Hey America, I’m Taking Back Thanksgiving
Hey America, Well, it’s been fun. We’ve had a good run. But we’re done now. No hard feelings, it’s just not working out. It’s not you, it’s me, okay? Well, actually it is you, but whatevs. If it’s cool with you I’d like to drop by your place when you’re at work tomorrow so I can get my stuff. Where’s that bootleg of Cold Play? It has sentimental value, so I hope you can find it. I also want my Gorge 2014 t-shirt back. I know I said we’d share it, but Dave Matthews played that year and I after you drove us into a telephone pole at Marblemount last summer, I feel I’ve more than earned my rights to it—think of it as a kind of Dave Matthews Doctrine of Discovery Claim.
Anyway, I’m breaking up with you. I know I said I was in it for the long haul, and I know we’ve been through a lot together, blah blah blah, but you’ve really crossed a line this time, and like, disrespected a ton of my most deeply-felt principles. You broke me, America. You broke us. Like HULK SMASHED our relationship to indecipherable shards. Like, you pulled a Humpty Dumpty and nobody’s horses and king’s men are putting us back together. Consider us toothpaste squeezed out of the tube. Done. Kaput. Take the cannoli.
I think you know why. But I’ll explain in the interest of transparency. Recently, when President Obama proclaimed the month of November to be National Native American Heritage Month, and then the very next day in an interview about the Dakota Access Pipeline and paramilitary police waging war against citizens at Standing Rock—stating that he was going to “just let it play out for several more weeks”—well, that hurt. Maybe it didn’t hurt as much as the mace and pepper spray, or the people who got shot with rubber bullets, but still, dude, so not cool.
Lately too, there’s just been injustice piled on top of injustice piled on top of injustice. It’s like a Russian doll of injustice. Or a Dagwood sandwich of injustice. A totem pole of injustice. Mass shootings, cop killers getting off, ominous clown sightings, folk singers awarded Noble Prizes in literature, baseball fans cheering the Cleveland Indians while actual Indians are being terrorized in North Dakota, and WTAF, America? Donald Trump winning the presidential election?! Really? Really? You’re twisted, America. You’ve gone coocoo bananapants.
So anyway, here’s the deal. In addition to my Gorge t-shirt, and my Cold Play bootleg, I’m taking back Thanksgiving. It was mine to begin with, you were just appropriating it to satisfy your need for some happy, go-lucky fairytale in the midst of crimes against humanity. Yep, the real Thanksgiving was FUBAR, a real shit-show, and sorry, but you’re totes culpable. You might as well start dealing with it. No turkey for you. I’m taking it back. Admit it, you never liked it all that much anyway, unless it was deep fat fried in the back yard, and that’s an obscene thing to do to poultry.
No more cranberries, no more stuffing. And that roasted Brussels sprout dish your grandma makes with the pumpkin seeds sprinkles, I’m taking that too. I’m taking back the sweet potato dish with the mini-marshmallows on top, and I’m taking back the mashed potatoes. I’m taking back the pumpkin pie, and the mincemeat, and the whipped cream. You can keep the green bean casserole though; if I wanted to stroke out I’d do better hooking myself up to a sodium and preservatives IV drip. I hope you choke on it. No offense to your mom.
In case you’re worried, you’ll be comforted to know that I won’t be taking your precious NFL Thursday games. The R&*skins are set to face the Cowboys at Jerry World this year, and I’m sure you’re completely over the moon about that abomination. You can even dress up in your redface and feather war bonnet and piss yourself up and down till Sunday for all I care. It’s your stupid day. You can do whatever you want. But I’m taking back the Thanksgiving.
Don’t worry about my share of the rent, I think I’ve been paying more, like way, way more than my fair share the last five-hundred plus years. But I’m doing you a solid and paying the cable and Netflix, because I’m the one who ordered it, and I’m the one who can’t get enough of Stranger Things and the Walking Dead. Yeah, sure, America, you did some things right, your television programming is tip top, especially Lost, and Black Mirror, but whatevs. You’re welcome.
Don’t bother trying to get back with me, or leaving me passive-aggressive messages on all my friend’s Facebook pages. I’ve already blocked you. Don’t Tweet me, don’t message me, don’t call. We’re done. I hope you figure yourself out and someday get your life and your country together. Good luck.
Yours Not-So-Truly Anymore,
P.S. I flirted with Canada for a while behind your back, but they’re not working out either, so don’t even think of looking for me there. I’ve moved on.
Tiffany Midge is an assistant poetry editor at The Rumpus, and an award winning author of The Woman Who Married a Bear. Her work is featured in McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, Okey-Pankey, The Butter, Waxwing, and Moss. She is Hunkpapa Lakota. Follow her on Twitter @TiffanyMidge
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