Last week, Americans celebrated one of many unofficial beginnings to the holiday season by getting pissed at each other and gorging themselves with a series of food items that no one in their right mind would ever have at the same meal, all in the name of tradition. It was Thanksgiving. (Real quick: I would sort of like to defend Thanksgiving’s title as the beginning of the holiday season. I’m pretty sure it was thought of as such before seasonal flavors were a thing. I just can’t remember back that far. I just know that people lose their goddamn minds as soon as the pumpkin syrup bottles ripen and Christmas is now a full quarter of the year.)
Turkeys were de-feathered and laid out as warnings for all other chubby fowl that we are the dominant species and we will not only eat you, but make a presentation of it, for we are civilized. Then they were jammed packed with old bread and seasoning, making it the holiday that is much closer to a real life horror movie than Halloween could ever be. And if your stuffing wasn’t unhygienically baked inside your entree, it is called dressing for some reason. But please don’t take any cooking advice from me, especially about stuffing because I am one of those assholes that wants raisins and apples in mine.
However, I didn’t get my fruit laden stuffing this year. No. For I didn’t have a “traditional” Thanksgiving meal. I went to a steakhouse. That’s right. I AM better than you.
The family meal was on the small side and no one really felt like cooking. Plus, the kitchen in my apartment is small enough to be considered a fire hazard by plugging in a coffee machine. Enter: The Pub.
My friends introduced me to The Pub a few years back and it has become place to go when I feel like I have too much money, so I better burn through it to make sure I wake up in the middle of the night panicking about finances, soaked with meat sweats.
The best way to describe it is a Westerosi great hall attached to a ’70s swingers bar. It’s less embarrassing than getting hammered at Medieval Times, but only because it used to have a Simpsons arcade game in the lobby. Plus, their salad bar is tight as hell.
One time I showed up around the fourth of July and they had giant bowls of shrimp out for everyone. Personally, I was offended because of my fatal shellfish allergy, but I’ve never been one to stop a good time. I just constantly wonder why everyone is always trying to kill me with their Lobsterfests and all-you-can-eat squishy poison curls. (They’re bugs. Shellfish are bugs and you can’t convince me that it isn’t anything other than prison food.)
A few years back, my family gathering was even smaller than this year’s and consisted of just myself and my mom’s husband. I made an offhand joke about going to The Pub instead of whatever else the alternatives were. (Wawa..?) Then it turned into a real thing when I found out they were open.
Both times, I arrived to find the place decorated for the holidays on top of it’s already overwhelming ambiance. It screamed, “Let’s see the serfs survive this winter! Pass the sour cream!” And as one who doesn’t like to so much as even acknowledge that Christmas trees go inside homes, I will tell you I loved every sparkly inch of it. Tie more balloons to my table. Hang shiny snowflakes from every ceiling tile. Now bring my a 12 ounce filet, because it is the beginning of the holidays and our yearly allotment of fucks to give has just recently run out.
The only disadvantage to a trip like this, as opposed to the standard Thanksgiving fair, is the lack of leftovers. For days after, people tell tales of the inventive ways they like to eat their quickly decaying, tinfoil wrapped scraps, while I had nothing left. Except for AN ALMOST COMPLETELY INTACT STEAK! That’s how hard their goddamn salad bar slaps. When all was said and done, my girlfriend didn’t get too deep into the meal she ordered and she found me later that night standing over the sink, ripping into it like I was a rabid raccoon. The fear in her eyes was so real.
Also, I don’t want to eat the same shit four days in a row. When my coworkers tell me they want to go to the same place for lunch twice in two weeks, I file an HR complaint.
The best part about all of it was that I was home early, with no clean up. Free to lay on my couch, watch movies, and dick around on my phone. Because whether you believe Thanksgiving is the beginning of the holiday season or not, the day before is the beginning of the absolutely batshit spending spree. Every time I checked my email, I had 40 new message alerting me to sales. I slipped into a fugue state and didn’t remember who I was, but evidently remembered my Paypal password. I woke up over the weekend, finding out I bought a vacuum cleaner and a poster of a vampire holding an airplane. I was on the verge of freezing my accounts, but settled on just not buying anyone else Christmas presents until my next paycheck. I was EXTREMELY generous to myself and I didn’t even have to leave my apartment.
There’s really no end to this. I was about to cop out and say, “For that, I am thankful.” But really, I just wanted to gloat about how I spent the day. I will also note that this does read a little like the worst paid advertisement in restaurant history, but it isn’t. I’m not above it, though. Not by a long shot. I spent WAY too much money on myself and have to figure out why I bought a denim jacket that is identical to the two I already own, so I could use the cash influx.