Sunday, November 27, 2011

Being Alone on Black Holidays

My Thanksgiving feast - thanks Trader Joe's!

Did you survive Black Friday?  I know, it is hilarious to think there is a holiday about libraries being closed where you then you have to go shopping and spend money on silly things that won’t give you half the experience of reading a good free book.  I just got done reading Paul Mooney’s Black is the New White, and am now enjoying Myrna Loy: The Only Good Girl in Hollywood by Emily Leider, which was put on the hold shelf just in time for the long holiday weekend.  I read it while wearing $42 feather earrings that I got for $2, which is about all that trend is worth.

In addition to Black Friday, I also celebrated Black Thanksgiving, since I spent the holiday absolutely alone for the first time in ten years.  Instead of being depressed at the thought of being away from my family or having any LA friends to extend me an invitation, I used the day to do holiday activities that made me smile.  I watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in my PJs, cooked a full Thanksgiving feast thanks to Trader Joe’s having easy to heat pre-made side dishes, then headed to The Grove to see The Muppets, afterward sneaking into Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 (the only way to really make the film worth it.)  I even popped in one of the few stores that were open, Forever 21, and found a pair of black sequin heels for $6, which I then wore while eating leftovers and watching Lady Gaga’s Thanksgiving Special.  Exactly what the Pilgrims and Indians (Native Americans) had in mind back at the Plymouth Plantation.

Traditions are nice but sometimes being alone to create new ones is nicer.  Or your only option when you don’t drink alcohol, especially when last year’s festivities included living with a bi-polar roommate who at first invited me to remain in the apartment to take part in her Thanksgiving dinner (“What?  You are going to be in your room?  I guess you can come, as long as you move your boxes out of the hallway and don’t eat too much of our food.”), then threw me out when I found other plans (“I’ve thrown your stuff in the yard.  How could you erase the Barbra Streisand/Oprah episode on the DVR?  Don’t you know the whole world was waiting for that?”)  This year, I was just grateful not have a yard or any of my stuff on it.  True ‘Peace on Earth.’

I say being alone is a great time to spend with yourself, hopefully exploring the mysteries and excitement of whatever that day will bring, which may include cleaning your apartment or making new friends who might invite you to Thanksgiving next year!  Think about what you enjoy doing and go do it, with or without an entourage.  One of my most recent solo adventures was sleeping overnight waiting for the H&M/Versace clothing line.  I had nothing but a beach towel and some books to read, however my new friends in line gave me blankets, a sandwich, and hours of hysterical conversation.  It became less about the clothes and more about the experience of waiting to get those clothes…well, until those friends knocked me out of the way when the doors finally opened. 

The point is, the next time you feel alone on Thanksgiving, or the rest of the year if you live in Los Angeles, don’t wait for an invitation, just create your own tradition and then don’t invite anybody!  Also remember to be thankful when things don’t work out.  They weren’t supposed to because those people are crazy.  Barbara on Oprah?  Please, like only half of the world even have TVs.  Well before Black Friday, anyway.  Now two people own all of them! 

At The Grove on Thanksgiving.
Holidays are what you make them!