Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Frat Boy: Thanksgiving - Part 1

I never went home for Thanksgiving when I was in college.

Relax, it’s not like there was some huge fight or drama. Thanksgiving wasn't a huge holiday for my family and since it was so close to winter break, it didn't make sense for me to fly home from Chicago to Seattle twice in the span of one month.

My freshmen year, my parents and my brother came out and we had Thanksgiving in Chicago. It was one of the coldest Thanksgivings in the history of Chicago and my brother and my parents have never let me forget this fact. The next year I went over to my friend Erica’s house and the year after well . . . that was an adventure.

There was a group of people from PMA and SAI who decided to stay in town for that Thanksgiving. There was a football game only a couple hours away that a lot of people wanted to go to so a group of us decided to have Thanksgiving as a college family.

Here was the plan: We would do prep the meal Wednesday and one of my best friends Kerry, would stay back from the game with me (neither of us was that into football) and take care of cooking the turkey and getting dinner set-up.

Kerry was an upperclassmen that I met through NUMB. She was two years older than me and was one of those girls from SAI who took me under her wing. Kerry took care of me like an older sister but not the "responsible" kind of older sister. She was the first person I ever took a shot (it was straight Southern Comfort). Immediately after that I had my second and third shot with her.

Kerry was one of the smartest people I've ever met in her life and while many times she would have great advise for me, often her responses to my problems were hilariously sarcastic. After my friend Chrissie graduated (who I discussed in this earlier post), it was Kerry who stepped up and wouldn't hesitate for a second to stand up for me.

Kerry was honest, almost to the point that it would hurt your feelings as a friend, but it was this clarity that taught me about the nuances of what friendship meant in this crazy place called college.

We decided to cook the food over at SAI so Thanksgiving morning I headed over to the sorority house. No one was in the house except for Kerry and I. Everyone either went home or was at the football game.

We put the turkey in the oven in the basement kitchen and went back upstairs to the living room to watch television. We had set-up the turkey in one of those self-basting plastic bags so we wouldn’t have to check on it as often but we figured we should keep tabs on the bird.

After an hour or so Kerry went to check on the turkey and she said everything was fine. Some time later Kerry asked me to check on the turkey. I whined a little bit not wanting to get off the couch but eventually headed downstairs. As I opened the basement door a billow of smoke entered the stairwell. I made may my to the kitchen and saw smoke pouring out of the sides of the oven and up through the cooking range and I panicked.

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