksgiving dinner off of paper plates. Dad can still eat small amounts if he is careful and the food is not sticky, so what he can eat has to be extremly rich in order to get him a sufficiency of calories.

    To put the following moment in context, you have to understand that my otherwise exemplary mother is quite wacked when it comes to food, and – case in point – volunteered for the famous 7-year low fat study where she was allowed no more than 23 fat grams a day. I’m guessing this audience understands exactly how little fat that is – every day, for seven years, with regular physicals and food journals and all that a rigorous study entails. She has fed my dad a low-fat vegetarian diet for probably the last thirty years or more. She once told me (in vino veritas) that she considered divorcing him when he grew stout in early middle age. I guess she had never looked very closely at his mother, brother or sister….

    Thursday afternoon I am standing in the kitchen preparing to use the hand mixer to reduce some boiled sweet potatoes and cream to a consistency my dad can swallow. I take a stick of butter from the bag I have brought with me and ask my mother how much she thinks I should add to the half dozen medium-sized potatoes.

    “The whole thing,” she says, without turning a hair.

    Surreal. I think that’s the only word for our Thanksgiving – totally surreal.

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