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Before my mother died we always spent holidays just the four of us. The few years before I went away to college my father forced me to spend the day with him and his sisters family. They always spent it in a resort in the Poconos. I don’t know why he wanted to go. The food was horrible and none of us got along very well. We stayed the weekend and it always ended in some huge fight.

My father wanted me to go again my first year of college, I lied him I had no way of coming down, I was going to spend it with friends in the dorms. I came home and spent the weekend by myself. Since then I’ve always spent the night alone. I usually end up cooking for myself, making a big pot of rice with chorizo, corn and peas.

The past couple of years I’ve hit up the bars with Jeff after he gets back from dinner with his family. He always needs a drink or five after that. I tell him he should just skip it. But when he told them one year he wouldn’t be there, they threatened to cut him off, even canceled one of his credit cards. The spoiled shit caved right away, but he always finds a way to cut out as early as possible.