Thanksgiving break is kind of like the purgatory of finals hell. We all know that we should go home and review for the damn tests that we pray we will somehow pass by the magical powers of osmosis (I fall asleep on my textbooks more often than my pillow). But we don’t. We all think going home will be great because of the homemade food and the family love, until we remember family has a direct correlation with crisis.

But we do the same things over and over again. Mom suddenly becomes Martha Stewart for one day while Dad does absolutely nothing. My grandma has a particularly fun tradition of making family say what we’re all thankful for. Mine goes something like this: “For-her-pleasure condoms, Freebirds and $10 specials on Winter Lager at I.V. Market.” And she sort of goes with it like I’m just a funny girl.

Thanksgiving marks the return of home and everything familiar that comes along with home. Including your ex.

Men and women fundamentally have different perceptions of ex’s. First of all, men have two kinds of exes. There’s the psycho-bitch that still hasn’t lost her freshmen 15 who you never want to see again. And then there’s the kind you still want to have sex with. You know, just an at-home-for-the-holidays hello.

Women however, have many shades of “ex.” Like men, we have the kind that we never want to see again – unless we’ve lost 15 pounds and miraculously earned a J.Lo ass. This is the typical female dream of strutting around in front of the hated ex in a tight skirt and high heels screaming “Look what you missed out on!” without saying a word.

Another ex is the kind you sort of want to see again because you know he still wants to have sex with you and, although you have absolutely no intention of letting him even poke his head in, you like the attention. Every girl likes attention from nice guys. And it’s nice to string them along. Just a little.

The last sort of ex that I’ll point out here (although there are many) is the kind that you are desperately hoping to see. The kind that you thought you were meant for freshman year, and just because he never got that point doesn’t mean it’s not true. You secretly hope to be reunited with him on a lonely street, his profile framed by the moonlight and his Gucci suit smelling of Aqua di Gio. And he looks something like Ben Affleck on the cover of the latest People magazine. Who would’ve thought?

The kind of ex you’re most likely to run into over the holidays is, unfortunately, not Ben Affleck but probably something closer to a young Christopher Walken. Although you’d never admit it, yeah, you did mess around with him. But a long time ago! And no, you didn’t know about the hair billowing out the top of his ass-crack until after you went out.

And somehow you still have to lie. Pretend you’re happier, pretend you’re on your way to a photo shoot, that you’re going out with Ben Affleck, and pretend you got the job with a yearly salary and benefits. You’re overly jubilant, you’re speaking so everyone in the club can hear you and you wonder if he notices that you’re spastic. And why the hell isn’t your friend out of the bathroom yet?

And then you find out he’s either a CEO or that he’s actually engaged to J.Lo – or something equally as brutal. All you can think is, “What the hell do I say – fuck, shit, fuck, fuck!” when you’re friend finally returns from her bathroom intermission.

The two of you turn around while you half-heartedly congratulate your ex on whatever his lofty accomplishments are. As you exit, he bends over the bar to order a drink and you notice he still has ass hair.

Yeah, that should make you feel better. You may not have a J.Lo ass yet, but at least it’s not hairy either. Just another thing you can tell grandma you’re thankful for this year.

Happy Thanksgivin’.

Daily Nexus sex columnist Beth Van Dyke is actually thankful for ass hair.