Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sometimes, I get stuck on traditions for the sake of them being, well, traditions.This is odd because I tend to do life in nontraditional ways. Not radically nontraditional, just different enough to annoy my mother.

The holidays also tend to stress me out. Mostly because of the pressure to fulfill the traditions. That certain dish. Nana's china. The crusty 20 year old macaroni ornament that must go on the tree each year (yup, the one I made when I had no front teeth). December rolls around and I am bombarded with peppermint lattes and a work schedule that certainly has not slowed down a bit.

We traditionally spend Thanksgiving in Los Angeles, visiting friends, going to the beach, and frequenting our favorite LA haunts. I moved from the east coast to LA right after college and fell in love with southern california. It was heart breaking to leave, albeit for great reasons. Our Thanksgivings in LA weekends have allowed my husband and me the opportunity to re-connect with the city that we both love, where we fell in love. A blissful tradition of the nontraditional type.

This year, we decided not to go. Lots of (adult) reasons - we just re-did our bathroom, we're going on a big vacation in December, we have a dog we love and don't want to leave. Decision made 11 am on Thanksgiving day. Now what? My one rule was 'no work' - none for him and none for me. So, we planned out our day - an afternoon movie, a cocktail at our favorite bar (The Artifice) and then out to a nice Thanksgiving dinner. Lovely, but secretly I thought a little lonely. What about our friends who make us watch "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" every Thanksgiving night or the cussing at the TV because someone's team is losing? Or seeing all of my friend's kids who are growing up?

We show up at the bar at 5:30 pm - the first to arrive. We get our drinks and starting yucking it up with the bartenders. They're pretty funny. It's our fourth year in Vegas.  As I tell them this, I can feel the longing for my little beach town and my friends. But, before I can start feeling too sorry for myself, I recognize the next girl who walks in - she's a friend of a friend. She's training for an ultramarathon and I immediately want to hear all about it. More people show up - hey! we know them, too! 5 hours later we are slightly tipsy and participated in a strongest calf muscle contest (yes, a calf muscle contest). A blast it was.

We left at 10:45 pm, realizing we haven't had our Thanksgiving dinner (or any food since stale popcorn 7 hours ago). McDonalds value meal never tasted so delish. A new tradition?