The Holiday Feeling Should Be Year-Round

The Holiday Season Was Just Another Ploy At What Family Should Be Year-Round

Why the holidays are an uncomfortable time for my family, and why the feeling should be constant.

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Our crisp formal dining room table was set like it always has been on previous 3rd Thursdays of November. Four plates accompanied by stainless cutlery and wine glasses had been dusted off and set neatly, the porcelain and glass somehow existing in a precarious way, even though they stood far from the edge. As the table slowly became decorated with foods like corn, mashed potatoes, and of course, a turkey, a picturesque scene seemingly straight from a Holiday Catalog was built.

But this dining room scene didn't reflect the dysfunctional nature of my family—an atmosphere that existed in the kitchen, apart, yet simultaneous in relation to the gleaming table in our formal dining room.

If our table were the cover of this Holiday Catalog, to flip the page would mean to expose the scene behind the steaming potatoes and honey baked ham. To expect a picture of a man, a woman, a boy, and a girl, standing with pots and pans and ladles, grinning as they worked to create a Thanksgiving dinner from scratch, would be to expect incorrectly.

Instead, my mother and I were sullenly taking turns preparing the pre-ordered and prepackaged side dishes. This meant dumping the chunked contents from plastic containers into serving dishes, then sending them to be nuked in the microwave.

My sister, who seemed to be conversing with the ham, occasionally took a break to help my mother and I out. What she didn't realize was that I had seen her ruin the smooth surface of the mashed potatoes with an impatient finger-scoop.

I complained loudly, gaining the attention of my father, who was busy preparing sparkling drinks in the plastic sports cups we often used. Harsh words sent us to opposite ends of the kitchen, where we worked on various unimportant tasks.

We worked in silence, with the hum of the microwave thinly masking the tension my family so often felt when we came together to eat. This was an attitude of ours not unique to the holiday season.

Due to our busy schedules, meals in my family often end with individual members preparing and eating their own food, sometimes in the quiet seclusion of an office or a bedroom.

But every year, we were forced by American tradition to sit together and consume a "lavish" meal at an awkward table. The conversation's foundation was built on our requests to pass dishes, a stream only sprinkled occasionally with shallow smalltalk.

"How is school?"

"Did you take the dog out this morning?"

"How is your father doing?"

To avoid conversation, I raised my wine glass and took a sip of the sparkling that my father mixed in sports cups earlier—swishing the juice in my mouth as I mechanically worked my way through the dishes.

I eyed the turkey, cornbread, and cranberry sauce with disdain. My favorite dish was the Chinese green beans my mother had cooked in the kitchen— the sole dish she made from scratch, and also the only one she seemed to enjoy too. As I tried to soak the dry turkey in the sauces left over by the green beans, I was reminded of a conversation I had earlier with my grandmother.

After complaining over the phone about my hatred for the tasteless tradition of a Thanksgiving turkey, I expected her to agree with me—that the iconic meal was nothing but a ploy to give purpose to an otherwise useless bird. To my shock, she claimed that because I lived in America, I had to follow its traditions. This came from my foreign grandmother, whose only daughter of 7 children was a 1st generation Chinese-American immigrant. I had expected her to defend my heritage, to maintain a stance that revered her home culture's foods over America's.

Whenever I visited Singapore, my grandmother always took pride in how she could cook an array of Chinese dishes that we couldn't find in America. Her favorite activity whenever we're there is buying bottles and bottles of chilis and oils only available in foreign markets, for my mother to bring back and use.

And the green beans sitting on the table were cooked in those exact chilis and oils. I wished silently that we had coated the rest of the dishes in the Singaporean sauces- it would make this ordeal slightly less grey.

As the plates of food shrank in size, the conversation dwindled with it. We ran out of common questions, and ate our pie in silence. At this point, I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted this family to be. Did I want that idyllic and warm flow of conversation, with laughter and pleasantries? Or was I content with our dull state, marked by plates of microwaved sides and a lacking turkey?

To my family, the holiday season is an unwelcome invasion to our pattern of cold and static relationships. We're not without affection, but the forceful sit-down to a meal we didn't enjoy created an uncomfortable cloud that hung above us.

Our saving grace was the pile of green beans that lay in the pool of chili, that somehow overshadowed the turkey as it became the centerpiece.

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8 Reasons Girls Who Love Tequila Are Better

Because if she can handle tequila, she can handle you too.
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There are all kinds of alcohol stereotypes out there but the one associated with tequila is probably the worst: tequila makes you crazy. But if there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that women who drink tequila are one-of-a-kind.

Whether it's loving or fighting, you'll never find anyone who does it better than a girl who just straight up loves tequila, and here are a few reasons why that is.

1. She's independent

A girl who drinks tequila is probably the same girl who has absolutely no problem telling it like it is. She knows what she wants and goes after it.

2. She doesn't care what you or anyone else thinks

Oh, you have a problem with me taking shots and having a good time? Well, get over it! Bartender, a shot with salt and a lime please!

3. Always dancing

Tequila is an 'upper' so instead of sitting at the bar doing nothing, let's dance! Let's get moving!

4. There is never a dull moment

Speaking of dancing, a girl who drinks tequila is always down for a good time. Whether it's going on an adventure or seeing who can take the most shots, a tequila girl is always down to party.

5. While everyone else is starting to get sleepy, she has all the energy

Like I said, tequila is an 'upper' so while the other girls at the bar are starting to feel groggy and sad, she's all over the place having fun and partying on the dancefloor.

6. She's stronger than the girl crying over a vodka cranberry at the bar.

Sad over a breakup? Don't go for the vodka... Tequila will make you feel better in no time! Plus you can challenge the hot guys at the bar to a shot taking contest.

7. Tequila is healthy for you

Tequila is a probiotic, so some tequila a day keeps the doctor away. Yay for shots!

8. She can hold her own when it comes to alcohol

Any girl who can shoot some shots at the bar all day and night can handle alcohol, which means she can handle herself too. You won't have to deal with her constant breakdowns and mood swings because she will be too busy ordering more shots.

Cover Image Credit: Whiskey Riff

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5 Things You Need To Know About Thinx Underwear

Those of you with a uterus, listen up.

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I first heard about Thinx underwear two years ago while on a subway in Washington DC. I thought the whole idea of leakproof underwear sounded a bit too much like diapers and brushed the product aside. Fast forward two years, my mom states that she is going to buy a pair to try and offered to get me one too. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, I decided to give it a try. I'm sure glad I did!

If you're not familiar with Thinx allow me to explain. It's a company that prides themselves on creating underwear specifically designed for individuals to wear during their periods. Looking at the reviews, everyone seemed to love them, and after trying them out for myself, I must say I like them quite a lot. Here are a few important things to know about Thinx underwear.

1. It doesn’t always replace your pads/tampons

Thinx may not replace tampons, but it can help cut back the amount you use.

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I learned this the hard way that if you have a heavy flow, you can't wear Thinx on its own. If you have a light flow, you could get away with only wearing these, but for us poor souls with heavy flows, I recommend making these your new period underwear. You never have to worry about any leaks, even at night!

2. They don't stain

Behold! No bloodstains!

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If you leak onto this underwear, fear not. Merely rinse them in the sink and then throw them in the wash like normal and boom! Clean underwear. No more ugly stained underwear to keep in the corner of your drawer.

3. There’s a bunch of cute designs/colors

There's something for everyone!

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One thing I must say about Thinx is that they have a wide variety of options. There are several different cuts, and almost all of them come in different colors options as well. They seem to be introducing new colors all the time, so keep an eye out for one you like.

4. They are super comfy!

These feel just like normal underwear.

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When I got my pair, I was worried that this underwear would feel like wearing a diaper or something else uncomfortable, but that was not the case at all! This underwear when you're wearing it feels like normal underwear, and while you're washing it, it feels like a swimsuit.

5. They donate to a good cause

Everyone should have access to period products. Period.

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For every pair of underwear that you buy, the company donates a pair to someone in need. It seems like most are sent to developing countries where women do not have access to proper menstruation hygiene products. In addition to this, Thinx was designed to help cut back the number of disposable pads entering landfills. They designed this underwear to be a more sustainable alternative for people with periods!

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