24 November 2011

Being an expat on Thanksgiving Day is horrible.

No-one slogs through the snow to get to your house because getting to your house requires a passport, a visa, and shedloads of money.

To go to a place where it is impossible to avoid the realisation that Thanksgiving Day and all the trimmings is not by any stretch of the imagination a priority in anyone's mind but that of the expat.

So you lie there in the pre-dawn dark wondering just what the hell you are going to do with yourself this morning, and when you recall that your bog plan of the day is to finish your husband's new pyjamas, and go to the Co-Op for a turkey not to be consumed until Christmas around lunchtime, you can become VERY distressed. Especially since you haven't had pumpkin pie with WAY too much Extra-Creamy Cool Whip since 2009.

Because when you lived in America you had turkey on Thanksgiving, standing rib roast on Christmas, and a baked ham on New Year. But when 2010 rolled around you were in the UK on Thanksgiving and didn't 'observe' the day because your soon-to-be new husband didn't get it that it was an important day for you, you sucked it up thinking Christmas would be different...but it wasn't, and a year later you really can't even recall what you had for Christmas Dinner...

I miss my son. I miss making Thanksgiving Dinner while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I miss the bustle involved in buying the ingredients for the perfect meal, too. I miss the way I started shopping for the meal in late September because I could never forget the horror (lol) of leaving it all to the last minute one year, and not being able to find ANYTHING two weeks before Thanksgiving-no kidding, there was nothing to be found, the shelves were bare of the basics. Scary.

The last real Thanksgiving meal I cooked was in 1995. My then husband ruined the next ones to come right up to the last one in 1998, and because of the things he did that year no Thanksgiving has been the same since. But hope floats, and I thought in my heart that one day Thanksgiving would roll around and I would be joyously bustling around again planning, then preparing, then serving, then clearing up after the meal and the day and the joy of finally having my family...

My son and grandson are in America and I doubt deeply I will get a phone call, and know that I will make excuses in my heart for that lack of phone calls from the only family I have left, and frankly right now nothing is helping my mood at all.

I am feeling very alone, unloved, unwanted, unappreciated, and obviously VERY sorry for my expat self today. And the sun isn't even up yet.



  1. Well, if here are any other transplanted Americans (US or Canada) in your area, maybe you could start a UK Turkey Day get together. If not, your hubby will just have to start humoring you on the day.

  2. I think the UK needs a day of Thanksgiving, I really do.

    There are other North Americans in town but they were all busy with their own plans. I ended up spending most of the day going all over town trying to find the last pair of neoprene wellies in my size, lol-found them at half price, now that's something to be grateful for!

    Then when my husband found me watching the parade on an online traffic cam, things 'clicked' for him. He went down to ASDA (UK version of WalMart) for a hot chicken and I opened some tinned and frozen stuff, and we managed a pretty good meal. He now really does get it, and we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving next year, thinking of inviting some friends.

    I hope you and yours had a perfect day, and the Clowder enjoyed their portion of Bird:)


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