I have had invitations to friends' family gatherings. The once or twice I have done it, I felt kind of out of place being the weirdo at another family's gathering. Of course, I did ameliorate the outcast feelings with alcohol, as one does. Sometimes with significant pours of nice single malt scotches. One year, I attended a Friendsgiving at a home with a bunch of singletons like myself and couples with no family around. That was pretty good. Everyone there was an accomplished endurance runner (myself excluded), so nobody was giving anyone a side-eye about going back for, say fourths.
Those years I decided to spend the holiday on my own, I would whip up a traditional Thanksgiving lasagne, and (after a run) watch football, read a book, and listen to music. It was okay, for the most part. I missed my kids mostly, but, choices and their resulting consequences, amirite?
Last year I was in the Canary Islands for Solosgiving. I don't remember much about it other than it happened. Nothing special, I probably went to my usual restaurant for dinner, watched something on NFLX, and did whatever it was I was doing at the time. Probably did a run along the Esplanade. Drank inexpensive wine.
This year, I heard about the Man-Cub crushing a 5K in a faster time than I could have ever done - even in my "prime." It was a race we had done as a family back when he was eight. That was nice to hear. I chatted with the She-Cub too, but she's not much of a chatterbox with her dad. I'm looking forward to seeing here in about six weeks, I hope to drag actual conversations out of her then. We're going to be tourists together.
This year, I felt the disconnect. Maybe because of the memories the race triggered? Maybe it's the distance? Maybe the significant cultural and language differences? For whatever reason, this Solosgiving ("celebrated" with a couple of beers, and a plate of fried rice with lemongrass and basil, with a couple small chunks of chicken for the season, natch) was more difficult than most.
I don't read a lot into it, though. Sometimes a sad is just a sad.