Thanksgiving is here, which means that the sudden onslaught of hometown holiday commitments is just around the corner. When you’re home for the holidays, the only thing that’s more inevitable than binge-eating cookies while contemplating passive-aggressive commentary from your aunts about your love life (thanks a lot, Aunt Susie) is finding yourself face to face with your ex at exactly the wrong time. Maybe it’ll be your high school sweetheart, your college boyfriend, or the guy you briefly dated during your semester off. Whoever he is, he’ll be there.
Your Front Yard
The biggest snow of the season has just hit your hometown, and you wake up at 7AM to the sounds of your father screaming at you to come help him shovel. With your suitcase full of clothing that is ill-equipped to deal with this kind of task, you rummage through your house in search of proper attire: Your brother’s stained university sweatshirt, your sister’s old ski pants, and your mom’s shearling-lined all-weather boots that are two sizes too big.
Once you’re blanketed head-to-toe in outerwear befit for a Yukon expeditionist, you make your way outdoors. About halfway through, when you’ve broken out into a sweat that automatically freezes, your ex walks by with his dog. He looks you in the eye, and you wonder if maybe, just maybe, you have somehow pulled off the ski bunny look. You haven’t. He’s shaking his head.
Sure, you’ve gained a few pounds over the holiday season. Who hasn’t? Still, you wake up one morning in the guest room with the willpower of a professional athlete. You put on your sneakers and head out to the gym. After about ten minutes, the reality of working out the morning after a huge family dinner hits you, and you decide that coming here was the worst mistake you’ve ever made. Not wanting to waste the trip, you halfheartedly sit on a bench and lift a two-pound weight with your left hand while nibbling a power bar with your right. You glance up to see your ex: slim, toned, and glaring at you. He’s shaking his head.
After a full week of your mother’s guilt-trip for not spending time with her, you decide to join her at the store while she shops for the next gut-busting family meal. While she loads her cart with butter, eggs, and cakes that look like Santa Claus, you decide to pick up a few holiday essentials of your own: the One Direction holiday album, tampons, eczema cream, and digestive meds to cope with your Uncle Ken’s Holiday Rib-a-Thon. As the two of you turn the corner, you run smack right into your ex. He slowly looks from your mother’s cart to your basket, and then back up at you. He’s shaking his head.
You’ve heard from a friend that your ex might be at the bar you’re going tonight, so you spare no effort in getting ready. Your hair cascades down your shoulders in perfect, tousled waves, your makeup is flawless, and your outfit is killer. You head out with your friends, and are disappointed to find that your ex is nowhere to be found, and therefore unavailable to weep at your perfect feet and ask you for forgiveness. Instead of getting hung up, you spend the rest of the evening getting drunk with your friends. Really drunk.
Around 2AM, just as your best friend has arrived back at the bar with your Taco Bell order and you’ve fully committed to five chalupas, you hear the door open. Your ex walks in, just as a glob of sour cream and shredded lettuce makes its way the front of your shirt. He walks by and offers you your shoe, which has fallen onto the floor. He’s shaking his head.
You wake up, roll over, and see your ex lying next to you after that crazy party your friend Tony always has the day after Thanksgiving. You find yourself wondering if the two of you were meant to be together: Perhaps your love just needed time to blossom? After all, the holidays are great at bringing people together. Just then, he rolls over. “Hey you,” he says while farting. “How about we go grab a Grand Slam at Denny’s?” You’re shaking your head.