Don’t ruin holiday celebrations with questions

Carole Hodorowicz, Columnist

I can see it now: my dining room decked out in fall hues of burnt oranges, warm yellows and deep greens.

I can smell it already: homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, juicy slices of turkey and the subtle but delightful tartness of cranberry sauce.

I can feel it: the food coma I will comfortably slip into Thursday afternoon after the plates are piled up in the sink and the dessert table is starting to look bare.

My visions of Thanksgiving next week are so vivid I can almost taste it, literally.

But all of it shatters every time I remember that Thanksgiving, like every holiday, is the perfect opportunity for my family members, peers and anyone else who wants to ruin my break by ambushing me with questions and concerns about my future.

It started out so innocent, so simple. I still find myself wishing I could back to the days when they only asked me if I had a boyfriend. Sure, it was a little awkward every time I said “no” and they gave me a closed lip smile and asked my sister the same questions, but it was better than what I have to deal with now.

Now, that question has been replaced with an entire questionnaire. I’m sure most of you are familiar with it:

1. What are your plans when you graduate?

2. How many jobs have you applied for?

3. Have you had any interviews?

4. What can you even do with your major again?

5. Where do you think you’ll live?

6. Wait, what is your major again?

7. Can you even get a job with that major?

8. What are you going to do if you can’t? Go back to school?

9. Can you pass the salt?

You get the point.

I am so grateful and lucky to have so many inquisitive, concerned family members and peers who care about me and my future.

However, I would be much more grateful if we just appreciated the moment we are in.

I would rather talk about all of the weird phases I went through as a preteen (refer to previous columns for more cringe-worthy details on and relive my most embarrassing moments of the past than even hear the word “future.” I would rather pretend to understand and enjoy football, squeezed on the couch between all the overzealous members in my family while watching a game that

will never make sense to me. Hell, I would rather even talk about politics. I will take anything that doesn’t involve me or my plans for post-grad life.

Please understand, this request and this column come from the absolute deepest, most sincere parts of me: my heart and my crippling anxiety that grows stronger with every day that passes of my senior year of college. I can only say “I don’t know” or pretend to have to go to the bathroom and excuse myself in response to these questions.

Stop asking questions. Instead, tell me your college stories. Entertain me with your craziest memories from parties and console me with the assurance that you, too, felt as lost and pressured as I do in this very moment as I finish my final year of college.

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and neighbors: Please make this holiday season easier on myself and my fellow peers who also find themselves in college, struggling with a premature midlife crisis and just mind your own damn business.

Carole Hodorowicz is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].