Thanksgiving weekend is one of my favourite times to head home to the rents’ house. My mom stocks the fridge to capacity, lets me take half of it home, and insists on going to Shopper’s Drug Mart to help me stock up on the essentials – notably my very expensive hair products. We eat, laugh, play games, and Monday afternoon my Dad drives us home with everyone grinning stupidly in our food comas.

But this Thanksgiving was different. I was going home alone. As an only child, this is a big deal for me. I haven’t gone home for Thanksgiving, or even any non-Christmas holiday without my boyfriend in about four years. The first year we dated, my mom even drove a lasagna to university for us because he wouldn’t be visiting and she didn’t want him to go hungry. (This was also the first time he realized what exactly he was getting into, family-wise).

I rationalized – it would be fine, fun even! There was no reason things would be different, just because he wasn’t coming with me. This would be even better – all the attention rightly on me, just the way it was for a solid 20 years before we met.

And the first two days it was. “Shannon, do you want me to make you some tea?” “Shannon, are there enough batteries in the Wii remote for you?” “Shannon, do you want me to buy you an extra turkey to take home, just so you don’t go hungry?” Life was good.

Then the third day came. And I got bored.  Somehow over the past four years, the activities that were fun to do when I went home just got weird. Without my boyfriend, I was just playing Rock Band with my parents. Without my boyfriend, laughing at my parents just becomes kind of mean. Without my boyfriend, it looks suspicious when I carry two pieces of pie up to my room.

Forget love, forget the party, forget religion. This is why people get married – so they no longer have to brave their parent’s houses alone.*

* Love you Mom & Dad! Please keep buying me things.

~ Shannon M