Guess who’s (not) coming for dinner

This Thursday, Rattlers will close their textbooks and sit at tables across the country for Thanksgiving dinner. 


Cornbread, holiday ham and Big Momma’s baked macaroni and cheese will be passed around as families gather to bond and give thanks for the things that mean the most to them. 


This is why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. But as an out-of-state student, traveling home on a short break isn’t worth it financially. Often, students whose homes are far from school end up spending this day with a friend or significant other who lives closer.


Now spending Thanksgiving with a close friend is one thing, but spending it with your love interest and her family is an entirely different story—trust me I know.


I made that mistake two years ago. 


Instead of going home for the holiday, I took my then-girlfriend up on her offer to spend Turkey Day with her and her family in South Carolina. Initially, I wasn’t worried. I had already met her parents when they came to Tallahassee a month earlier and figured everything would run smoothly. I was wrong. 


My Thanksgiving in South Carolina was like a black version of “Meet the Parents,” except with sweet potato pies and no Ben Stiller.


Unless married or engaged to be, couples should not rush to spend holidays with each other’s families. Spending a holiday with your boo’s kin is like a beauty pageant—you have to be nearly perfect to impress the judges.


This scenario is clearly more difficult for men.


As guys, we only have a few days to prove to her parents, friends, baby cousins and pastor why we’re worthy of the “boyfriend” title. And while the “just be yourself” theory sounds good there are too many variables that can affect the outcome of your visit. 


The biggest one for me was probably that we stayed at different places. At first, I was supposed to stay at their house, but that changed at the last minute. Her father didn’t feel comfortable with us sleeping under the same roof, so I stayed with her grandmother, who lived a few minutes away. 


Now I didn’t have a problem with this because, from a traditional point of view, I could understand his concern. He couldn’t control our hormones while we were at school, but he could definitely put some miles between us during Thanksgiving.


Not being able to fool around wasn’t a problem, but spending more time with her cousin than I did with her was. 


As college students, being away from the people you love for most of the year naturally makes you homesick. So when you get home, you want to be free to spend time with your friends and family. When you bring home company, however, you’re unable to do that because you’re playing host to your guest. 


This was a problem we faced. 


When you are the visitor, with no car and no knowledge of your surroundings, you become completely dependent on your partner. You move when they move and go where they go. I couldn’t move or go anywhere because she wasn’t there—or at least that’s the way I saw it.


This eventually became a topic of several heated “talks.” But we had to hide them, or at least we tried.


Gentlemen, if you and your lady argues a lot, the last thing you want to do is yell around her protective uncles and Suge Knight-resembling daddy.

But to be honest, her family was nothing but nice to me. The problem was that we were already having relationship issues before we even packed our bags for South Carolina.


I’m not saying we were as bad as Ike and Tina or even Whitney and Bobby, but with us arguing at the rate that we were, it was guaranteed that we were going to fight in South Carolina—and we did. 


Add in the fact that I accidentally dented her new car while trying to pull out of a parking lot and you have a Thanksgiving that doesn’t necessarily rank as my favorite. 


Let’s just say I’m staying in Tallahassee this year. For that, I’m more than thankful.