Gather round, and let me tell you the story of the First Friendsgiving…
The year was 2008. There was a group of twenty-somethings, who marketers would later refer to as Millennials, living in the great big city of Los Angeles. They’d relocated there after college and graduate school seeking money, fame, and frequent sex partners.
Sadly, they found none of that. They found a much harsher environment than in the stories they’d heard—the ones in which people actually “made it.”
In fact, the Millennials barely scraped by: working as baristas in local coffee shops and waiting at moderately priced chain restaurants, such as Longhorn Steakhouse. Some even bagged groceries at Whole Foods. A few of the lucky ones found work at swanky taverns and called themselves “mixologists.”
The Millennials tried and tried and did all they could, pitching their scripts to corporate executives and celebrities they passed on the street. They even left screenplays on the floors of production companies’ lobbies at nighttime. However, nothing could save them from the tyranny of unrealized stardom and the very rational fear that they would wind up in the middle. Just like their parents.
With the Thanksgiving holiday soon approaching, decisions needed to be made. Plans needed to be laid out. And so they began to wonder.
“Welp. I can’t afford a plane ticket home for Thanksgiving,” said one Millennial to another.
“Me either,” she replied.
A third chimed in. “Fuck it. Let’s have Thanksgiving here. It’s way warmer than in the Midwest anyway.”
They began texting other Millennials of their remarkable idea! A feast just for them! No adults! No annoying family members! What a celebration!
Like a miracle, one of the Millennials had a friend in graphic design who was pretty badass at Photoshop and willing to design a logo for the eVites and the Facebook page. It’s even been told that the name “Friendsgiving” was coined by one of these Millennials who worked as an advertising copywriter, but that’s yet to be confirmed by Wikipedia.
“The more the merrier!” it said right there on the Facebook event page. But they all knew it. “Merrier” was just a façade. They knew this whole thing was merely a coping mechanism for their own, deep-seated unhappiness: lost in a strange place, much like the Pilgrims of the first Thanksgiving, starving for acceptance from strangers. The main difference, of course, is that the original Pilgrims were also literally starving. Like, for food and medicine and stuff.
But do not be fooled. The Millennials had it rough, alright. For it is no easy thing to come to grips with the idea that life isn’t easy and can’t be handed to you.
Days passed. They had invited nearly 200 people through the Internet, and a solid 23 had accepted, with only 41 “maybes.” Things were beginning to look up.
At last, the day for celebration came. Though they had all originally planned to gather in a swanky duplex behind the Trader Joe’s on Pico Boulevard, they ended up meeting at someone’s walk-up in Silver Lake because Santa Monica, it has been said, was only for goddamn yuppies.
After all the Millennials had arrived, the festivities began.
The house was alive with colorful beanies and a bounty of wonderful food, all of which was certifiably organic and non-GMO. Rather than the typical smell of roasted turkey and stuffing, the smell of locally caught fish tacos, braised tempeh, and cheap Mexican beer wafted through the house. Some of the visitors even went out back to smoke American Spirit cigarettes in a display of camaraderie and mutual disillusionment.
All in all, it was a good day. In their conformity, the Millennials had subscribed to a holiday celebrating genocide and the displacement of whole societies of people. And they didn’t even care. It felt like home.
At last, the clock struck midnight and the final drops of Two Buck Chuck were poured (due to inflation, it’s now called Four Buck Chuck). A handful of tipsy yet well-dressed Millennials raged on; and one final display of thanks was given.
He said, “I’m too lit to drive. You guys think I could crash here? Thanks.”
And so went the first Friendsgiving.