I had intended to tell you about Second Thanksgiving, you know…on Thanksgiving…but then I got really mad at the stores that were opening up too flippin’ early, and I wrote about Black Thanksgiving instead, which turned out to be awesome, because then it made perfect sense when I ended up in the Chicago Tribune sounding all smart and boycott-y.
But Second Thanksgiving has a place near and dear to my heart, so I have to at least mention it. My college friends and I consider ourselves a family. We were mostly brothers in a fraternity (Alpha Phi Omega). Yes, I said brothers. Yes, I said fraternity. Co-ed service fraternity, in which we were do-gooders who became leaders and drank a lot together.
A year after we graduated from college, I decided (much like in college) that I was going to throw a party at Mark’s apartment. He had recently moved to my hometown and I lived with my parents. So I said that we were going to have “Second Thanksgiving” and history began that day.
My friend, Kevin told me, “We should do this every year. It’s better than real Thanksgiving. There’s no bitching families or whining or anything.”
I told him it was because we were the family that we chose…not the family we were born into. And it worked. 6 years later, we’re still going strong. Everyone brings a piece of the feast, so it’s a really fun tradition. (Although we’re sounding more like a real family now…Oh man HE’S here again? Uncle Albert always grabs my ass!etc etc…)
Two years ago, though, something happened at Second Thanksgiving. Something that I think you will find…amusing.
My physical therapist friend (who is now a physical therapist and not just a PT major), Barb, had just bought a house in the city, so we trekked in and had Second Thanksgiving there. It was a cute ranch house in one of those city neighborhoods with hardwood floors and a full basement. Perfect size for our Second Thanksgiving group.
Food was served upstairs, but the TV and football were downstairs. Obviously, you know where this is going…
So I had a full plate of food in one hand, a beer in the other, and socks on. If you didn’t know where this was going before, I’ll bet you do now…
I make it down the first step before my foot slips and bam! I’m on my ass covered in Thanksgiving dinner with a beer in my hand, crying.
A flurry of activity ensued.
“Are you okay?!”
“How’s your knee?”
“How’re your ankles?”
“Did you sprain something again?”
“Did you break something?”
“Of course, she spills food everywhere, but the beer is still in her hand…”
“It’s my ass!!!” Through painful sobs, I explained that I had landed on my right butt cheek and it hurt a whole lot. Like throbbing, burning, horrible pain. But the rest of me was fine.
Someone brought me a new plate of food. My beer was still in tact. And Barb brought me an ice pack and made me sit on it. It was fricking-freezing-Mr.-Bigglesworth cold. But I sat on it.
When I got home that night, I dropped trou and checked out my ass. Shades of purple, blue, green, yellow, grey, red, and pink painted my left cheek. The whole. Damn. Thing. I wish I had thought to take a picture of the art on my ass.
For weeks, this colorful array of sunshine on my behind graced me with pain whenever I sat down. Slowly, it faded. Slowly, the pale white Irish/Polish skin tone returned to my cheek. But for some reason the pain stayed. For a year. At the last Second Thanksgiving, my butt was still hurting. The hematoma was still there. I haven’t felt it in a while, so it has finally dissipated. But damn that shit hurt.
I really feel like the beer saved my ass. Literally. If I hadn’t been holding and protecting the beer, I may have fallen smack on my tailbone, instead of on my one cheek. The main area of pain was just centimeters away from my tailbone.
So thank you, Beer. Thank you kindly.