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 had been 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 and said, “If you ever invite anyone over for another holiday meal I’ll fucking kill you!”
Shocked, I 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.