Here’s a Thanksgiving story that’ll make you want to hug your family: Years ago I invited my best friend to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner because, for various reasons, the rest of her family was unavailable. After hanging up the phone my father asked who I was speaking to. I told him who it was and that because she was alone on Thanksgiving, I invited her to our family’s house. My father then flipped-out on me and within his tirade said, “If you ever invite anyone over for another holiday meal I’ll fucking kill you.” I then called her back and uninvited her, telling her I wouldn’t be eating there as well. I left the house and my family of six – none of whom defended me – and went to the movies. To this day two of those siblings are still in-deep with my parents. Two of us escaped. Sometimes “the orphanage” is the better option. In the years since leaving both my parents and my similarly-mannered ex-husband, my Thanksgivings have been the most beautiful I have ever imagined. And I owe it all to me.