Good Morning World Wide Web! Today is an OTHER day! We are closer to perfection than we were yesterday. I want to begin by welcoming you to the best community on the web. A community where we can come together share, learn and laugh about an experience that is new to us. One that is challenging yet rewarding. If you are visiting and you are outside of the United States and visiting, this post will be geared towards a recent holiday celebrated in the USA called Thanksgiving. Here is a little paragraph history. If you’re familiar you can skip over the paragraph.
In September 1620 a ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth England with 102 passengers–an assortment of religious separates seeking a new home lured by the promise of prosperity and the freedom to openly practice their faith in the “New World” They dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, eventually passing the Massachusetts Bay where the “Pilgrims” as we now know them today settled establishing the Village at Plymouth. Only half of the plagued settlers survived the trip and brutal winter season. In March of the following year the remaining settlers moved to shore and were met by an Abenaki Indian who greeted the settlers in English. Several days later he returned with another “Native” American Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been captured the an English sea-captain, sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an expository expedition. This beautiful, forgiving soul Squanto taught the settlers (Pilgrims) weakened by illness and malnutrition how to cultivate corn, extract maple syrup, catch fish in the rivers, and avoid poisonous plants. He helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which endured more than 50 years and TRAGICALLY remain ONE of the SOLE examples of harmony between Native Americans and European Settlers. In November 1621 the corn harvest was successful. Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. The festival lasted 3 days, and is now known as what is celebrated today in the USA each years as “Thanksgiving.”
Every third Thursday in the month of November, Thanksgiving is celebrated with family and loved ones by coming together and having a humongous feast of all the delectable foods that one can imagine. It’s not always the pillar of health in homes, but the food is super yummy! The tale of 2 Thanksgivings is two separate experiences. My story: This year my husband and I went to my family’s house. My older sister cooked a beautiful meal and we spent the day eating, talking and catching up. I had my brother, mother, uncles, cousins, in-laws, friends and a few family friends present. There was turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, potato salad, candied yams, beans, pies, cakes, collard greens, and I’m sure I forgot some things but you get the picture. For me it was such a wonderful experience. I was in one of the most comfortable places possible. I looked in a corner on the couch as I’m talking, smiling & laughing at my husband who was glued to the football game and hadn’t really said much to anyone. My mind is thinking, “Is he uncomfortable?” “Did someone say something to him?” I walk over with my extremely loving, very supportive sister to ask was he okay or can I get him something? I just really wanted to see him enjoying this celebratory time just as I was. For this very reason, I have to be honest in saying that I have neglected going home to my family to “keep him comfortable” in the past. After all, I speak Spanish and I am familiar with his culture where I have to integrate myself. We live closer to people within his culture and family where we share a great majority of our time and holidays. I enjoyed the entire day. I was happy that I was with my family, but a little distracted by the fact that I can see my husband is completely outside of his comfort zone and it showed. At about 11:30 I kissed all of my family and pulled off with my husband and children to go back home.
The next day we decided to go over to a close friend of my husband’s house to continue the celebration. Around 6 we loaded up. My husband’s best friend, his child and mother, my husband’s other friends were all present. There was tamales, arroz con pollo, salchicha, pan. These are Latin American dishes. In Latin America there is not a celebration of Thanksgiving, but the people who live in the United States celebrate with the dishes that they feel most comfortable with. I saw the shell bust open. My husband was mingling, talking, eating, laughing and sharing. I’m doing so as well. I have to admit, I didn’t know whether to be upset with him or happy for him. He was a totally different person from the day before. He was in the place where he felt most comfortable. I’ve endured some not so nice comments over the years. In this feast, of course the typical, only American in the room, I’m paying for all the sins of the American White Race and Black Race combined. This is something that I have become accustomed to tuning out and times, but there have been other seriously rude interactions where I haven’t been so quiet. This was one of them. I’m listening to the great beauty of Central America, and how it triumphs that of America; how the food is better, the culture is better, the kids are better quality, my daughters straightened hair is so beautiful, and a myriad of all the other bias in this EPIC FAIL of an attempt to try to communicate with me and I guess make me comfortable. I’m completely convinced that it is the opposite. At times I wish I hadn’t learned Spanish so I could sit quietly in a corner and they wouldn’t talk to me. I could eat and imagine a world where racism, ignorance, and bias didn’t exist. By the last comment, my top was about to blow and I just said, “I don’t want to hear this” I’m almost ready to just scream at my husband, because of his happiness I’m miserable. I missed my family! Once everyone seen that I had come to my point of this is enough, they started to explain. I of course wanted to go into a full course of explaining to them a history of race and culture, but I knew I would be wasting my breath so, I left that part of my answering out. I finished out the night, eating and calming my frustrations. At the end of the night, we loaded up and went home.
As a member of a multiracial and multicultural family, I have to say that this is one of the more difficult parts of existing beside having children that don’t fit in one box in our social classification of hierarchy. We both were forced outside of our comfort zones to attempt to make each other happy, but ultimately ended up sad ourselves. I imagine that this is one of the biggest obstacles for so many others and this is one of the many reasons I’m creating this page and community. To share, learn, unite and succeed at being married and having children with someone who is different in any way from you. Tell me what your Thanksgiving story was like. I would love to hear your reaction or anything that you would want to share. Thank you for tuning in. Until the next time.