Every year William Mason High School’s student newspaper, the Chronicle, throws “Chronsgiving” on the last day before Thanksgiving break. Check out these photos and this piece I read before we ate. Click here for more photos on thescpn.com.
Thanksgiving does not exist at my house. The Thanksgiving task has long been delegated to my aunt, and each year the Sommerville clan treks to West Chester and arrives an hour and a half after everyone else. We are greeted with sighs of relief instead of hugs because my mom has the sweet potato casserole that just has to go in the oven, and once it is wedged between turkey and stuffing and green bean casserole, my aunt has burned three out of five fingers—but we take solace in knowing we are thirty-five seconds closer to dinner.
Meanwhile, I am being poked and prodded by grandparents, who insist it has been so long even though I saw them last week. I pass this time by devouring all the appetizers my aunt has prepared; in between mouthfuls of various cream-cheese-based dips and crackers, my grandparents will ask me questions about school, and I will respond with a default “good” to spare them the injustices of homework, tests, grades, and homework.
My brother can’t deflect attention because he is overseas with my dad, so this segment of the Thanksgiving episode can be quite lengthy. When the commercial break starts, I am left with my two boy cousins whose idea of a good time has transitioned over the years from pelting each other with Nerf guns to hiding in the basement playing Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Some years I follow them because I know I am supposed to “hang with the children,” but other years I attempt to finagle into the adult conversation only to receive the smiles that come with the realization I am too old to shoo away but too young to be a desirable pair of ears. The default questions about school return, but the forced conversation will be broken with the ding of the timer, and my blood will race at the thought of food until I remember I’m full from the appetizers.
But the prayer will begin and so will the assembly line, and before I know it, I have cleaned a plate of food and three plates of dessert. The bird will be tucked in stomachs and tupperware, and I realize these people—through all the family dinner awkwardness—will be the people that never fail to show.
And I think we are like that. We arrive to class late. We poke fun at each other until Charlie’s face turns beet red (or too many people look at him). We’re too old to socialize with any freshmen but Eric but too young not to waste class time on YouTube. But unlike Thanksgiving family dinners, there is hardly ever awkwardness, though there remains some omg-I-can’t-believe-E-mack-just-said-that-ness.
And I am thankful. We are thankful. Because we never fail to show—and because everything sounds better with “chron” in front of it.