Until I had gastric bypass surgery I had never noticed how much of celebrating involves food. Not just the holiday of Thanksgiving, which is about food, but even the lowliest party - what differentiates a party from a bunch of people just hanging out and shooting the breeze? Sharing special food or drink.
A combination of the gbs and being vegetarian has put a damper on my desire to travel, especially to foreign countries. I can only imagine the difficulty of ascertaining if something is meat-free multiplying with the addition of a language barrier; trying to explain that the food was delicious but I can't eat very much of it is hard enough in English. Finding things to eat that don't make me ill has been troublesome simply traveling here in the U.S.
And now I must dress myself to travel eastward to our attenuated version of the ritual meal. "Who'll be carving the turkey at your house," a co-worker asked me yesterday, and once again it's easier to make something up than try to answer at all truthfully. She asked out of trying to be friendly, so I gave her a friendly, if wildly inaccurate, answer. I find myself doing this a lot - answering the intent of people's questions rather than what they actually asked.