What an odd set of days. Men with snowpants. An extra-day houseguest because of weather. Wifi lifeguarding. And a Thanksgiving that was truly memorable. Usually I’m happy to see family or friends and eat some food and not be working and reflect on the weird US holiday and the many origin stories it has. This time around something clicked more.
It was my Dad’s birthday. I discussed this odd birthday thing we have in my family on my site about nine years ago. In looking that up, I found that I was already concerned about superstardom, even then. “I have very real fears about becoming a net celebrity despite myself.” I had forgotten saying that.
I slept til 10 Thursday, got up played a few moves in some online Scrabble games and and called my Dad and had a nice long convo with him. Got dressed, fed birds, and headed to Forrest and Kelly’s house with my candied and spiced nuts beating Kelly’s mom and sister and her boyfriend by a little bit. We ate and drank and I got to get to know some of Kelly’s family. The older I get, the less I get the occasion to meet friends’ parents or siblings since our paths don’t cross like that except at weddings. This is of course more the case in rural noplace. I liked meeting everyone and I think I was a decent buffer to make the evening not All Family All The Time. I called my sister who was at my Mom’s house and talked to both of them and they had had a nice day. Kelly’s family left and we all hunkered down and did dishes and debriefed. Then we did some laptopping and I Skyped in to talk to some MetaFilter folks who were having a meetup/dinner in Portland Oregon. Everyone passed around the headset to talk to me and I showed them dumb videos of the exhausted pets and Forrest’s back.
I headed back to my house over non-icy roads and got in bed and chatted with Matt and Josh who I work with over at MetaFilter about some issues that had been cropping up all week on the site and really needed some attention. The holidays seem to bring out the best or the worst in people and MeFi has a lot of both kinds. We hammered out a practical solution to some things that had been vexing us and I was pleased to see before I went to sleep that our ideas had been mostly well-received. I chatted with my friend Sharyn who had a decent time with her family and we had a nice little “aren’t we doing well lately?” discussion. We both really felt that we had nailed Thanksgiving in a way we hadn’t before.
I’m not sure exactly what did it, or maybe it was just what didn’t happen. As I was getting ready for bed, putting on my pjs and crawling under 50 pounds of blankets in the giant quiet empty house I felt well-connected to all sorts of people all over the place. I had this real sense of feeling effective and pretty much in love with everyone which, if you know me, is not something I feel or say lightly. I stood on the porch and heard water melting off the house, or maybe it was freezing rain falling from the sky. I knew I was going to spend Friday like I usually do, in quiet reflection thinking about my plans for next year and, of course, Buying Nothing.
I’m wrapping up the day today with a bath and recording some banjo mandolin “music” and learning to use GarageBand. Tomorrow I have Big Plans with Big Books and maybe a turkey sandwich. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope yours was the way you wanted it.