In 2014, a snowstorm took out power in parts of New England on Thanksgiving. Specifically, the part I was in. The innocent appearing snow globs that looked so pretty outside our windows in the morning had plopped their fat selves on trees overnight and knocked them into road and across power lines.
My parents informed my brother, sister-in-law and I that our relatives, who were expected to drive up that day, couldn’t make it, that we’d have to use lake water to flush the toilet, and that our showers would be ice cold or non-existent. Our smartphones had about 8 precious hours of battery life to be carefully rationed before they became bricks.
Still almost everyone was excited. My mom felt like she was on “Top Chef: Thanksgiving without power!” My dad is retired and loves a good natural disaster to occupy his time, and my sister-in-law and I were excited for our second-annual family turkey-trot around the neighborhood.
My brother, however, unsure of how he felt about being robbed of televised sports, was not excited for the run. He refused to race, and as an integral one third of the participants, this was cause for cancellation. For some reason he was unwilling to run in freezing temperatures on an icy road, dodging downed power lines with only the prospect of a cold micro-shower waiting for him. The fact that my sister in law made t-shirts, and I bought a turkey crown for the winner was not sufficient to convince him.
In the true-spirit of the holidays, we used a combination of pouting and shaming to force him to participate. He angry-ran the entire thing, sprinting away as soon we hit the “starting line” (ambiguous section of dirt road). My sister-in-law was left with the choice between keeping me company as the caboose or chasing after her enraged husband. I told her to run ahead, save herself. Five minutes in, my iPod battery died from the cold and I was left with the sounds my body shutting down to inspire me. By the time I finished the race, my sister-in-law was waiting for me in the driveway and my brother was not. We found him sitting in the kitchen, drinking a coffee and wearing the turkey crown. He claimed to still be upset, but the turkey crown says otherwise. So does the fact that he secretly told my mom it was one of his favorite Thanksgivings. So regardless of whether you OptOut this Thanksgiving or are forced out, you wont regret it.