Friendsgiving by Ali Rouse Royster I was in college at LSU at the height of the TV sitcom Friends ’ fame. My roommate was my best friend since kindergarten, Kristin. Several of our other friends lived in our apartment complex too — the whole bunch of us would sometimes get together on Thursday nights to eat and watch the show on my big red sofa. I had a midterm one night during a big cliff-hanger reveal (Who was the father of Rachel’s baby?!), and most of our little gang did me a solid and waited to watch until I got back. That’s true friendship, you guys. Though, to be honest, it was easier back in 2001 to avoid spoilers because there was no Facebook or Twitter or even much texting, if memory serves! One of the hallmarks of Friends was the big Thanksgiving episode every fall. The first one began humbly enough with the characters’ family plans falling through, and everyone settling on spending Thanksgiving together with their friends instead. It gained momentum as the series grew, and everyone (not just our group) excitedly anticipated the Thanksgiving episode each year — they always featured celebrity guests and memorable moments out the wazoo: Monica with the turkey on her head! The trifle that tastes like feet! While it was not a conscious decision, my friends and I started having a sort of Friendsgiving of our own, but with much less cooking, while we were in our early 20s. The night before Turkey Day was basically a mini-high school reunion every year, with a sprinkling of college friends who were visiting for the holiday instead of making longer treks home to their families. I moved back home to Thibodaux after graduating from LSU (coincidentally, the same month that Friends ended), and our Friendsgiving nights out started to become more about house parties than bars, and slowly started incorporating real food. Once everyone started having babies it slowed down quite a bit, but now that we’re mostly getting the hang of this new season of life, complete with great babysitters, I’ve started trying to host a holiday get-together (last time it was more of a Friendsmas than a Friendsgiving) with our friends again — I’ll admit, I’m definitely a Monica.


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