Another Thanksgiving come and gone, and I've yet to sit at the big people table, but I get ahead of myself. You see, Thanksgiving has always been celebrated on my mother's side of the family. My father was the oldest of the three boys, and only one of them had a child, and he has since passed away (God rest his soul), and the other is a bit of a recluse, only available to you when he wants to be available. As such, it would have been a rather cozy affair.
My mother, on the other hand, was the youngest of 9 children, almost all of whom had children of their own. I, being her youngest child, am the youngest of the whole lot. Hell I have cousins who have children who are only a few years younger than me. These second cousins, or cousins twice removed, or whatever they are are even starting to have their own children, so these third cousins twice removed (does anyone know how they actually figure out these labels?), these gradnchildren of my cousins, are already coming. So I'm not the youngest person present, but young by my family's standards.
As such, I've yet to make it to the big people's table. At 24 years old, I'm still stuck sitting in a plastic half-chair, awkwardly eating my turkey at a table my knees don't fit under, with the sparkling conversation only infants and their angry young parents can provide.
Now my brother is only 2.5 years older than me, but he avoids all of this mess because he's married, which grants him some level of maturity, so gets big people table access. Even his wife, who I would like to point out is younger than me, also gets big peopple table love.
Now, as I've posted many times before, I was dangerously close to getting married at one point in time, and I as I contorted my body to fit on the oddly shapped couch that was by bed in my aunt's basement while my brother and his wife slept comfortably in a bed upstairs in the part fo the house that the central heat hits, I pondered how different my life would be if that had happened.
Would I be conferred all the legitimacy of an elder if I only had the social marker of marriage to do the work for me? I highly doubt I'd actually be any more mature. In fact, I could probably argue pretty effectively that marrying your college sweetheart serves only to stunt your emotional growth, but it seems like regardless of your age, married people are just assumed to be more mature and well-adjusted people. After all, they got someone to agree to spend their life with them didn't they?
So, anyway, I do't know if it would have made any difference, or if it would have even gotten me to the big people table, but you do start to wish you hadn't screwed up the one good relationship you've ever had, if for no other reason that it means you get off of the couch and into a real bed.