Belated Happy Thanksgiving and Such

Dear Readers,
If, in fact, there are still readers here, I want to wish you a belated Happy Thanksgiving. As I've probably said once or twice before, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and this year I took a slight bit of techno-vacation with it.

Why is it my favorite holiday? A story from this year's dinner explains it well. Sitting at a back corner of a big, cobbled together table with some dear grad school friends and other Thanksgiving orphans, the charming Swiss woman to my right asked the charming German woman to my left and me whether there were any Thanksgiving songs. The German said not that she knew of, and I said that's one more thing to be thankful for. There aren't cards for it, songs about it, decorations that HAVE to be put up. My traditions aren't your traditions, and no one really blinks about it.

The charming Swiss woman patted my arm and said she could see why I liked it. Then she offered me more mashed potatoes. She gets it.


Evidently, after I left the celebration to return to my own home to wait out the food-coma, I became quite the topic of conversation.

Earlier in the evening, I noted to my charming German friend that I have accidentally perfected a sort of scruffy orphan vibe that causes people to want to look out for me just a bit. I'm getting invited to lots of dinners and sent home with lots of food. Folks in the department have been e-mailing me links to restaurants and grocery stores and asking if I need anything. And people are trying to fix me up.

In case I haven't said it before, the fix up is particularly distressing. Generally speaking, people are either strongly for or strongly against the fix up. I'm clearly strongly against.

One reason for this is that the logic of the fix up generally works like this: "I like Person A. Person A is single. I also like Person B, and they're single, too! They must meet! And mate! And produce beautiful babies that I will be partially responsible for in that I'll have made it happen but won't actually provide any support for, not even changing a diaper!" The fix up is the relationship equivalent of an unruly child throwing spaghetti at a white wall and coming up with Monet's "Water Lilies."

In part, this desire to fix me up is my own fault: I'm wickedly private, and so even when I'm dating, most of my friends don't know it. Being so private, you can, of course, imagine how thrilled I was to have the topic of my love life become an after-dinner conversation starter. But I also think it owes to the other tendency that seems common to folks in the pro-fix up camp: the certainty that other people's lives can be handled - and enjoyed - like theater.

To try and get the full effect of my fear and distress, imagine this: think of a friend who makes your head hurt. Or one who you have to think really hard to explain their charms. Now imagine they're the one who has decided to fix you up. Without consulting you. About anything. At all.

What is worst about all of this is now, whenever I see anyone present at the dinner, this is now a source of discussion. Except, of course, for the folks fixing me up, who are content to believe that I'm oblivious and naturally don't want my input anyway. It's like being confronted over and over again with a mistake everyone is convinced you'll make before you ever actually come to the choice about it.

Curse my scruffy orphan-like vibes!


And that, dear readers, should catch you up and give you plenty to speculate upon. Perhaps in the coming weeks, I'll get my shit together and start some sort of pool about all of this chaos. In the meantime, enjoy some leftover pie for me!


3 Responses to “Belated Happy Thanksgiving and Such”
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Anonymous said...

Actually, I think you're projecting your "scruffy orphan vibe" here on your blog too -- because I have a strange desire to give you advice and shepherd your life into new, advantageous directions ... which is a very strange impulse for me, since my own life is usually in a state of chaos.

And, yes, I do have a friend I'd like you to meet. I think you guys would be great together.

So, if you *are* dating, you need to spill the beans.

November 30, 2009 at 8:41 AM
Brigindo said...

Happy Belated Thanksgiving. I like your reasons why its your favorite but it still remains one of my least favorites. However as the years progress I've found ways to enjoy it.

I've never been "fixed up" but the very phrase sounds like you're broken, so I can't really get behind that one.

November 30, 2009 at 10:02 AM
ash said...

Oh. Dear. I feel your pain re: the fix-up. And yet, I am now embarrassed to think of the number of times that I have said aloud (in private and with "safe" people, like my partner, who totally get your privacy needs, of course!), "if only I knew someone worthy of the affection of my dear (and not at all scruffy or orphan-like) friend, Dr. Curmudgeon!" Because, you know, I totally know what's best for you! (that's a joke, by the way!)

November 30, 2009 at 2:34 PM