Like nearly every other college student on the face of the planet, Thanksgiving Break is something that I am eagerly anticipating. The dorms are always busy and fun, but everyone appreciates a little break now and then. There’s nothing quite like going home, eating my dad’s brownies, watching movies with my sister, and taking my dog along on runs.
I do love the holiday of Thanksgiving as well. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pie, and my little cousins dressed up as pilgrims, all my extended family gathered into my Grandma’s kitchen to say grace. I am blessed with a crazy bizarre extended family, the best kind to have in my opinion, and they are always the highlight of my holidays.
But as much as I love them all to death, sometimes their questions can be a bit too much. While I appreciate their interest in my life, I don’t feel the need to explain the details of the break up with my long term boyfriend to my uncle while waiting in line for cranberry sauce. Similarly, having my conservative aunt question me about boys that I might marry while she calmly serves out pumpkin pie just takes away my appetite!
Now, I understand that my aunt grew up in a very different culture than I do. Yet it truly does make my stomach full of turkey turn to hear this woman I am related to tell me that the most important thing for me to do in college is to meet the man I am going to marry. I love my aunt, but this idea of success disgusts me.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I definitely picture marriage eventually in my life plan. And I have nothing against people in long term relationships. Up until recently, I was one of them myself!
What I do have a problem with is the notion that success must come from somewhere outside of one’s self. I very much believe that in order to be able to contribute to a healthy relationship, you must be a strong confident person in your own right. And in the 21st century, no strong confident woman spends her college years desperately seeking a man. I realize that my aunt might never understand this, but I’m already a success, which for right now includes academic and extracurricular achievement, as well as maintaining healthy relationships with my friends and family.
I know that in the end, all my aunt wants is for me to be happy, so I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to hear about all the fun things I’ve been up to at college. Deflection is my new technique for distracting my relatives from topics I don’t care to discuss with them. (“No, I don’t have a boyfriend… but I did just get elected to student government! And my best friends and I are planning a road trip for spring break!”)
So this year, instead of letting my stomach turn in anger at another one of my aunt’s lectures, my stomach will be happy and full of turkey and love. At least that’s the plan. Let’s hope my aunt takes the hint or I may end up skipping pumpkin pie entirely this year.
And no one should do that.