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Post Column: Lessons learned from yearly 'Turkeyunion'

Thanksgiving Eve, or better known as the “Turkeyunion,” is the one day a year where people actually go out of their way to see everyone from high school.

It’s the night when you voluntarily put yourself in the same place with all the people you loved, hated and regularly avoid at the mall.

Regardless of who you are or where you’re from, it’s expected that every year on the night before Thanksgiving, high-school alumni from all over the nation congregate at the same bar for some sort of twisted social pleasure.

For many, it’s the perfect nostalgia. For others it’s the perfect hell.

For me, the whole thing has always been a bit of a mystery. Lo and behold, Wednesday night I found myself getting ready with all my hometown friends to embark on my very first Turkeyunion.

I’ll admit I was excited. I’m not one of those people who hated my high-school experience — quite the opposite, actually.

They were the best four years of my pre-adolescent life, and I cherish them. However, I was ill-informed and uneducated about the Turkeyunion dos and don’ts.

I learned some very valuable lessons after experiencing my first Turkeyunion:

1.    The Turkeyunion is basically high-school reunion meets prom … only with an open bar.  And let’s be honest, anything with an open bar can’t be that bad.

2.    Carefully guard your drink and your dignity. Chances are, not everyone liked you in high school. And while some of your fellow classmates got real jobs, others just got real crazy. Roofies are not out of the question at the Turkeyunion.

3.    This is not the night to black out. Unless your ex-girlfriend is pregnant and with your old math teacher, blacking out is off-limits. There’s too much room for awkward encounters and questionable situations.

4.    These are people from high school, but this isn’t high school. Try to keep an open mind at the Turkeyunion. Just like you’ve changed since high school, so have they. You might be surprised at who you hit it off with.

5.    You have to be a functioning human being tomorrow. Have a good time, but remember: You will be expected at every family event in the morning. Pick and choose your hangovers, people.

6.    This isn’t fate — it’s the Turkeyunion. And everyone knows sacred unions don’t come out of Turkeyunions. There’s almost a guaranteed chance you will run into your ex at this thing, but now is not the time to rekindle old flames.

7.    You’re not the only one attending a Turkeyunion. The night before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest bar nights of the year and cabs are hard to come by. No one looks good after 2 a.m. and nothing good happens after 3, so make sure you have a cab set in place ahead of time. (Actually, I take that back — everyone looks good after 2 a.m.).

Casey Compernolle is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University and a columnist for The Post. Did you have a successful “Turkeyunion”? Email Casey at

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