Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Why I Worked Thanksgiving

I’ve mentioned a few times in this blog and elsewhere that despite liking what I do, I do often feel a grind on my job. I won’t belabor that point further. I think you probably get it if you’re one of my faithful blog readers (all four of you).

I worked Thanksgiving this year. When you’re a reporter, you really can’t count on having the day off for every holiday. Since I haven’t put much time in (I’m actually just through my first year at the Mercury, no longer a rookie as of a week ago) I really don’t count on having off for more than half the holidays that a traditional 9-5 guy in an office might expect.

This year, I made sure to volunteer to work over Thanksgiving.

The reason for that was two of my best friends were getting married the weekend of Thanksgiving in their hometown in southern Minnesota. Everyone from our usual crew at the University of Wisconsin was getting back together.

 Sadly, we can never get back together at this bar, though. Why, oh why, did you have to go, Brothers?

I’ve lived in the Philadelphia area my whole life. I’m very tight with my parents and my two sisters. My grandmother lived with us and functioned as an extra mother for the first half of  my life. 

I’ve always had a very strong sense of family.

I chose to go to the University of Wisconsin for many reasons, but two stood out as deciding factors: one was the fact that it has a top-level journalism school and the other was that I wanted to try something different, to try a grand new adventure and see if I could make it starting from scratch.

Heading to Madison was the first time in my life that I was completely alone. I knew no one. After spending approximately 18 years with it, I had distanced myself about 900 miles from my support network that not only included my family but friends I’d known as long as kindergarten in some cases.

As things progressed, the core group of friends I made at Wisconsin became a new family. Of course, we did the things any college kid does: partied together, drank together, took compromising photos of each other.

 The night this was taken is also known as "The Night Sondra Can't Be President Anymore" 
because of one or two of those aforementioned pictures.

Really, though, the things that made my close friends in Wisconsin my family were the parts that really seem so insignificant but, looking back, make you smile or laugh or tear up (from laughing or otherwise), just like the family I was raised by and with. 

Those moments were things like watching Sunday football at the girls’ place while I waited for my clothes to finish drying at the laundromat, having a catch on the first, nice days of spring with the guys, helping cook a homemade pizza on a random weeknight, or sitting and smiling at a restaurant long after we’d finished our meals.

They became a group of people I would never have gotten through school without.

For that reason, I volunteered to work Thanksgviing, including the seven straight days that led up to it, including filming a playoff football game in which my hands got so cold I couldn’t feel the iPhone in my hands, including three late meeting nights.

It was a grind. Wednesday night, sitting in a bar, I realized I still had one day left to go after finishing my seventh and literally wimpered over my beer. It was pathetic. You should have heard it.

I was exhausted, spent, as tired as I’ve been in a long time.

But I would have worked 22 days straight, worked Christmas, New Year’s, Easter and the 4th of July because I was going to Greg and Rachel’s wedding so I could see them, Paz, Katie, Sondra, Steph, Maria, Leslie and the Joes. And I was going because they’re my family and it was worth every second I spent on the clock to see them again.

 Thanksgiving 2010. I'm the bald guy.
 Thanks for the break, guys.


1 comment:

  1. Awwww Frank! This is the best blog I have ever read! I miss you!