November 19th, 2011


my saddest thanksgiving memory: missing hand turkey door dec night

Background: I was an RA, or resident assistant, in college. I worked in the dorms, I was in charge of a floor of girl. I was responsible for enforcing some rules (which I did very lightly) and encouraging general happiness and planning occasional parties.

My first year as an RA a resident said we should have a hand turkey door dec night. Residents always had signs on their doors with their names... at least that's how it was on girls' floors! I had an unlimited supply of construction paper through the university housing office. So we had a night of it, we all got together and made hand turkeys, where you trace your hand on construction paper and cut it out and the thumb is the head and all the fingers are feathers and it's so awesome!

The next year, it was such a happy memory that my first years' residents wanted to come back for it. It was a tradition!

Now for the sad memory... my third year, as a senior we planned the THIRD ANNUAL hand turkey door dec night. It was my final hand turkey blowout, with three years of girls all coming together to celebrate us-ness.

I... forgot about it. Working furiously in a lab in the engineering building, I looked up at a clock at 9:00 and realized the 7 pm event was long past.

This was the days before cell phones when you could just call someone and say "where the hell are you?"

I got back to my dorm to find all the messages on my white board: "We were here, we miss you!" and some hands traced on it in dry erase marker. All the supplies had been locked in my room. A few current year's girls were hanging out in the lobby still having snacks, they said they'd had some nice conversations with the seniors but they'd bailed out when they realized there were no turkeys to be made. It was tragic. I think I honestly cried a little, and hand turkeys have been forever a source of sadness and regret, reminding me of my workaholic senior year and that last missed reunion.