Happy Strange Pandemic-Era Thanksgiving!

Taking stock of what you really miss

Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

My teeny-tiny turkey is brining as I write this. I have a Zoom in a few minutes with my in-laws, and have texted everyone I know to wish them a happy Thanksgiving. I’m still in my pajamas at noon, which feels very holiday-like; I’m not even pretending that it’s a normal day. We’re going to overeat outside, at a six-foot distance, with a scattering of friends. That’s it. That’ll be Thanksgiving 2020, and it’s just fine.

This has been a year of doing without. For some people, it’s meant doing without jobs and security; for some, it’s been doing without good health. For everyone, it’s been doing without the benchmarks of normalcy, including seeing friends and family, and traveling, and feeling safe when you’re perusing the frozen food aisle at the grocery store. Normal has never seemed so alluring, has it? Every time I’ve been able to do something that was temporarily unavailable — getting a haircut, for instance — I’ve savored it like I’ve never savored it before. I’m grateful for being reminded that just living normally is an excellent thing. When this is all behind us, I hope I’ll remember how marvelous it is to have an ordinary, fear-free, friend-filled day. If that’s the lesson we take away from this insane time, I’m grateful for it.

Staff writer, The New Yorker. Author of The Library Book, The Orchid Thief, and more…Head of my very own Literati.com book club (join me!)

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