New Thanksgiving Traditions
My sister is here from the Midwest spending the Thanksgiving holiday with me in Brooklyn. My girlfriend and I hosted a vegetarian and vegan no turkey day in her honor (and for our other vegetarian and vegan friends). Pretty much all of our unaffiliated female friends, meaning those who are estranged from their families for whatever reason or can’t afford travel prices to visit somewhere else, gathered at my apartment in Flatbush to un-celebrate Thanksgiving. Really we were celebrating each other and our friendship, a family of friends and friends who are family.
And this is where it got a bit hairy between me and my girlfriend a few months ago when my sister made her airline reservations. I told my girlfriend I considered her family. She had to go away and think about it—it totally freaked her out. I have always considered my friends my family of choice because I have usually, but not always, been on good terms with my biological family. And my friends are mostly here in New York whereas my bio family is more than 2,000 miles away.
So when the appellation and affiliation “family” came up, my girlfriend had to question just what it meant to have me in her life and where I fit into it. She admitted that she freaked for a lot of reasons: former girlfriend drama and trauma, her own family secrets and silences, my bio family’s acceptance of her and the fact that no other woman had accepted her into her family (broadly termed) so readily and so happily, and so on. So, she came back and told me I am her family, too. She was nervous, I could tell, and kinda shaky. It was a big step for her, letting someone get as close as family.
We had a menu of an array of roasted root vegetables, baked squash and apples and all kinds of accompaniments and desserts for this particular winter holiday. And thus, our family tradition, my girlfriend’s and mine, began.
Blogger Bio: Stephanie Schroeder is a dreamer, wanderer and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She likes to exchange apartments with artists and other interesting folks from around the globe and travel in search of new friends and singular experiences. She makes purple a way of life and also fancies green, purple’s complementary color on the color wheel. (stephanieschroeder.com)