Thanksgiving Dinner… with a Side of Crisis

I can almost taste the mashed potatoes on my tongue, soft and buttery, a spoonful I want to curl up and fall asleep on. My dreams are filled with heaping plates of mac n’ cheese, and my head is filled with google-searched recipes of caramel apple cheesecake. Thanksgiving is right around the corner. So what? 

First of all, I’m aware I didn’t name any of the “classic” Thanksgiving mains/sides, such as stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, or (obviously) turkey. My thoughts on those? Mushy, out of place, yuck, overrated. Sorry, but it has to be said. The best Thanksgiving foods are, in no particular order: any kind of potato dish, recipes overloaded with cheese, and dessert. Hold the turkey leg, I’ll have all fifteen different kinds of cookies. 🙂

Aside from the fact that I am excited (understatement?) to have an extravagant home-cooked meal, Thanksgiving brings another guarantee. This one is much less exciting. 

Picture it. My family settles around the endless maze of tables somehow crammed into a New York City dining room. I have managed to fit my legs under the kids table, which I continue to sit at despite being nineteen. As I lift a beautiful, gleaming, pillowy heap of potatoes to my mouth, a relative comes to join me. How kind, I think, they’re coming to keep me company while I’m all alone with small children half my age. I am naive. We have a few lines of pleasant conversation, and I am reaching for my utensil to swallow yet another forkful. It all unfolds in slow motion. 

So, Callie, have you decided on— I’ve made a mistake, but it’s too late. A second earlier, and I could have cut them off, or at the very least, hid under the tiny table currently suffocating me. But no, they have calculated this moment precisely. They have timed it just right, with my mouth and heart full. I am caught off guard. All I can do is watch as the end of the sentence plays out, the mashed potatoes in my mouth losing flavor as it finishes — your major?

Maybe I’ll have my dad send out an email this year. Hello, Samton Family. Callie is so excited to see all of your faces! This year, she’ll be baking a cheesecake and requesting that no one asks her what she’s studying. Cheers! See you all on Thursday. 

In complete honesty, although I know what I’m studying, it’s still a stressful topic. I have fallen in love with the film department this year, with special thanks to one teacher who goes *above and beyond* to ensure that his students have an entirely positive experience with Film & Media Studies. It’s both an old and new interest of mine; although I’ve always loved watching and creating movies and television shows, it’s never really occurred to me that it could translate to career. My recent discovery of how much I love film has led me to searching for film-related internships for this upcoming summer. This is both my favorite and most stressful pastime. If any major companies are reading this and are looking to hire me, that would be greatly appreciated! 

So yes, I am both excited and a little bit nervous for the Thanksgiving dinner conversations. Although I sit at the kid’s table, it is becoming aggressively clear to me that I am no longer a kid. Rapidly approaching twenty years old, I exist in a weird limbo between child and adult. The technical term for that would be “teenager,” but I’m referring to something a little bit deeper. This Thanksgiving, I will sit at the kid’s table, simultaneously picking the marshmallows off of my sweet potato casserole and considering where I want my future to take me.