How I, As a European, Imagine Every Thanksgiving
Happy Day-After-Thanksgiving Day, my Yank friends!
I flat out refuse to call it Black Friday because come on, even among a calendar stuffed full of bullshit capitalist holidays, it seems just a step too far to be celebrating what basically amounts to Amazon Day. Being lorded over by a dystopian capitalist feudal fuhrer like Jeff Bezos is one thing. Celebrating it is a whole other kettle of subservient fish. So Happy Day-After-Thanksgiving Day!
For most of us over here in Europe it’s just been a Thursday and a Friday. Nothing special. Though I have to say that for me in particular it has felt a little bit different. It has done so for at least the past three years, I think just because I have spent those years working with a bunch of heathen Americans on this very site, so I am somewhat attuned to your nation’s culture and rhythms.
One thing I have picked up that has left a lasting impression is just how much of a nightmare Thanksgiving can be for those of you who have to deal with insufferable elements within your family. Elements which are usually at a healthily removed distance, scattered across the vast landmass of America, but which on Thanksgiving converge upon the same location as you, on your shared point of origin, to shower you with their un-asked for, often deranged or hateful opinions. And you know it’s coming as well. You go back to your family, and on the journey there the anxiety builds as you foresee exactly what is going to happen and who is going to cause it. That makes it even worse. The dread, the build-up, the path of daggers. The weighing up of familial obligation against mental self-care. I’ve always tried to imagine what that long-simmering Thanksgiving tension and explosive release might look like. Then I remembered this Peep Show clip, which is technically set at Christmas because that is when the British do turkey, but I imagine it is close enough. I hope it wasn’t for you.
Image sources (in order of posting): YouTube, Channel 4
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