How To Make It Through Thanksgiving

This upcoming Thanksgiving week will be a long one and difficult, although hopefully it will not be without its bright spots for each of you. Some things you must resign yourself to now: you will almost certainly end up purchasing your own weight in electronics on Black Friday, if not being used as part of a human battering ram to entire the local big box store at 2:00am. You will do so knowing that the person selling you these electronics has probably been forced to sell his or her children as indentured servants to Wal-Mart in exchange for a bathroom break.

You will almost certainly be unable to resist being drawn into a terrible fight with those you love most over politics or religion or food; you will travel great distances in small containers to visit people you resent. If you cannot avoid a fight, remember to later recast your personal narrative in a way that smoothes over your own failings and mistakes. Wipe your memory clean of conscience; lie if you have to; remember things in such a way that you were always the victim and never did anyone wrong.

Everyone will, at some point, want to talk about Nicole Westbrook's "It's Thanksgiving" song, and you will have no way of stopping them. Over a third of the 580+ million pounds of turkey that Americans aggregate in preparation for Thanksgiving will be thrown away, even though turkeys are also more expensive this year after a prolonged summer drought.

However, there will also be consolations: there will be gravy, and gravy is not nothing. If you are very lucky, perhaps you will manage to avoid setting yourself on fire. There will even be a parade to watch, if you find yourself so inclined. Getting by will be enough.