I found the work agreement from my first post-college job yesterday. A full-time professional position, $6/hr. That works out to roughly $1K a month. My first post-college apartment was $365/mo IIRC. Education debt was about four bills. I’m an old, sure, but this was during the Clinton administration. The more things change, etc. I used to have a physical ledger I used to track expenses (look the 90s weren’t a Dickens novel – there was some affect to the decision). I’ve discarded it, but last I saw it, several years ago, I stared uncomprehendingly at entries detailing weekends at the bar where somehow I got stupendously drunk off a $20 ATM withdrawal.
I wasn’t looking for it – I was looking for a recipe I had picked up at an awards dinner attended at said job (lest you think I have some bizarrely precise filing system, it was pure coincidence I located it, inside a plain white catalog envelope with the entirely anodyne descriptor ‘PERSONAL AFFAIRS’ inked on the upper right corner, sharing space with a 1994 tax return and the cover of a New York Post edition that covered the night police invaded my block — and apartment building — in the process of evicting squatters), one I used to make every year for Thanksgiving.
I remember the first time I celebrated Thanksgiving out of school. I was likely lamenting to friends about the unpleasant Hobbesian options of increasing already untenable credit card debt (see job, first post-college) or driving 800 miles twice in five days when they looked at me with the full force of adults in the world for the unimaginable period of three or four years and declared that Thanksgiving was not a family holiday anymore.
It was simple: no one foresaw the likelihood of escaping a family trip at Christmas until at least having their own kids (an option that seemed even more alien that not going home for Christmas), and the commitment meant one could take a hard line and make Thanksgiving about what, honestly, was more your family now anyway.
The scales, reader, they fell far and fast. It’s secretly brilliant. Thanksgiving is a much better holiday all around – the scheduling is always good, the weather better, and politics with be a drunken orgy of preaching to the converted like it should be.
I won’t pretend to have disrupted holidays or innovated in any way. For all I know, I was simply gifted knowledge that any decent adult would present to their newish peers. The point being: we figured this shit out. There is no need to go and complicate it. Save yourself the airfare, the TSA drams, and the racist uncle tropes. Don’t get all wound up and make a slightly less satisfying version of something that is already there and good. That’s what Netflix is for.