Thanksgiving Tradition

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here’s one from 2017

My family has always celebrated Thanksgiving, but Christmas was always our big holiday. I’m always welcome at my older sister Janice’s house every year. She has a big house and we refer to her place as Holiday Headquarters. There was one year many years ago when I was invited to go to my other sister Gabrielle’s house all the way down in North Wildwood, New Jersey. Back then I was newly divorced, and I just didn’t feel like making the drive all the way down there. My daughter was little then and with her Mom and that side of the family for Thanksgiving. I was just happy that my ex-wife was out of the house and out of my life for that matter. I was looking forward to a day of listening to music, watching movies, and eating and drinking. I like to be alone. I’m a very social animal, and I get my energy from those around me, but I just wanted a day of sweet nothing and solitude.

I lived in Woodbury, NJ back then. I drove over to the local convenient store and picked up a box of frozen Ellio’s Pizza. It’s a cheap and tasty treat I have loved since I was a lad. The lady at the counter says, “I hope you’re not eating that for Thanksgiving!” I coolly replied, “Oh, no. My daughter loves these things. I always keep them in for her.” (a bald-faced lie)

That night I happily sat on my sofa watching some cool movies, drinking Ketel One vodka and tonics, and eating my delicious Ellio’s Pizza. I had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving. I was grateful to have a family that cared about me and most of all that little Lorelei was in the world.

So I joked around with my sisters about that day, and of course, they felt bad for me. They didn’t want me eating frozen pizza and drinking liquor by myself on Thanksgiving, but that’s what I really wanted to do that day. So it’s sort of becoming a family joke every year for Thanksgiving. It came up again this year when I declined my sister’s invitation. It’s not that I didn’t want to see her, but I’ve seen her a lot lately, and my parents have passed, so what’s the point? Once the main anchors of a family die, usually the children retreat to their own little families. She understood and we’ll all get together at her annual holiday party in December at Holiday Headquarters.

I went to the Midtown Diner and had a huge breakfast at the counter. Scrambled eggs, bacon, and french toast. It’s too much food, but I crushed it all and it was delicious. I went back to my house and did some writing. Lorelei escaped the clutches of having to spend Thanksgiving with her mother. She went to her boyfriend’s mother’s house. She’s a hard-core vegan and made some really creative dishes. I’m glad she’s happy and I’m sure they were glad to have her there for the holiday.

I finished a chapter and wanted to get something to eat around 4:30. I left the house and walked down to South street. Everything was closed, but I didn’t feel like going into Walgreens where I’d have to get something to heat up or bake in the oven. Then I looked to the left and remembered there was a new 7-Eleven a block away.

I stopped in and was surprised at all of the people in there buying stuff. Maybe I could start a little Thanksgiving club with them. They could come over with a load of 7-Eleven food and I’d supply the booze. I picked up some things and headed back to the house.

The city was deserted. Dark and eerily quiet because everybody was off doing their family things. I got home, went to my desk, and fired up an old episode of Columbo on Netflix. I poured myself a vodka and club soda. I don’t drink Ketel One anymore at home. Too expensive. I only have it out now in a martini, straight up with a twist. My current brand is Platinum X7 by Sazerac. A 1.75 bottle is $20. My favorite thing to mix it with is Polar club soda with lemon that I buy by the liter at Walgreens. I tore open the small bag of Lay’s potato chips. Then opened the box that contained the quarter-pound 7-Eleven hot dog, and spread mustard along its length.

Changed it up this year! Wanted to send a pic to all of my sisters but decided against it.

A man who can sit in a room alone and be satisfied is a man who has found inner peace.” – My Dad

 

 

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Women Can Tell You’re Insecure if You Do These Things

As we continue to have more complex conversations about what it means to be a man today, the more our old-fashioned ideas of masculinity come into question. In a recent thread on Reddit, women started sharing some of the things that they’ve noticed straight guys do that are meant to show how manly they are… and how these traits more often than not just betray their insecurities.

Feigning ignorance of things considered “beneath” them is a common one, especially when it comes to pop culture. “My slightly older coworker never misses a chance to mention he doesn’t know who Drake is or what Snapchat is because he likes to hate on the younger generation as much as possible,” reads one comment. “It’s super cringy.”

This lack of knowledge is almost always fueled by some form of elitism, and among guys often extends to an exaggerated ignorance of all things “girly.” As one commenter recalls: “I had a friend who basically had a whole performance to show how little he knew about makeup, nail polish, or clothing. I don’t expect people to know a ton about makeup, but pretending you barely know what lipstick is takes things a bit far.”

While such feigned cluelessness sounds silly, it can also be some pretty regressive ideas about gender roles. This is especially harmful if that aversion to feminine-coded things is passed down from parent to child. “I work in a childcare and there are always dads who get super insecure when their son wants something pink or girly,” said one commenter. “I got chewed out because one kid begged me to let him wear the pink pull-ups instead of the boy ones. His dad was so mad at me. Like I was trying to turn his son gay or into a ‘sissy’ or something like that. Your kid picked them out, not me!”

Perpetuating sexist or misogynist behavior doesn’t just let down the next generation, it also holds back the guys doing it, says one commenter, who bemoans the idea of men policing each other’s masculinity: “When they avoid something they enjoy (or would likely enjoy based on other things they also like) because they’re worried about how others will judge their manliness if they do. When they do things they clearly hate/resent because they’re afraid their manliness will be called into question if they don’t. Whenever they judge other men for doing things that aren’t manly. When they get irrationally upset at somehow being exposed to something “girly” even if by accident (freaking out about using the wrong shampoo for instance).”

Another misguided, toxic masculine idea is that being an “alpha” is all about domination and making others look weak.

“Genuine leaders don’t tear anyone down, they don’t try to make themselves look big either,” reads one comment on this topic. “People respect them for the way they act towards others and follow them because of it.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!