If friends are the new family does that mean my friendships are suddenly gonna be plagued by long term grudges and awkward power dynamics?

A zombie apocalypse could’ve happened today, because I haven’t so much as looked out a window. After yesterday’s Thanksgiving extravaganza I had so much leftover food that I decided to make it my plan for the day. Literally just sitting around eating, watching things. It’s been the height of indulgence and I’ve finally cracked into a bunch of stuff I’d left lying around. Despite yesterday’s thanks given to my busy schedule, just taking the time to relax and stretch out has been phenomenal. I watched 22 Jump Street, 70% of Legend of Korra season 3 and played a fair bit of Magic the Gathering now that I can actually play online again. Most importantly I finally ticked using a melon baller off my bucket list. For years I’ve wanted to scoop perfect little balls of melon from its flesh and now I have a freezer full of them. Watermelon smoothies for all! Or me at least. It’s such a weird concept now to have a totally full fridge. I’m used to looking down at a jar of peanut butter, some kale, carrots and apples, eggs and half a bottle of soju. Now I have salads and cider and turkey, oh my.

I guess it goes without saying then that Thanksgiving was a success. It was a small but intimate group of 6. We cooked together, ate together, drank together. We tried mediocre wine, terrible alcopops/coolers and delicious cider/whiskey. Gracing the table was the turkey (which somehow came out fine, despite my minor freak outs), quinoa stuffing, a kale/goat cheese/cranberry/red wine vinegar (and other random things you don’t want to know about. As I said yesterday, my cooking style is generally throw in things that might possibly work and hope for the best) salad, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce (both the “real” and tinned jelly variety. It thankfully came out as a solid tin shaped cylinder), gravy, corn, green beans, and bread rolls. Dessert consisted of pumpkin pie (with fresh pumpkin/coconut cream and an almond crust), oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and home made banana walnut ice cream. So much food, we could’ve served 10 people with the amount we had. Instead the six of us feasted.

I couldn’t have asked for more. Like those nights you dream of, the laughs kept coming. We talked about our childhoods, weird isms we had, fads where we grew up, celebrity crushes, drinking culture, odd collections we had as children. People divulged their experiences growing up through parental separation. I found it surprising that I was the only one with parents still together, but felt humbled that everyone was so open and free to share this intimate, personal information. We discussed movies, music and general pop-cultural goodness. We each said many things we were thankful for (followed by a mandatory “cheers” and beverage sip. Them’s the rules) and decided that for us at least, friends were the new family. I actually have family here in Toronto that I’m close to, but I think I’ll have to make this orphan Thanksgiving my new tradition. There’s gotta be somewhere for anyone left alone on the outskirts. Nobody should be by themselves come holiday time. I’m only too pleased to be that shepherd, to give people somewhere to be warmed by company. So many people have opened their doors to me since I arrived, returning the favour seems the least I can do.

It’s weird, but I don’t really know why it’s been so long since I gathered people around. We have our flatwarming next week, another chance to have other friendly folk in my orbit. I’ve always had a massive tendency towards friend matchmaking and these gatherings appease this urge. Don’t confuse my hobby with setting people up. I just mean that I like these people and I like other people and I always have this intrinsic belief that since these people all like me, they might find the same qualities I exude in the people I surround myself with. Especially in Toronto, where everyone has their each finger busy in a different pie, people just have to find each other as compelling as I do. It’s happened several times since I arrived and all it means is that I’m opening up future opportunities to be with more friends. So I guess it’s kind of selfish, in a way. Man, I’m such a dick sometimes.

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