A Tradition Unlike Any Other: Telling Your Friends You Aren’t Going To The Townie Bar On Thanksgiving Eve

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What is it about going back to where it all started that makes us feel like we’re above it all? It’s not like we have it fully figured out…and yet I go back to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving and all of a sudden I get some false sense of superiority over everyone else.

You’ve been telling your high school buddies since last week that you wouldn’t be caught dead in the bar that every kid from your podunk town hits up the night before Thanksgiving. It’s just going to be a bunch of kids from your graduating year who you hate. Lots of awful small talk and people exaggerating about what they do for a living.

You’ve been repeating the phrase “I’m not going this year. I’m just gonna stay in and maybe have a few bourbons with dad” like some sort of Buddhist mantra. And you can repeat it on the plane, in the train, or in the car as you make your way back to your parents’ house.

You can continue texting your high school friends in the group chat until the cows come home about how if they want to see you, they can come over and have a drink in your parents’ basement.

“I’m not going this year.”

You’re probably saying it at your desk right now as you watch the clock inch closer towards 5:00 p.m. And you think that’s going to work until you step foot back in your childhood bedroom. I’ve been a victim of this exact situation every year since I moved out of my parents’ house. Every single year I’d bullshit my hometown friends about how I wouldn’t be going to this shithole bar that is less than a mile from my parents’ house.

I’m too good for that, I’d say to myself. But every year like clockwork, I’d throw my bag down in my old bedroom full of sports memorabilia and a switch would flick. A complete reversal of what I said I would be doing on Thanksgiving Eve. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a flip-flopper when it comes to this holiday.

Texts piling up in my messages inbox. My parents going to bed at 9:00 p.m. and me sitting in my living room with my dick in my hand.

“Come on, dude, just come out.”

“Will you quit bullshitting? You know it’s gonna be fun.”

“Shut the hell up, Duda, quit being such a bitch.”

It’s a combination of text messages like those ones and the fact that I love drinking alcohol which always makes me cave. I also think I sneaky love seeing all of these people that I graduated from high school with. Many of them are truly awful, and yet I find myself getting a weird sense of satisfaction from seeing them once a year over this holiday.

I’m not too good for the townie bar down the street. I hate the majority of people that I see there, yes, but I’m not above going in there and ordering a round of shots for my friends. You’ll inevitably walk in with your crew thinking that you’ll turn heads but the reality of the situation is that everyone else who is in there had the same internal dilemma as you. Most of you made it out of that town you went to high school in, and it’s fun to step into a bar where you can order 20 shots for 50 or 60 bucks.

I don’t know why we see the need to pretend like we’re not going to show up at the townie bar down the street, but at this point, it’s simply part of the process of going out on Thanksgiving Eve.

Tell myself I’m not going to that one bar where the whole high school is going to be, only to go and have a fucking blast. Rinse and repeat every year until you’re 30. The only advice I can give you about this night is to try and be nice – this is some people’s Super Bowl.

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Johnny D

fashion icon. @dudaronomy on twitter. e-mail:

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