Remember that Thanksgiving episode of Friends where Joey gets a turkey stuck on his head? Or the one where Chandler’s toe gets sliced off? Or, possibly the best, the one where Monica and Chandler finally get to adopt a child? In my personal opinion, the Thanksgiving episodes of any show are always the best episodes, and last year I finally got to experience a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. Reminiscing on Thanksgiving in January is strange, but it was such a monumental occasion for me: experiencing everything from watching American football (which I still don’t completely understand) to seeing a turkey bigger than my head placed on the dinner table.
From my many years of watching countless American TV shows, I had some idea of what to expect on Thanksgiving. It was interesting comparing the different ways in which people celebrate and cook Thanksgiving dinner. Some people actually put the stuffing in the turkey as opposed to others who serve the stuffing as a side. My Indian friend celebrated her own version of Thanksgiving where she ate turkey biryani. However, regardless of who eats what during the actual meal, I think there is a general consensus that Thanksgiving dinner is one of the most filling dinners you will ever eat…especially after waiting the entire day to eat it. I couldn’t move for three hours after I had finished the meal! And of course you have to make room for dessert because, no matter how full you are, there is always a little more space for pumpkin pie with whipped cream. As a vegetarian, I was expecting to fill up on the side dishes and try and avoid eye contact with the glistening turkey placed right in front of me on the dinner table, but my friend’s mother prepared delicious pumpkin lasagna which was very Thanksgiving appropriate!
Our Thanksgiving was fairly tame compared to the ones I had seen on TV shows; nobody got a turkey stuck on their head and no dramatic family secrets were revealed causing people to stomp off in the middle of dinner, but it was definitely a memorable experience. As an international student, living away from home is especially difficult during holidays such as Thanksgiving when all your American friends are with their families. Being able to partake in the holiday with lovely people was a very memorable experience for me and made it easier to go back to school for the home stretch before winter break.