WisdomIsMisery wrote a piece called, Tis The Season: Time to Define Your Relationship. It was pretty dope, but then Patia decided to do a response from a woman’s perspective. It turned out pretty dope as well. Check it out.
Twas the Monday before Thanksgiving and all through my house, Wisdom Is Misery’s words flew from my mouth…
“So babe,” I said while snuggling into his armpit, “I read this article on the blog about…um…well, what do you think? Do you think the holidays define your relationship?”
“Yep,” he said simply, “I do.”
I sat in silence for a little while, and let my mind race. He hadn’t invited me home with him for Thanksgiving. But I, throwing my first official thanksgiving in my new home, hadn’t invited him either. We are still very new, and we haven’t met each other’s folks yet. So while I wasn’t ready to take that step myself, I half expected an invite.
So, I did what any woman who has her own issues, but doesn’t expect her boo to have the same issues would do. I asked a question.
He launched into a mini-lecture about the anxieties around the holidays: Do you invite your significant other? Do they invite you? What if everyone is crazy? What does it mean? Blah blah blah…
“There’s all this anxiety,” he said. “And then, the next day, it’s back to normal.”
“Is it?” I countered. “Are you sure?”
“My family is different”
He must’ve sensed my mounting tension, because he then launched into a soliloquy about some of the holiday tragedies that had befallen his family. While thanksgiving, for me, was all turkey and Christmas music, for him it was tense. There was darkness and a togetherness that I couldn’t understand. Though we’ve been dating for some months, it was clear that we lived in separate universes when it came to the holidays.
So I swallowed my lady balls and avoided a fight.
“Well, if you’re interested,” I said. “There’s always a place for you at my table. “
He kissed me on the forehead, but didn’t take me up on my offer. He spent most of Thanksgiving morning with me, but he left before dinner. He called to check-in before he ate,and we texted during the evening –specifically when Miles Austin got injured and later when the Jets imploded.
But here’s the thing: surrounded by my own family, and hosting my first official Thanksgiving, his attentiveness was exactly what I needed. I didn’t need him to be there, and my family didn’t ask about him. Everything was….well, perfect.
Sometimes we treat relationships like babies. We become like those parents who read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” We fret if, by three months, our “baby” hasn’t kicked. Is this normal? Is something wrong? Am I screwing everything up?
But like babies, every relationship is different.
So, on thanksgiving night, I sat with my family, drank winter sangria (my dad drank beer), and was thankful. I didn’t worry about the relationship rubric. I laughed with my folks, texted with my boo, and for the first time all week I didn’t worry about what it meant, or if things would change by Christmas.
And the next day when he came over for leftovers, I curled up into his arms, he professed his love, and neither of us asked what we were going to do about Christmas. I snuggled into his arm and listened to his heartbeat. If this is the week of Thanksgiving, I thought, I will be thankful for what we have, right here, and right now.
Tis the season to enjoy what you have and eliminate what doesn’t work.
And, ironically, boo was right.
The next day, things were right back to normal.
Patia Braithwaite is a Brooklyn-based relationship writer. Her work has been featured in The Coral Gables Gazette, Florida Inside Out Magazine, Yahoo Shine, and BounceBack.com. She’s currently working on a non-fiction book that explores the various ways men see God and how these views impact their romantic relationships. Check out her musings and more at: www.menmyselfandgod.com