I’ve spent over a third of my life in the food business (41.6% to be exact), which means holidays like Thanksgiving have a completely different meaning for me than all you “normal” folks out there. You see cornucopias and snowflakes and the impending dissolution of all your familial relationships once dinner conversation turns to Trump. Our industry sees sleep depravation, two months of popping painkillers like breath mints, and most importantly, dollar signs.

While there are certain sacrifices industry folk make during the holidays, any opportunity that allows employees to collect time-and-a-half can make all the difference. Now before you deliver your words of sympathy for how hard it must be to not be home, let me paint a different story. I don’t begrudge anyone who truly enjoys the Hallmark packaged version of Thanksgiving. But waking up early to prep an ambitious dinner in your tiny kitchen, attempting to look presentable, and traveling for hours is not my idea of a brief respite.  

Perhaps you’re in the same boat. Perhaps you woke up this morning and the turkey didn’t thaw in time, or you’d rather have a few extra hours of sleep than have to wake up early to primp; or maybe the thought of having to sit in traffic for hours causes your husband to find you balled up on the floor of a running shower, bawling your eyes out and screaming something about “assholes” and “merging.”

Know what you should do? Fuck that noise, treat yourself, and find yourself an open restaurant to go to. Don't worry—you’re not putting anyone out. Thanksgiving is not much more than a massive cocktease that gives us a cruel taste of “time off” before we sacrifice our well being to make millions of gravity defying crudites baskets for your office holiday parties. Call your family, call your friends and run to a white tablecloth joint—wherever you can find an open table to escape the logistical nightmares of planning your own dinner, and give yourself a chance to actually spend quality time with your family. 

Here are five good reasons for tossing off the oppressive yoke of unrealistic Thanksgiving expectations, and giving in to the pleasures of eating out.