This was my first Thanksgiving away from home. Yeah, a big step in weaning the parents. When I first broke this news to my mom, she told me that it made sense for me to stay in New Haven. After all, going home takes an entire day and airports always stress me out, especially when the TSA paws through my underwear and feminine hygiene products in front of my fellow passengers. However, as the date approached, my mom’s response changed from feigned indifference to “I’m kind of hurt you’re not coming home for Thanksgiving. We’ll miss you, but I know you won’t miss us. You’ll be having fun with your friends, starting new traditions without us.”

She must be talking to Mrs. Goldstein again.

I wasn’t upset at all about spending Thanksgiving break in New Haven because I saw it as a time to catch up on all that I’d let slide during the weeks of midterms, such as watching “Family Guy,” responding to emails, and clipping my toenails. I did anything and everything I could to avoid work. At the top of my procrastination list was getting my hair cut.

Now, I’m not exactly a high-maintenance kind of girl. At home, I go to the same hair salon my grandma frequented, where I lower the average age of the place by about forty years every time I step through the door. But it’s cheap, my hair gets done and I brighten a few old ladies’ miserable lives.

I decided to try a salon on College St. The hairdresser first asked me, “Can I get you anything to drink?” No thanks, I’m ready to order.

She took a seat next to me. “Now what are you looking to get of your hair today?” Umm–a haircut? She proceeded to ask me detailed questions about my hair’s history and then recommended some options for the future. If only UCS were so helpful.

Haircut: check. Nails clipped: check. Research paper: _____

The first few days of break went up in smoke, which was doused by Carlo Rossi, and then all of a sudden it was Thursday — the day of Thanksgiving, the holiday in which we celebrate our conquering and destroying of the Native Americans. Or maybe that’s Columbus Day–

My roommate Laura and I decided to cook a full turkey dinner for Thanksgiving. When we told this plan to adults, they immediately responded with patronizing remarks:””Do you think you’re qualified to cook a turkey?” or “You don’t have any idea what you’re doing, do you?”

Now, I may not be the Iron Chef, but if most households in the United States of America can make traditional turkey dinners, why can’t two intelligent Yalies handle it? Or so I told myself.

On Thanksgiving Day, Laura and I scurried around the kitchen in a flurry of domesticity. Often when dinner guests see me in action in the kitchen, they tell me I’ve become “domestic,” which bothers me to no end. I cook to survive — like cavemen, not like June Cleaver.

At this time in my life, the thought of cooking for kids makes me nauseous. I do not think the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. If anything, it’s through his pants, or in an ideal world, his mind.

But back to the “Thanksgiving that Almost Wasn’t.” When the boys arrived for dinner, everything was ready. As we sat down to eat, the table beautifully set, our plates covered with turkey and stuffing, and classical music playing in the background, I realized something incredibly scary. This was exactly like Thanksgiving at home. Here we were, four college kids, resisting the path to becoming our parents, and yet replicating the very same customs we were brought up with. Subconsciously, we were craving our familial traditions. Until after dinner, when everyone got high and destroyed the leftovers.

After Thanksgiving, I decided to take a quick journey to the city with the pretense that I would do some Christmas shopping for my family. I was hoping the time out from New Haven would rejuvenate me. Instead, it just made me hate people — especially the people standing on the sidewalks in Times Square, preventing me from moving more than a quarter of an inch per hour. I haven’t seen worse traffic on L.A. freeways. Even once I managed to elbow my way into a store, the masses did not disappear. How can our economy possibly be that bad if there are so many people shopping?! I stood in a line for the dressing room that snaked its way across the entire perimeter of H&M. Thank God for the live DJ (yes, a live DJ in a clothing store!), whose persistent bass beat droned out the voice in my head that normally questions, “Do you really need red leather pants? When are you going to wear hot pink go-go boots?”

While in line, I turned my attention to the other customers. I saw nothing but the most problematic duo ever created: mothers and daughters. In front of me was a girl holding one sweater. Her mom was meticulously tracking the slow progression of the line and sighing in exasperation, “Do you REALLY want that sweater?” and “Don’t you think it’s not your color?”

Luckily the daughter didn’t put up with her mother’s passive-aggressive bullshit. “Mom, I want to try it on, okay?!” A fight ensued, tears were shed and the mother stormed off.

Nothing like shopping to bring women together.

Then there was the sixteen year old girl holding up a sexy red lace bra to her mom, who asked, “When are you ever going to wear that?” I was (this) close to telling her mom that her painted-up, bleached-blonde Jezebel of a daughter would have plenty of occasion to wear trashy lingerie, but I restrained myself because if I were to insult a girl who is no doubt getting more ass than I am, I’d just be called a jealous bitch.

The only happy mother and daughter pair stood behind me. Or rather, the daughter stood behind me and the mom told her, “I’ll get some coffee while you try that on. Here’s the credit card.”

Lesson learned: the most loving mothers stay at least a block away.

Julie Whitesell is not really jealous if you’re getting more ass than she is. Okay — maybe she is.