Bear with this writing prompt-ass first sentence, but when I think of holidays the first thing that comes to mind is, “Was that that Green Day song that I hated that everyone else loved?” And the answer is no, that’s Basket Case (I googled it.) The second thing that comes to mind is the fact that I’ve never really had a favorite holiday growing up, because they all equally sucked. And then the third thing that comes to mind is that “holidays” kind of sounds like “hollandaise” and then I start thinking about that episode of FRIENDS where Monica takes a beginner cooking class to feel better about herself, and she ends up impressing the teacher because she knows what a hollandaise sauce is. Which I relate to heavily, except that I can barely cook an egg, have never had more than 3 friends at once, and definitely wouldn’t be able to tolerate that much time spent with David Schwimmer without turning into a full serial killer whose MO is paleontologists.
There was always a suspicious amount of hiding involved during my family’s holidays. On Easter our family would hide baskets of candy, on Passover our grandparents would hide matzo, and during my teenage birthdays my parents would hide all love and attention from me. Each of my siblings and I also took turns hiding in the closet every year, but that’s technically our parents fault for having such mega-strong gay genes. Listen, three gay children don’t just happen by accident. The world is lucky that we’re all too unorganized to come together as a family to create a Mr. Robot style gay agenda pushing organization. Like fsociety but instead of the f standing for “fuck” it stands for “FROOT deserved more critical and commercial success.”
In high school I learned to properly navigate my parents negligence and stopped showing up to family holidays. Instead I started spending them with my friend Isabel, who was that girl in school that was good at everything but thought she was the absolute worst. She was secretly an actress, secretly a singer, secretly an athlete, and also secretly broke her window trying to kill a fly and then convinced her parents it was my fault. (To be fair, it totally sounds like me. Just ask the three doors I’ve broken.) She and I would link up for Friendsgivings with Yeliz and Gulsah, who would end up becoming two of my best friends and, together, were an inseparable duo. Like Batman and Robin but without all of the gay subtext and with more of an appreciation for high art and blasting Lana Del Rey between serious discussions about who the real villain of season 1 of the Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills was. (It was Kyle, by the way. Camille did nothing wrong.)
Friendsgivings became my favorite tradition that never truly took off, because one of us decided to move to the city without telling anyone (oops). Being surrounded by like-minded creatives that genuinely value your worth, intelligence, and process is total warmth. It’s the wave at the beach that hits smooth and sweet, the steam off of hot chocolate in a cold winter hand. It’s the feeling of pure bliss as you skip past Basket Case on the car ride and everyone collectively screams at you and calls you a killjoy as you cackle and fly off into the night. I highly suggest them to anyone considering giving themselves a break from their family for a year or two or seventeen. And I suggest them for myself as well. So take note, self. Do a Friendsgiving this year.
Ryan C. Robert is the writer of multiple comedy blogs, most of which are satirical and self-deprecating. He writes about his life in his personal essay series "Before Color," parodies cooking blogs in "Trish's Dishes" and posts writing prompts every single day.