I’m going to the States next week for Thanksgiving. It’s stressing me out.

You know how it is, right? If you don’t, count yourself lucky. The holidays are upon us and for many people, that means things are about to get stressful. I try to maintain a sense of humor about these things because stressful family gatherings are just a fact of life. Since I use music as a coping tool, I thought today’s post (which will likely be the last one until after Thanksgiving) should be about keeping cool… or at least maintaining a sense of humor.

In 1976, the late Andrew Gold penned this song about a “lonely boy” who grew up resentful of his parents and the little sister who came after him…

In all fairness, I read that Andrew Gold did not mean this to be an autobiographical account of his upbringing. Given that his mother was the amazing sing Marni Nixon and his father was Ernest Gold, an Austrian born composer, one would think Gold’s childhood was full of music. And how can anyone not be happy in a musical household? As one who also grew up in a musical household, I can answer that with one word… “Easily.” But anyway, from what I’ve read, Andrew Gold simply made up the song, “Lonely Boy” and added a few of his own autobiographical details because they were convenient.

Another song that comes to mind this time of year is by none other than my old friend, James Taylor (we’re not really friends, I just lean on him when I feel down…).

Here James Taylor sings “Raised Up Family” with Mark Knopfler.

“Raised Up Family” is basically about the joy of breaking free of family ties once one becomes an adult. I love my family, but damn, it was a wonderful thing when I was finally on my own. I’m sure it was for my parents, too. There’s a lot less squabbling when you aren’t physically close to family members anymore. That’s one aspect of my upbringing that I don’t miss… and I kind of dread when I face my mom and my sisters next week at our Thanksgiving celebration and my dad’s memorial service.

Actually, as stressful as I think Thanksgiving is liable to be, I find Christmas with my family of origin a lot more difficult. That’s why I don’t do them anymore. Red Peters offers a comical spin on parents who want to plan for a nice Christmas and instead get left behind…

I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this…

I think holidays are often laden with heavy expectations. We want them to be idyllic and exciting and full of love. We expect them to be more than just a simple date on a calendar. When they fall short, they cause a lot of angst, which can lead to fighting.

I have actually made some plans, though, in an attempt to avoid family strife. I have made a dinner appointment with my husband, Bill, on the night after Thanksgiving. Ordinarily, we’d be going to the big party my family throws every year, but since we will be memorializing my dad that day, I doubt I’ll feel much like a party. I’d rather be waited on, and in the company of someone whom I know won’t say anything to piss me off and whom I know won’t be pissed off by anything I say. That way, I won’t feel the need to sing this song…

Though in fairness, most of the people who currently irritate me don’t have dicks.

Or this one…

When the stress starts to build, it’s easy to start hating the world.

Here’s a friendly reminder to all of you out there in Internetland. Keep the holidays in perspective. If things get too stressful or weird, get in your car and take a drive. Remember that it’s just a day on a calendar and this too will pass. And when all else fails, indulge in something you enjoy. For some, it may be chocolate or a cup of coffee. For some, it may be a brisk walk in the woods. For me, it’ll probably be copious amounts of wine.

Cheers! Happy Thanksgiving!

The Dickhead Song [Explicit] (MP3 Music)

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