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COLUMN: Reflections on past Thanksgivings
Guest Column

COLUMN: Reflections on past Thanksgivings

Robyn Lynne Benjamin

Robyn Lynne Benjamin

My memories of Thanksgiving are about my family and friends coming together to join in an American tradition. Each of my most memorable Thanksgiving celebrations has been unique from the others.

In 1987, my parents, brother and I attended Thanksgiving dinner with our family friends. After dessert, I was coaxed into going to see the movie, "Fatal Attraction," with my brother, Lee, and friends, Sarah and Elliott. The movie had just been released, and I had no idea what the storyline was about. This Thanksgiving Day was scarier than most Halloweens. In the middle of the movie, there was something unfamiliar boiling on the stovetop. After the bathroom shower scene, I was afraid of large knives for over a month! I encourage you to rent this well-acted drama, but please do not invite me to watch it with you!

I remember the Thanksgiving weekend that my friends and I "braved" Atlanta's Black Friday at Lenox Square shopping mall. I needed to shop for a cocktail dress. The following evening, while at my friend Lori's wedding reception, I caught her bridal bouquet! The next year, right after Thanksgiving, my boyfriend asked me to marry him.

Far away from our families in North Carolina, my (former) husband and I lost electricity in our apartment in River Ridge, Louisiana. We got dressed up by flashlight and went to Thanksgiving dinner by candlelight at the extraordinary restaurant, "Commander's Palace," in New Orleans' Garden District. The food was delicious, and Southern hospitality was at its best.

Most recently, I spent Thanksgiving in the suburbs of Detroit with my family and my brother's in-laws. Needless to say, there was a wicked snowstorm that lasted throughout the weekend. The snow and ice elicited tension between family members Rosemary and Trish as Trish drove her sedan through the winter weather to P.F. Chang's that Wednesday evening. Two days later, Trish supposedly called for a cab to take me to Bloomfield Hills. I was invited to a friend's home in this posh suburb. A cab did not arrive. Instead, a limousine showed up for me in Trish's driveway. As the icicles lightly tap-danced on the outside window, I watched a vintage movie classic on the screen in front of me. When I arrived at Steve's home, the limousine driver got out to open my door. I announced, to the baffled family, "No, it's not Glenn Close, or any other celebrity. It's just me, Robyn." I was warmly welcomed with hot cocoa.

I do not know what lies around the corner for me this coming Thanksgiving weekend. While being safe, I hope to watch parades and football games on television and play video games on the computer. A relaxing weekend will be welcomed this year, 2020.

Robyn Lynne Benjamin is a freelance writer and photographer. She has enjoyed working with children and college students.

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