(Or, more accurately: my thoughts following Thanksgiving break)

I went home again this year.

I always go home, because my family lives in Portland, OR, and because my family is very close, and because, in my family, we take food very seriously.

We had six pies this year, for 12 people. This may seems excessive, but understand that Thanksgiving in my family starts Wednesday evening and ends when the last piece of turkey has been eaten (a process which takes days, because we cook a turkey specifically for leftovers). In other words, we go hard.

It is always difficult, though, to switch back into family mode. I have compiled a brief list of Things To Remember when returning home (although I am moderately bad at remembering any of them):

  1. Although my immediate family may have taught me how to swear, they did not teach me how to swear That Much. I have taken to using Certain Words as punctuation, but I have learned that it is perhaps best to tone it down for my family. As it happened, at least four different relatives told me to watch my language.
  1. Many, many people asked me why I was not dating anyone. Someone also talked about certain things their psychiatrist friend and hypothesize about me accordingly (Hi, Mom). It so happens that the simpler, truer answers of “I don’t want to date anyone” or “I’m focusing on my studies” or “Did you know that the majority of terrorism in this country is committed by white men aged 18-45?” are not good enough in this case: it is best to respond by immediately diverting everyone’s attention to someone else. In this case, I turned to my cousin, female, age 19, at University of Montana, and said loudly, “You’re dating a Republican??!!!???” I have no shame about throwing other family members under the bus to save myself.
  1. There was an argument, actually multiple, about politics. I study politics. Many people wanted me to get involved; however, they only wanted me to get involved to blindly back them up or tell everyone else that they were wrong. The best response is to either point out analytical and logical inconsistencies on both sides—“That’s not how government works,” was one of my most used statements, along with my statistic about terrorism, seen above—or say, blandly, “I don’t study American politics.”
  1. Pet the cats.
  1. It so happened that this year my computer’s hard drive failed completely the day before Thanksgiving break. In a weird, twisted way, this brings me to my last point. I have a ton of work to do between now and finals. I have so many very very long essays. But, honestly, work is not for Thanksgiving break. Thanksgiving break is to relax (although Thanksgiving is not a particularly relaxing holiday). It’s to eat food. It’s to spend time with family and high school friends (okay, all 2 of them. The rest of the high school acquaintances are Avoided At All Costs). It’s to be grateful for the small pause—the breath before the rest of school.

Thanksgiving break is also to fix my computer