Taking Stock

I’m thankful that I haven’t been hungry since 1 o’clock on Thursday.  I’m thankful there were so many leftovers that nobody’s noticed how many cookies I’ve scarfed in the four days since.  I’m thankful I can afford the new pants I’ll need to buy now that my old ones don’t seem to fit.

I’m thankful to have learned to bake numerous desserts from scratch and be complimented for them more than once.  I’m thankful my mom assumed responsibility for cooking all the real food and that everything came out perfect.  I’m thankful no one would’ve uttered a word if it hadn’t.

I’m thankful my family enjoys football, but not so much that we spent Turkey Day actually watching it.

I’m thankful that between my brother and me, at least one of us has the emotional maturity to carry on a steady relationship, and that his girlfriend’s family trekked 200 miles to join us for our Thanksgiving feast.  I’m thankful their late-Wednesday flight was only an hour delayed and that the blizzard we were promised didn’t come to pass.  I’m thankful that when we drove to the airport at 1 a.m. to pick them up, there was barely another car on the road.

I’m thankful for how weirded out we felt that, for possibly the first time ever, one wing of our extended family was not joining us for Thanksgiving dinner, hosting their own instead.  I’m thankful that they still turned up for dessert, hanging around until late into the night, much like every other year.

I’m thankful I didn’t even think about shopping on Black Friday.  I’m thankful there’s nothing in particular that I want.  I’m thankful that instead of barreling through the mall, we all drove into Boston for the day, sharing pints and oversized pretzels at the Harpoon Brewery, followed by chowder and seafood at the No Name Restaurant down the street.  I’m thankful there was free parking and no wait.

I’m thankful there is not yet an official 2016 presidential field for us to argue about.  I’m thankful Barack Obama will be commander-in-chief for two more years.  I’m thankful he’s been in the Oval Office for the last six.

I’m thankful that, through this administration’s efforts, I am no longer barred from joining the armed forces because of who I might fall in love with (not that I could ever summon the courage to sign up in the first place).  I’m thankful for the relaxed standards of English grammar that allowed me to use “who” instead of “whom” in the previous sentence, although I still disdain those who do so unwittingly.

I’m thankful my sexual orientation is equally irrelevant to my prospects for employment or being served at a lunch counter.  I’m thankful I can get married in 35 states.  I’m thankful the marriage movement has been so successful over the past year that I didn’t even know the current figure until I looked it up.

I’m thankful I have health care coverage provided by the state government.  I’m thankful the bare-bones nature of that coverage is counterbalanced by my propensity for never getting sick.  I’m thankful I was still on my parents’ dental plan when I accidentally slammed my face into the pavement and required multiple root canals and crowns.  I’m thankful for novocaine.

I’m thankful I finally left my drafty tree house of an apartment and no longer need to sleep in a sweater and wool socks.  I’m thankful Mom and Dad’s condo has a guestroom and central heating.  I’m thankful for Mom and Dad.

I’m thankful I have two arms, two legs, two ears and two eyes.  I’m thankful that, should this ever change, none of those is required to live a normal and happy life.

I’m thankful there is no conclusive evidence that God really exists.  I’m thankful there is no conclusive evidence that he doesn’t.  I’m thankful to live in a country where disagreement on this question doesn’t usually result in mass murder.  Not even on Thanksgiving.

I’m thankful for the First Amendment.  I’m thankful that, in the absence of any practical life skills, at least I know how to write.  And I’m thankful for the folks who, without any coercion on my part, actually read this silly blog.