Six years ago, W and I had been dating for about a year when she suggested that we host Thanksgiving together. We would use my apartment because it was roomier and invite both our families.
She looked at me with those big brown eyes and smiled that big smile. What was a butch to do?
I thought it was a crazy idea. Our families had never met. In my family, “pass the crescent rolls” means someone will throw one in your direction. There was so much that could go wrong above and beyond superficial crescent roll-related injuries.
So, we bought groceries and set up card tables, and W cooked.
I wore my best flannel.
It was a great Thanksgiving.
We’ve hosted Thanksgiving as a couple ever since, although now we do it in the house that we share. Both of our families come and enjoy each other’s company.
We have certain traditions: There’s the pumpkin-shaped ceramic dish that W likes to use to serve the crescent rolls. The baking of the pumpkin bread that has been passed down from W’s grandmom to our youngest boy. W makes stuffing early in the morning, fries up a small sample, and we all have a taste. I’m probably biased, but W makes the best stuffing in the world. My dad brings and pours the wine. The good stuff.
Thanksgiving has always been W’s favorite holiday. She’s always hosted it at her house.
I would tell you that now Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, too. But I don’t want to sound all soft and mushy and sentimental. That’s not very butch.
Maybe tomorrow for at least a few moments I’ll let myself be a little soft and mushy in the inside — like mashed potatoes. I’ll think back to that first Thanksgiving, and I’ll give thanks. Thanks for family and friends. A roof over my head and clothes on my back. A feast to share with those I love best. And stuffing. Thanks for stuffing.
But I’ll give a special thanks to W for giving me a push to open up and dream big and live life and let others in.
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Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for?