Thanksgiving gets increasingly more stressful for me every single year. If I’m not having nightmares about the stuffing running out before it gets passed to me, then I’m biting my nails over the fact that I’ll have to explain my career to my family sixteen times. And let’s not even get started on the fact that I’ve misplaced my expandable waistband jeans and turkey-print mumu. There’s no way I’m sitting down at that table wearing anything else. The last thing I can afford is a busted pair of pants with no buttons and a broken zipper.
I’m pretty sure my own parents can’t figure out exactly how blogging works or how I’m making money — so I have no idea how to even explain it to my grandmother. For years I thought she was computer literate, but it sadly turns out she was convinced that the Windows Paint program was actually the Internet. It certainly explains why she was adamant that my e-mails were never getting to her, but it will also make explaining blogging to her quite the challenge. Perhaps my best bet is to just replace her entire World Book 1965 collection with book covers that say “by Jenni” and tell her that I’ve been writing outdated encyclopedias since graduation.
Even worse than having to explain blogging to a 176-year-old (give or take a few decades) is having to beat around the bush when my younger relatives actually ask to see the blogs. While I’m writing for six different blogs, there is not one that’s appropriate for family members to see. If I’m not writing about one-night stands or pee pranks, then I’m giving advice to elderly men on how to date financially desperate women. And I’ve just ruled out showing this one because I know someone will tattle on me to my grandmother, which means a month from now when my siblings are opening up Chanukah envelopes with crisp 10 dollar bills, I’ll be opening a package marked hazardous that’s filled with my grandmother’s old dentures.
My anxiety ulcers aren’t just coming from having to explain my blogging career, but also from having to spend time with my extended family. When I was little, cramming 12 cousins into 2 beds seemed like a fun challenge. But now that everyone’s grown up (and gained weight) it’s more like every man for himself — if you don’t get a bed or a couch, make yourself cozy under the kitchen table. And beds are nothing compared to the fight over the remote. So help me god if anyone thinks they’re watching anything besides 30 Rock on Thursday night.
For a second I thought that maybe I was overdoing the stress and exaggerating the whole situation. But then my mom just called and gave me the annual lecture about not going out of my way to make my sister cry this year and I realized that I might be better off spending the holiday in my apt — TV remote and bed to myself.