fall break diaries: thanksgiving eve is an entire scene

thanksgiving week is arguably the best week of the year. you’re either off from school or have a light week at work, which means that there is a stupid amount of time to fuck around. this cultural phenomenon has created a tradition unlike any other. a tradition which has been deemed the biggest party night of the year. a tradition that slaps you with a massive hangover on thanksgiving day, which makes you want to throw up even more when your relatives start talking about donnie bombs and email-deleter-hillary.

thanksgiving eve.

the hype

thanksgiving eve is all about the hype. you’re hometown gets swelled up like a pregnant woman except it’s filled with your lifelong friends, ex-girl friends/lovers, and some psychos you want no part of; not an actual fetus.

personally, i’ve been a victim of the hype. there’s nothing wrong with it, except you wakeup the next morning with no money in your checking account and a stained uber rating that you probably won’t recover from. switch to lyft, trust me.

last year i was all about the hype, so i pilgrimed into the city with my friends and we bought a table at some yuppie club in philadelphia. it was a great time, except for the fact that some beluga ended up face down on our table throwing up chunks of god knows what. i barely even know the kid, but he single handedly repulsed the entire club that night and i think he’s never allowed back. i’m not sure though.

so sure, the hype didn’t live itself down like markelle fultz, but i still felt shafted. shafted that i paid close to $200 for a table and $90 for an uber ride back to the ‘burbs so i could wakeup in my bed and be somewhat functional on thanksgiving day.

everyone should experience the city on a night like thanksgiving eve at least once. then, make your own assumptions.

the other move: staying local

if you’re from a small town like me, staying home on t.g.e. can bring about more anxiety than the feds trying to ban juul pods. that shits scary. anyway, not everyone wants to stay local and for good reason.

one, nobody needs an unwarranted high school reunion. sure, it’s great to see people you haven’t seen in a while but do you really want to see “melanie from your 4th period calculus class that smelled like rotten cheese for 4 years” or “becky from english class that may or may not sell her body for money on girard ave?”

yeah, me neither, but it’s a sacrifice you have to make when sending it locally. it’s a true roll of the dice.

two, sending it in a small town like mine means your options are limited. scuzzy dive bars are great for certain occasions, but are they “fit for the hype” on thanksgiving eve? maybe, but you’re taking a real risk.

the upside is tremendous. you could see all the right people, get pleasantly drunk, and be thankful that you know every face in the bar. but the downside is the opposite extreme. maybe the hype led everyone to the city, and now you’re stuck in a dark-smoke-filled bar with 40-50 year olds that resemble donny from ted. fresh cakes, that’s the donny difference mothafuckaaa.

this year’s play: a local send

this year it was time for a change up. getting a table and going into the city is great, but i’m starting to get “big pop-pop energy”. big pop-pop energy is basically making the switch from going out to popular places and not returning to your home until 4am, to wanting to go home mid-way through the pregame (jgott). it’s about conserving your body’s finite energy for things that are important like sitting on your couch, eating everything, and gambling on chinese backgammon.

with big pop-pop energy in mind, some of my friends and i decided to send it to the local watering hole on thanksgiving eve. some were pleased with this move and some were not, but either way it was a weirdly-great time.

the scene at ob’s

ob’s is the local bar we chose to spend the biggest party night of the year. it’s basically a basement. for starters, they have carpeted floors (?), an upstairs pool-table-room that hasn’t been updated since bush (the first one) was in office and is mainly used for recreational drug use, and strange regulars that look like they want to hurt you.

so to be honest, the odds were against us. and don’t get me wrong, i love ob’s, but i wasn’t even 50% sure it was fit for thanksgiving eve. whatever, we were sending it anyway.

the pregame was a night within itself. our friend group was very divided on thanksgiving eve plans, so the squad was a hodge podge of high school characters i don’t interact with too often and some of the boys. it may have been one the of the funniest groups of people ever assembled and this was before we even went to ob’s. some shit at the pregame went down which i will not dive into, but it basically ended in a puddle of piss. that is all.

so, as the clock struck 10:15, ubers and lyfts were called. it was time to see what ob’s had to offer us on thanksgiving eve. there were rumors that it was going to be lit, and whispers that we had epically failed before the night had even begun. i was intrigued to say the least.

being supremely drunk on cheap whiskey, i took the first step out of my uber and swung open the bar door to a bouncer. a bouncer? at ob’s? what the fuck was going on? first weird encounter of the night.

then, as the bouncer told me i was okay to go in and the rusty door swung open, my brain started spinning 1000 miles per hour. everywhere i looked i saw a familiar face. and using the word familiar was vague because some of the people i went to high school with morphed into creatures that resembled demagorgons, and some morphed into actual real life adults. after 5-10 minutes of dapping up people i barely recognized, i realized i needed to get much more belligerent to cope with seeing every kid i went to high school with. you can only answer and ask, “so, what’re you up to nowadays?” so many times until you want to go play in traffic. jameson shots and a pitcher of rolling rock subsided that feeling.

so, the night went on, everyone got sloppier, and the anxiety went away. it was just a giant hometown send and everyone was invited. it wasn’t like some high school parties where you needed a fob key, 3 reference letters, and a handle of fireball to get in. it was a good old fashioned free for all.


the hometown send did not disappoint. i saw some funny ass people, had some very strange encounters that i will discuss at another time, spent $40, and woke up in my house with a glass of vino in my hand at noon. i’m sure venturing out into the city would’ve been a great time, but overall this experiment was highly successful.

so, if you’re sick of the hype and want to keep it simple, send a dive bar next thanksgiving eve. if you can’t stand the people you went to high school with, get the fuck out of your hometown and send something far far away.

either way, you’re due for a great fucking time.

-not, not true.



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