Happy Facebook, Everyone!


fb thanksAs today is Thanksgiving I have planned to settle in for a long day of bitter jealousy. In just a few hours my friends and family will be sitting down to a meal dangerously high in all sorts of tasty goodness.

For the most part, I love my life in Europe. but there are a few days each year when I am 100% bummed that I don’t live in the U.S. Usually these are days that are quintessentially American, and which remind me of home. These include Halloween, July 4th, Columbus Day, and Thanksgiving.

The problem is that on these days I know exactly what I’m missing out on. On July 4th it’s barbeques, burgers, and potato salad, on Halloween it’s trick-or-treating and girls dressed up in naughty (place any occupation here) costumes. I need not go into the wild times and insanity that is Columbus Day.

But I miss Thanksgiving the most.

I miss it all: the food fest, pumpkin pie, crazy family, screaming matches with football players on a television, pumpkin pie, the intake of alcohol to deal with suddenly being thrust into a room with twenty relatives, hiding in the bathroom for two minutes of alone and crying time, pumpkin pie, and then dozing in a chair with pumpkin pie so that everyone else (aka: my mom and aunts) have to clean up after 14 hours of cooking.

It’s beautiful.

This morning, in a pit of depression that comes from knowing your mommy won’t be cooking for you in the next ten hours, I had a Brainstorm. If I can’t enjoy all of the food pornography and family horror that is Thanksgiving, how could I enjoy it on a vicarious level?

And the answer came: Facebook.

It made total sense. What is Facebook filled with? Pictures of kids, families, cats, and food. So perhaps I’d pour a little wine (read: a lot of whiskey), eat a chicken leg, and enjoy the holiday warmth and cheer with a little scroll through my newsfeed.

Like any experiment, this needed a dry run. So this morning over my cup of coffee and bowl of cereal I let my scrolling finger bring Thanksgiving to me.

I get immediate results. There are pictures of friend’s children in homemade paper turkey costumes, lots of pictures of turkeys going into ovens for their long bake, and people in ugly sweaters. Jackpot.

Then I scroll further to see smack talk between fans of different football teams, humor-masked cries of help from exasperated mothers, and pictures of alcohol. There are even posts wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I sip my coffee and reflect on the success of the experiment.

My Facebook dinner table is even marred with the occasional political debate. At the moment that debate is pretty focused on current affairs. But some of the troglodytes in my newsfeed come out with beautifully idiotic comments that are reminiscent of everyone’s “special” cousin. You know, the one who comes to Thanksgiving carrying a case of Bud on his shoulder and wearing his NRA badge on his overalls. Gems such as “That’s accessory to a felon!” and “Them people is animuls.” or (perhaps my favorite) “These people are to stupid to no how the justice system works.”(blanket sic)

I basically feel as though I’m back in the U.S. Later on, I’ll have my drink and maybe hide in my bathroom for old time’s sake. And then I’ll scroll through pictures of food, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and rotund men sleeping in armchairs. Perhaps I’ll even read a few passive aggressive posts about family. Maybe there will be one or two about ruined turkeys forgotten in a wine-haze. Or maybe I’ll see a picture or two of the one horrorstricken twenty-something wedged in at the kid’s table.

And then my Facebook Thanksgiving will be complete.

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