21 March –20 April
Friend: The pumpkin pie. Your gay aunt made it this year. It’s delicious, vegan, somehow fluffy? You don’t know. You know it has no dairy, so your IBS shouldn’t act up too bad.
Foe: The pet in the room. Whether it’s your grandmother’s Lhasa or your single-uncle’s rare cat, they’ve been studying you all day. They knew what you snuck in your cup earlier. They know that when the turkey was too dry to chew, you spat it into a napkin, and tried to feed it to them. They will also attempt to feed on it. Then they will drag that dry turkey to the center of the room, begging the question, “Who fed this small animal inedible turkey?” It was you. Damn you. Damn that small waste of fur.
20 April –21 May
Friend: The fact you read the New Yorker last week. Your pretentious cousins will be incredibly impressed by the fact you know the secret history of Eleanor Roosevelt’s second lover or how white SOHO patrons have ruined the Tum Yung Gai soup game.
Foe: Shirly. She knows what she did.
21 May –21 June
Friend: No one. The room is filled with snakes.
Foe: Everyone. Maybe avoid Thanksgiving this year?
21 June –23 July
Friend: “Family is Family,” by Kacey Musgraves played in your sister’s Subaru on the drive over to family Thanksgiving. You have accepted their inevitable disappointment. You have ascended from the inevitable bickering. You are one with the beige wall and “Lord, Bless This Mess,” decoration.
Foe: Catholicism. When your religious aunt says, “I’m surprised your mother let you wear that,” it will all come crashing down. You will storm out of the house.
23 July –23 August
Friend: Your cousin in high school who just got busted for drinking with their friends. You always hated your uncle, and their angst for their parents helps swallow the sloppily watery stuffing.
Foe: Quirkiness. Don’t drink the locally milled apple cider. There is a spider at the bottom of the jug, babe.
23 August –23 September
Friend: Your friend will Facetime you at 2p.m. You tried to convince them to come home with you for your Thanksgiving. They tell you about their family’s dysfunctional arguments, and you feel less alone, hiding away in the guest bedroom at your grandparents.
Foe: Your mom. She didn’t have her glasses on and put an incredibly inappropriate amount of cayenne pepper on the eggs, and now your cousin with Crohn’s disease is writhing on the linoleum floor of your laundry room.
23 September –23 October
Friend: Your sister. She bought a pack of cigarettes on the way home from the airport, and they will be the only thing bringing you out of your food and wine coma.
Foe: The football game that keeps on being turned up in the background. Why is your dad so obsessed with two teams from more than three states away? You know he’ll protest muting it before the prayer.
23 October –22 November
Friend: The warm buttery rolls that your great-aunt used to make for you as a child.
Foe: Most of the people around you. None of them remembered that it was your birthday a couple of days ago. I mean, you went to your cousin Callie’s graduation in Tuscaloosa, which took five hours that you will never get back, and they didn’t even post an Instagram story? Start forming hate tweets directed at them in your notes app.
23 November –22 December
Friend: The color of the carpet in the garage. It’s so beige, they won’t notice right?
Foe: The extended family group chat. From your stepmom, “Hey guys! We were so blessed to have y’all over for Thanksgiving! We just wanted to ask if anyone knew about the stain and broken glass in our garage? It smells like a skunk! Love y’all!”
22 December –20 January
Friend: Your bed covers. You turned down all invitations today, and you get to have a simple, non-Thanksgiving Day.
Foe: The burning sensation to start a fight. Hop on Twitter. Find an ignorant man wearing an indigenous war bonnet. Light up their notifications. Maybe finding their mom’s employer is a step too far.
20 January –19 February
Friend: The pictures of you and your siblings and your old dog in the family photo album. Did everyone always get along this well?
Foe: The cherry pie. It tastes like rat poison was added, and you can’t shake the feeling it was done intentionally. Everyone knows it was your favorite dessert growing up. Your vision blurs. Wait, wasn’t it Cynthia who made it this year? You hear her laugh as you lose consciousness.
19 February –21 March
Friend: You step-brother. He comes out to you the day before Thanksgiving, and he says he appreciates how safe you make him feel. Everything is going to be ok.
Foe: The feeling you get when you check Instagram later. You love how close you and your brother have gotten, but why would he post that picture of you? You now know how Demi Lovato feels about Poot. Is it rude to untag?