Saturday, November 08, 2008

My strange Thanksgiving in South Bend

I've only spent one Thanksgiving in my life without my parents or my (now) husband, Josh. However, in November of 1997 Josh was on tour with Aden and my parents were living in Uzbekistan. A college friend of mine--let's call her Andrea (that's not her name, but I honestly can't remember what it was; we were not all that close)--invited me to accompany her home for Thanksgiving in South Bend.

South Bend's about a two hour drive from Chicago, and I headed east with my friend and my foil-wrapped cranberry-orange bread on a blustery cold Thursday morning. She drove a rusty old 1985 Toyota van and her kitten came with us, curled up on my lap or on the dashboard. Her van made the most distinctive sound as we rode as she had pebbly snow tires on them, something that was apparently illegal in Chicago but that she got away with because her car was registered in Indiana.

Her parents--or was it her dad and her stepmom?--lived in a nice enough suburban house, but what I remember most about the trip was that the turkey was smoked in the backyard, her mom required us to be totally silent as she worked on a massage therapy client in the living room and we followed up our Thanksgiving dinner with a late night visit to a local nightclub. A local gay nightclub. In South Bend. It was not a particularly happening scene.

I think we rounded out the weekend with some Black Friday shopping at the local mall, but I don't remember too much except for feeling uncomfortable and out of place imposing as I was on such an intimate family Thankgiving with a classmate I liked but honestly didn't know terribly well.

Although this post isn't exactly about my Thanksgiving cooking adventures, it was inspired by the Parent Bloggers Network Butterball Blog Blast.