Last week was Thanksgiving. And thanks (no pun intended) to Facebook and my memory of my upcoming engagement anniversary, I sat in my fever-induced stupor and was able to enjoy the difference a year can make. Last year this weekend was the one in which I got on a plane…again…and flew to the US to come home. I had been gone for several months, working away (not much has changed, just the location in which the work being done). I sat on a plane thinking how the past several years I hadn’t had Thanksgiving at home. I had either been hosting a Friendsgiving – including a massive marshmallow incident which my homie was quick to remind me of this year, or being a vagabond and having friends’ parents take me in as a stray. Last year was the closest I had come to having Thanksgiving with my parents as near to the holiday since 2008ish. I remembering sitting on a plane, amped up to see my parentals, my puggie, Max, and wondering if my Mark was going to propose to me. I kept telling myself that if this was the path we wanted to take then I wanted it to be a surprise, but a huge part of me grew disappointed fantasizing about the endings which had me getting on a plane coming back to Scotland with my ring finger being naked. Last year, my mom cooked an amazing dinner, Mark came over, we gave thanks and enjoyed being around family. This year, I sat in Mark’s aunt’s house in Austin, surrounded by his family. My mom was at work, and my dad was probably watching history channel marathons surrounded by Charlie and Max.
Every year, or rather ever Thanksgiving, Mark and his parents venture north and go to his aunt’s house. There were 12 people, including Mark and myself, and I couldn’t help but wonder if this is what my future Thanksgivings looked like. Would we sojourn to the capital of Texas every November; would we take turns with Christmas between his parents and mine, what would happen when his sister became involved with someone. For me, as an only child growing up, not really speaking to my father’s side of the family, and not knowing my mother’s side of the family, the holidays were always me with my parents and whatever pets we had at the time. They were quiet, peaceful, filled with good food, love, and a time to be away from the hustle and bustle. I can remember as a child vividly fantasizing – almost wishing for – a huge family to spend the holidays with, just like the ones I saw in the movies. I enjoyed spending time with my parents during the holidays, but I always wondered what it was like with a huge family. Now, the wondering is over. I enjoyed meeting more of Mark’s family. I really enjoy everyone I’ve met so far, they are all wonderful, fun, nice, people,…people I can get along with. There aren’t any crazy aunts hiding in an attic (well, none that I found, anyways), we all sit around laugh, eat, play games, tease each other, it was fun. Of course, true to human nature, now that I’ve seen the other side, I wonder if the grass on the other side was always the greenest. I missed my parents, wondered if they were sad that I was at Mark’s family’s house. For my parents, especially my mom, Christmas is the big holiday of the year. This year, I will spend it with my family, and Mark will be with us. In fact, I am ‘in charge’ of Christmas; I’ll be doing all of the cooking, putting the Christmas tree up, etc. We will either see his parents and his sister before Christmas or right after, but we will spend Christmas day with my parents.
Of course, now that I think of Christmas, and the fact that December 1 is Tuesday, I’m remembering that Mark and I will be celebrating our one year engagement anniversary on December 7. Last year we were at a friend’s wedding, I was standing in the center of the room waiting for the bouquet to be tossed, I noticed that Mark and the groom were laughing, sharing a moment, and Mark just waved at me. Later I would find out that they were talking about me, that the groom was saying it didn’t really matter if I was going to catch the bouquet or not because I would be engaged soon. Later that night, Mark and I would dance, I would ask him questions about being engaged, getting married, I was nervous, he was vague in his answers, but confident in his heart that he was ready to take the next step. A whole hell of a lot can happen in a year. Let’s see what happens in the coming one 🙂