This the second time I’ve been down south this year. This time I’m with my parents though. A couple months ago I was sucked into a family vacation with them. I say “sucked” because my mom guilt-tripped me into vacationing with them for about two months prior to buying my plane ticket.
I’m outside of Orlando today. Yesterday I was in Freeport, Commonwealth of the Bahamas. We took a 48-hour cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to the Bahama Islands for the Thanksgiving weekend.
I know I’m supposed to be Thankful for these sorts of things. I’m supposed to be Thankful that I’m an American, loaded with money, and that I have the ability to go on cruises on giant boats and eat and drink like royalty. But I’m not. Frankly, the whole experience is a little disgusting. At each meal you’re expected to stuff your face with buffet-style food. The majority of the people around you are drunk, upper class, smug white men. At every corner there is a another sale waiting to happen. Someone is trying to sell you a Bahamanian T-Shirt, a trip back to the islands next year or a condo in Del Rey. The music is loud and crappy. The drinks are weak. The people are trying too hard to have fun.
I miss Bellingham. I want to spend the long Thanksgiving weekend with a 16 oz London Fog and a list of books to read. If I need to travel I can take the bus. I miss the rain and the cold and the way people still smile at you when you hurry past on the wet sidewalk.
I don’t mean to get on the anti-capitalism soap box, but this Thanksgiving has turned into this same thing as Christmas: an excessive waste of money in exchange for a vain attempt at happiness.
This year I find myself Thankful for the things that I am without (and what a better way to express that feeling than through a blog?). I am thankful for the comforts in my life that I don’t express enough gratitude toward: my girlfriend, my 20-inch TV, the good cooks in my family, my parents’ loving personalities, their home, their dog, the city of Bellingham, Western Washington University (my school), the predictability of Washington weather and all the good people I have met this past year.