This story was written by Jennifer Fortier, The Maine Campus
We all know Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks. Whether the thanks is for a day spent with family or for the fact that time does not stand still and the day of hell must eventually end, that's your call. But a post-election Thanksgiving can suddenly mutate from a normal day of putting up with my uncles' banter to teetering dangerously on the edge of controlled insanity.
At the beginning of our family Thanksgivings, conversation covers normal topics - how all the kids are doing in school, who's gotten married or passed away in the last year - all the gentle stuff. After a few hours and platefuls of food, the conversation morphs into a laundry list of all the jokes my uncles have heard over the past year and saved just for the occasion. After eating a few pieces of pie and spending an hour lying prostrate on the couch, the night turns into a no-holds-barred contest of one-upmanship to see who can come up with the raunchiest, most un-P.C. joke. No subjects are withheld - their selections are racist, homophobic, sexist, 9/11-oriented, you name it - with extra points for utterly degrading anecdotes.
You might have guessed by now that the majority of my family members are elephant-riding Republicans. Our last post-election Thanksgiving was focused on the glorious re-election of President Bush. It was my first time at the polls, and I was understandably peeved, having voted for Kerry. I spent most of the day sulking and filling the void in my soul with mashed potatoes. After this election, I can only imagine what they'll come up with this year. Hmmm we elected an African-American who's been accused of being a Muslim, whose name is one letter different from that of public enemy No. 1 and who may or may not have worked with "terrorist" Bill Ayers. Translation? Goldmine. I can also guarantee at least five references to Sarah Palin and what they'd all like to do to her in the Lincoln bedroom.
That being said, you cannot pick your family. I have to admit, when I'm not busy being completely offended, I find them hilarious. However, this year my battle may be more than I am capable of fighting. I dread the ridicule that will ensue when I reveal the political miracle I participated in this year. I just have to hope when I announce that I was able to convert both my mother and their own dear brother to the Obama cause, they'll still let me have pie.