Not-so-Great Expectations

Column by Allison Borthwick, Opinion Editor

Thanksgiving is coming up.

You know, that one holiday the world just forgot about this year. The small, apparently insignificant day of the year between Halloween and Christmas.

What happened to being thankful for Thanksgiving? At least acknowledge that it exists before turning everything red, green and peppermint-flavored, people.

Anyway, as we all know, Thanksgiving is a time for family and food, but mostly family (just kidding it’s totally more about the food but shh don’t tell Grandma). With family comes great responsibility – the responsibility to look nice and act nice and pretend like your life isn’t in shambles.

And with great responsibility comes great expectations.

Expectation: get showered in compliments on how great you look and on how you’ve turned into a strapping young lad/lass.

Reality: everyone pretends not to notice you’ve gained weight from all the stress eating and that you’ve turned into a tired-looking, slightly-taller child.

Expectation: stick to your diet so the holidays won’t thwart your efforts to eventually look like a slightly slimmer beached whale. Like … a baby whale, or a sizable dolphin.

Reality: cover everything on your four full plates in gravy so the body doesn’t know what horror (pounds and pounds of glorious food) lies underneath. It could be a bunch of kale under there, as far as it’s concerned. Mystery is sexy.

Expectation: be able to tell your curious family members heart-warming stories of your blossoming love life.

Reality: smear so much food on your face that nobody wants to talk to you about anything, ever.

Expectation: explain in detail your post-graduation plans so eloquently that people get misty-eyed and beg you to write a memoir once you retire from a successful career of changing the world.

Reality: since the food-smear tactic apparently doesn’t work, sneak off with the entire pot of mashed potatoes and lock yourself in the car until your parents drive you home.

Expectation: eat only one piece of pie.

Reality: tell people all the pies were stolen by pie bandits (you) and yell out “THANKS, OBAMA!” which will inevitably spark a heated political discussion – the perfect distraction for all the pie-eating you’re about to do. Because self-control is a conspiracy theory crafted by aliens.

Expectation: be an emotionally-stable adult who thrives in social settings.

Reality: be literally everything but that and hope for the best.

All jokes aside, the holiday season really, truly is great for a lot of reasons.

Family is everything, and so is food – it’s a win-win.

There’s going to be drama. Some of it will likely be uncomfortable. Trying to talk about yourself and your life is always bizarre. But, in the end, family (and food) will always be there for you.

Now go out there and enjoy the short break we have before finals.

I hope all your gravy-filled dreams come true.