Don’t be a turkey jerk-y
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 12:10
Do you remember your elementary school days, specifically whenever a holiday rolled around? Almost all of the holidays were made into a big deal, calling for classroom parties, complete with sign-up sheets for treats, games and more often than not, goodie bags. Don’t even get me started on the crafts that would be made within the weeks leading up to these holidays. In elementary school, every October for the first few years of our lives was spent making minature turkeys out of pinecones, construction paper feathers and pipe-cleaners that were then brought home to our seemingly-impressed parents who secretly wondered what the hell they were.
We learned that Thanksgiving, for instance, was a holiday to give thanks, spend time with family and loved ones, count our blessings and eat delicious food that we should feel fortunate to have. Then, we would read stories about pilgrims and cartoon turkeys with cockle hats and learned about what a cornucopia is (which I still don’t understand the significance of). With so much time and attention given to these things, we were programmed to get excited about the holidays.
However, at no point did our teachers mention the other side of the holidays that would eventually make a debut in all of our lives.
They left out the part about how the holidays would most likely be consumed by school and work schedules, that is, once our greatest obligation was no longer gluing construction paper feathers to a pinecone.
They also failed to inform us about how family traditions tend to die out and sooner or later we may find ourselves eating spaghetti out of a can instead of turkey.
Finally, very slyly they completely diverted our attention from a little thing commonly known as the “turkey dump”.
Are you familiar with this term? If you are not, then you are probably one of the lucky ones (unless of course you are one of the people eating spaghetti out of a can – in which case, you are not lucky either). If you are familiar with it, well then, you know first hand just how “joyous” the Thanksgiving break can be.
According to Urban Dictionary, “turkey dump” is when a student returning from College or University breaks up with their significant other. It is referred to as the “turkey dump” because it traditionally takes place over Thanksgiving break – the first time most students return home from college.
When you think about it, it begins to make a lot of sense. Regardless of where one goes to school, everyone changes. Suddenly, that little World of yours is shook as school starts back up and you’re exposed to new faces, new experiences and new options. Sure, if you’re single then this is great (you are the folks who still like Thanksgiving), but if you’re in a relationship, or worse, a long-distance one, then you are threatened the most by this Thanksgiving epidemic.
When a couple is separated from the end of summer to Thanksgiving weekend, all of those new faces, experiences and options are likely to challenge the relationship. A turkey dump occurs when one or both individuals realize that they no longer want to be tied down to that other person; rather, that he or she would prefer to utilize other options, like staying single for a while, moving on to someone else, or finally being able to admit that he or she has been seeing someone else.
I had a few friends put “turkey dump” into layman’s terms for me because, just as some readers probably did, I went ahead and assumed many other meanings upon hearing it, never having heard this phrase before. I was also curious as to whether or not everyone, for the most part, shares the same definition of it.
“Turkey dump is what you call it when you’ve had time to clear your head after being away from your girl or boyfriend for a few weeks since the end of summer and you suddenly realize how many other fish there are in the sea, so you dump them on Thanksgiving weekend when you see them next. I actually just used the phrase ‘other fish in the sea’, that’s hilarious.”
“That’s what my ex ever-so-kindly got me as a gift last Thanksgiving.”
“When you come home for Thanksgiving weekend and are so excited to be reunited with your significant other and are told that you’ve grown apart and aren’t what you used to be, even though you Skyped the night before and no growing had occurred.”
“All I can say is that mashed potatoes and gravy and all of that good stuff is forever tainted. Thanks, Rick.”
So, while some of us still celebrate the holidays just as we did as children, around a food-filled table, counting our blessings with loved ones and keeping a firm grasp on tradition; others are the victims of the dreaded turkey dump and the rest are like Rick, forever ruining mashed potatoes, which should never be done. Go back and check your grade five workbooks; I can assure you that no such term as “turkey dump” has ever graced those pages.
Interested in knowing just how many turkey dump casualties exist out there, I began asking around. As it turns out, the turkey dump is as common as pumpkin pie at this time of year.
“I had been with this guy for about a year back in first year. I of course, went to Brock and he attended the University of Ottawa. I should have realized from the get-go that a turkey dump would be inevitable because he was being a jerk and I could tell that he was trying to get me to end things with him because he was too scared to do it himself. In retrospect, I was so blind to this,” said fourth-year student Emily Fotog.
“And so it was finally Thanksgiving weekend and I picked him up from the bus station and drove him home (like, you’re welcome) and it wasn’t until after we had dinner with his family that he said he wasn’t happy and wanted to meet other people. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the turkey dump.”