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Thanksgiving Is Straight-Up Trash. Here's Why.

Have you ever seen Penn Station on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving? It's like that scene from, multiplied by that scene from, divided by your happiness and raised to the power of eleventy-bajillion grumblingrs.
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I think Thanksgiving sucks major butt. This makes me unpopular, because most people (including you, probably) think this particular holiday sucks minimal butt, or perhaps even no butt at all. Well, everyone is wrong. I am right. This nonsensical cholesterol festival has to go -- not because the only thing larger than America's obesity rates are Americans themselves, but because it's hackneyed, agonizing and laden with anxiety-inducing obligation. In other words, The Holiday Formerly Known as Thursday™ sucks major butt. Here's why.

It's hard to schedule around...

Can I take Wednesday off completely? If not, what time can I totally check out on Wednesday afternoon? Do I need to be available on Thursday morning before meal-time? No one's doing anything on Friday, right? Is that a holiday too?

(This is an email to my editor that I copy/pasted into this story because he hasn't responded yet. But it's all totally relevant to my point, too.)

... but you're still expected to travel. Far.

Like so many non-native New Yorkers, I hail from somewhere else. Somewhere far. Somewhere called North-Central New Jersey. Have you ever seen Penn Station on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving? It's like that scene from I Am Legend, multiplied by that scene from World War Z, divided by your happiness and raised to the power of eleventy-bajillion grumbling Garden Staters. You could do one -- no, several -- murders in the middle of that seething horde of baggage-draggers and no one would ever know because it's Thunderdome in there.

Turkey is like non-alcoholic beer: it'll fill you up, but you'll hate yourself.

All this sounds like whining, because it is whining. But here's where it gets crazy: that unbridled sh*t circus is still way, Way, WAY better than most folks' Thanksgiving travel plans. Some people have to drive hundreds of miles. Other people even fly at this time, the most voluminous travel moment of the year. (Those people are masochists.) The point is, people go farther than I do, and it sucks for them. "During the six-day Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips (to and from a ­destination 50 miles or more away) increases by 54 percent," reports the US Department of Transportation. Translated into normal-person terms, that means "Why the hell do I have to cross half the country twice in under a calendar week to eat dry bird and drink with intentionally estranged friends?!?" Which brings me to my next point...

Your family wants to see you

No offense to people who don't have families of their own. That legitimately sucks and I don't mean to disregard your struggle to find firm footing in this ever-changing world. I am lucky enough to have a family, and they are beautiful creatures of light and truth who have supported my dumb "hopes" and "dreams" every step of the way. So no offense to them either. But everyone has their horror stories, and the reality is that, as different people, your family members have different interests. This is why you moved out of the house to begin with (if you still live with your parents, no offense to you either). So you may find yourself locked in an interminable conversation about the Middle East, or the price-hike on cauliflower at the local grocery store or worst of all: your hopes and dreams... and why you aren't making swift progress towards their accomplishment.

Wednesday at the bar: torturously awkward

Let's say you went home on Tuesday night because your editor answered your email and was all, "Sure, take the week, bro!" By Wednesday afternoon, you'll have spent nearly 24 hours in close proximity to your parents, which, for reasons outlined above, means you'll need a breather. And alcohol. Mostly that, actually. So you'll call up your high school friends, who have also returned home for this compulsory butt-sucking affair. But here's the thing -- you don't really talk to your high school friends anymore, and as it'll turn out, you won't really have much in common to talk about. Again: alcohol. So onward to the one bar in town, to participate in the only annual American tradition worse than spending eleventy-bajillion dollars on the defense budget: Thanksgiving Eve.

Your friends will use dumb hashtags, like #reunitedanditfeelssogood.

Thanksgiving Eve is the night that you'll run into every single person you knew for the first 18 years of your life. Baggage-draggers of a totally different sort. Obviously, the funny rom-com way of dealing with this would be, yet again, alcohol. But your life isn't a rom-com. This is real life, and in it, the bar is insanely, morbidly packed with all those horrible people. You'll get two whiskey-gingers over the course of three hours and realize you can't hear anything your friends (barely) have said. Then you will call your Dad to have him pick you up because your town's only cab service is pulling triple-duty ferrying home all the other people who had the exact same experience. This will go down as the darkest, most miserable night of your year. Yet, you'll do it again next year anyway. The alternative is arguing about Syria with your uncle, who was in the National Guard and has necked way more than two whiskey-gingers.

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