I noticed a lot of families out and about today while I was on my run. Granted, much of this presence can be chalked up to ________ finally being in the middle of the warm stretch, and people are out enjoying a nice, warm Sunday afternoon at the park. But I'd also attribute the family frequency to it being Thanksgiving weekend--and more to the point, I was in the mood to notice family more because it was Thanksgiving weekend.
Holidays in general aren't a huge thing in my family, especially Thanksgiving. A big part of Thanksgiving is the big meal: turkey and cranberries and pumpkin pie and such. Given that in my immediate family of five, we have one vegetarian (me) and one who abstains from a lot more than just meat (don't ask), the traditional meal is often waived in favor of ordering pizza, especially if my folks aren't around. I can even remember more than one Thanksgiving where I opted to do a solo option. But there was always the CHOICE of being able to participate in a big family thing, and I kind of miss that. A little. Just a little. Shut up.
Anyway, that was why I so glad for the chance to participate in a fairly impromptu pot-luck supper with other grad students this weekend. While I haven't been a complete recluse, my grad student interaction has not been breaking any records, so the chance to get to know some of them a little better was nice. Also nice was just being with a group of people on Thanksgiving--or close enough to it for spitting (I can't imagine why this phrase isn't more popular).
The food was great; with the exception of my own contribution, which consisted of dinner buns and a tossed salad (very well tossed; your view on cooking changes considerably when you realise that whatever you make must be able to withstand the rigour of a 6 k bike ride). Sadly, my contributions were largely ignored. Isn't it funny that that's what one notices on these occasions? I mean, I got a chance to speak to my contemporaries without making an ass out of myself (or so I surmise), and yet what really sticks with me the next day is how many dinner buns I've got left. (And I want to make it clear that I don't mean to make any attendees of the event uncomfortable; the issue here is probing into my reaction, not a hard-hitting expose on why tossed salad is on the decline.) I'm going to chalk this one up to perverse human nature. Or maybe just my perverse nature.
Anyway, it was an evening of good conversation, good company, and the consumption of more food than was really good for me. And really, isn't that all anyone can ask of a holiday?