Holiday: A Teenager Talks Family, Politics, And Turkey
My name’s Madrid Joy, and I’m a sophomore at Stivers School for the Arts. I like reading, writing, debating, and eating. Something else that my close friends know about me is that I hate Thanksgiving. Everyone always has something to say, like "Immigrants are lazy or that they don't pay taxes or why don't they improve their own country first" or stuff like that.
I think everyone has a memorable holiday story, and mine is about politics. There's a political divide in my family, kind of a mixed bag. We have Democrats, Republicans, and, I guess, Independents too. This particular Thanksgiving took place after the 2016 elections, and tensions were high.
November 24, 2016. Bowls of grapes, carrots, green beans were laid out. There were crockpots with Bob Evans mashed potatoes and mac and cheese, and of course the glorious gleaming turkey. It was me, my sister, my mom, my cousins, my grandma, my two aunts and my aunt's fiance. I don’t know how the conversation drifted onto politics, it always does, but this year was different. My Aunt Beth is a solid Trump supporter. Me and my mon during the election were Hillary supporters.
I don’t have a problem with having a well-informed debate. But my family can be kind of uninformed, people all talking over each other with “You know what I think is…” at the top of their lungs. Eventually, I got so tired of this. This entire time I haven’t said a word and then my cousin, Hyde, who is a huge troll, said something that really made me mad, something like, "Hillary should be locked up for not disclosing her private emails."
It was the perfect bait. And all I said next was, “Can you not say that because you sound ignorant.”
The next thing I know, my aunt is in an offended huff and is yelling for her kids and fiance. My aunt is so mad, and I thought, yeah she might just leave, but she takes it one step further, She pours the rest of the gravy on the turkey and hurriedly wraps the tinfoil back over it as my grandma tries to talk her down. My Aunt took the turkey on Thanksgiving!
Her grand exit was her one-arming the turkey, swinging the front door open and storming out. I’m a vegetarian so it didn’t even matter but it's the principle of the thing.
A lot of times when you're younger you will take whatever your parents talk about and whoever your parents are politically, and their ideas kind of imprint on you. And whether you understand those policies or those kind of ideas or not, you usually follow after your parents.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to see my family as regular people. Not these all knowing, all seeing, perfect beings but as regular people who have their faults and make mistakes. Sometimes don't like my family, but that's okay because at the end of the day, I love them.
Madrid Joy is a graduate of Stivers School for the Arts. Special thanks Leslie Rogers and Eva Maksutis of the Creative Writing Magnet. Learn more at the school's website: http://www.stivers.org/ Support for Dayton Youth Radio comes from the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.