As this year’s Thanksgiving dinner approaches, UCSB sophomore Lucas Crane mentally prepares himself for what is likely to be the most contentious one yet in the history of his parents’ deeply unhappy marriage of nineteen years.
Crane recalls it being approximately five Thanksgivings ago that his parents last slept in the same bedroom together. “Ever since then,” said Crane, “it’s been the same routine of my dad passive aggressively commenting on how if my mom’s turkey were any drier it would taste like a reservoir during a California drought. And then my mom mutters something under her breath implying that if he doesn’t like it he should just get his secretary Ashlyn to cook for him.”
In the Crane household, Lucas explained that grace is typically said in a bitterly sarcastic tone, except for the portion of it which his nine-year-old sister Melissa traditionally speaks by herself. Crane admitted that he never really appreciated his UCSB education until coming home last Thanksgiving, when he realized he could use the excuse of a made up paper to avoid being in the same room as his parents the entire weekend. “Melissa, unfortunately, doesn’t have that privilege. Sometimes I really worry about the amount of therapy she’s going to have to go through just to block out all the fucked up things my parents spew at each other,” he sighed. “This morning when I ate some of her cereal she called me an ‘asinine bastard.’ I didn’t even know she had that kind of vocabulary yet.”
But the polemics don’t end with passive aggression and cursing, according to Crane. “It’s not unusual for a dish or two, and occasionally the family tortoise, Gregor, to fly across the room during heated moments in quarrels,” he explained, cringing at the memories. “Last year my Uncle John brought a bunch of bourbon as a gift and my dad got so drunk that he tried to flip the dining room table and we ended up spending Thanksgiving at the E.R.”
In an effort to lessen the chances of drawn-out screaming matches and broken tortoise shells (R.I.P. Gregor), Crane has offered to purchase the alcohol for the meal, intending to pick out the BevMo wine with the lowest alcohol content he can find. Though his dedication is admirable, Crane is fully aware that a slightly lower alcohol percentage will do little to deter the looming divorce, citing recent search history on his dad’s laptop for apartments in the area as compelling evidence.
While growing up in such a hostile home environment has taken its toll on Crane at times, he says he tries to look on the bright side and is holding out for the car one of his parents will inevitably buy him out of guilt for tearing the family apart.