Originally posted on August 5, 2010. Rewritten and revised for Thanksgiving 2013.
A half dozen Thanksgivings ago Drew’s mother, a devout Christian, asked him to lead the family in prayer before we ate. We all bowed our heads and he began to pray,
“Dear Buddha, please bless this food….”
His sisters and I failed to stop laughing before their parents opened their eyes again. It’s been about six years since his side of the family accidentally prayed to Buddha, and they still haven’t asked Drew to fulfill that particular duty again. 😉
Neither Drew nor I are Buddhist and I don’t know why he picked Buddha that night. He has always been honest about his convictions with everyone he meets, though, which often leads an ebb and flow of discussions about faith, philosophy and other topics over dinner. One of the things I really admire about him is how eager he is to discuss these things with anyone willing to join the discussion.
I prefer to stay out of debates. Instead I reveal my beliefs and identities over time as they pop up in conversation. If a certain topic happens to come up in our first conversation, great! If not, no worries.
This isn’t about hiding anything…I’m just much more comfortable letting people figure me out over time rather than handing them the official list of Things You Didn’t Know About Me ™ the first time we meet. Many of us, myself included, carry around strange, preconceived notions about certain groups, especially if they haven’t known very many people from that group before. It’s easier to dislodge some of these ideas if others know you as an individual before they figure you that you’re also [fill-in-the-blank ].
What has been your most memorable experience at a family gathering so far? What topics do you hope to avoid this Thanksgiving?