Hofacker’s Thanksgiving


Photo illustration by Nowshin Chowdhury

You’re not you when you’re hungry. Eat a little Turkey, it’ll make you feel grateful about everyone and everything.

Many of us wake up on Thanksgiving to watch the parade, spend lunch watching Charlie Brown specials, Disney movies or football, and conclude the night having dinner with the people important to us.

The Thanksgiving feasts we have with our loved ones are reminiscent of the original Thanksgiving when the pilgrims had dinner with Wampanoag Indians. It’s a yearly reminder to not take the things and people in our lives for granted. Unfortunately, that message has been lost to some over the years.

“My family and I got into a huge fight on Thanksgiving,” said Doug Hofacker, a history major. “I forgot to bring a dish, and my father was disappointed in me for that, but that wasn’t the catalyst which drove him to kick me out of the house that night.”

Hofacker explained that he was watching “Frozen” on ABC. His favorite song from the movie, “In Summer,” was moments away from starting. Hofacker said he ran to grab a Thanksgiving hors d’oeuvre during a commercial break, and when he got back to the television, his father and brother had turned the station to a Redskins game.

“I was mortified,” Hofacker said. “I tried to explain to them that the Redskins’ team name was racist, but they didn’t seem at all bothered by that blatant prejudice. ‘Get out of the way of the TV,’ my brother said. At that point, I just snapped. I wrestled him to the ground for the remote and screamed that my song was about to start.”

Hofacker said the remote slipped out of his hand, shattered into pieces, and the TV was stuck on C-SPAN for the rest of the night.

“I was sad that I didn’t get to hear my song,” Hofacker said. “And my father was shouting expletives, trying to get the TV to change channels. It’s honestly their fault for not wanting to watch what I wanted to watch.”

After the fight, Hofacker said his mother called them into the dining room for dinner.

“My brother and dad were sort of mad, but we said grace and started to eat,” Hofacker said. “My younger brother asked, ‘Do Jewish people celebrate Thanksgiving?’ and I thought that was the most idiotic thing I had ever heard in my life.”

Hofacker said his mother tried to change the subject and had the guests say what they were thankful for.

“When it was my turn, I looked at my dad dead in the eyes and said, ‘I’m thankful for nothing,’” Hofacker said.

Hofacker said his father got extremely angry after that. He said Hofacker was ungrateful for the roof over his head, the food on the table and the college tuition his parents pay.

“He told me I better go find a new remote on Black Friday,” Hofacker said. “And when I refused and said I was going to get the new Pokémon game instead, he told me to get out.” 

Hofacker said fighting is just part of being in a family, and sometimes we say things that we don’t mean. He said he acted a bit ungrateful and will treat his family with more kindness on Christmas.