Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I'm (Not) Thankful For

There will undoubtedly be many who will write in the next couple of days about all of the wonderful things in this world that they are thankful for. The love of family and friends will likely make all lists, but others will share feelings on their health, their country and those serving it around the world, and the freedom that we enjoy. 

While I share all of these sentiments, I would not be fulfilling my duties if I succumbed to such maudlin sentimentality every time a government-mandated holiday came along. In order to execute those responsibilities therefore, I have decided to list some of the things that I am not thankful for on this day before we celebrate the Pilgrims traveling from Plymouth to Plymouth.
  • I'm not thankful for the excellent cooking that I will be sampling on this day dedicated to over-eating, which will not only leave me feeling extremely uncomfortable that day; but will also ruin my self-image for many days ahead when I look down at the scale with guilt to see what my gluttony has done.
  • I'm not thankful for retail outlets that will be open all day Thanksgiving and long before the crack of dawn on 'Black Friday'; proving that while cash may be short in this country's economy, there is no shortage of exploitation and greed.
  • I'm not thankful for the pornography of body scans and pat downs masquerading as security in airports. (Though in the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit to being extremely thankful that I'm not flying this week.)
  • I'm not thankful for a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade which stopped being about floats, marching bands, and Santa Claus and started being about the promotion of Broadway shows in NYC, every lame TV show that needs a plug, and a procession of lip-syncing pop stars performing their latest offerings in the hopes of salvaging their failing careers.
  • Speaking of self-promotion, I'm not thankful for halftime shows during Thanksgiving football games by Keith Urban and Kid Rock to promote their latest albums, tours, or ... whatever. Give me the scores and the highlights at halftime and then let's get back to the game.
  • As to the games themselves, while I'm thankful that there will once again be football played on turkey day, I am far less thankful for the teams playing it. Detroit and New England ought to be a game for about 10 minutes, as will Dallas and New Orleans. As for the Bengals vs the Jets ... I can only hope that by the time that this third lame effort occurs, crammed into the schedule in the name of TV ratings, it will find me passed out from turkey tryptophan.
  • I'm not thankful for the ads that I'm already being bombarded with this shopping season telling me that I can only make people in my life happy at Christmas by buying them jewelery or a car. (though if someone wants to exercise such extravagance for me ...)
  • I'm not even sure that I'm thankful for the Republican victory in the recent election, as they seem to be forgetting why they were sent to replace those in office almost as quickly as the Democrats who lost office forgot why they were asked to leave.
  • I'm not thankful for the cold weather that I have to deal with this time of year. While we all make noises about liking the change of seasons, the brisk chill of the winter air, and snow; it's all much prettier and more fun in a movie or on a Christmas card than it actually is while standing in it or shoveling snow.
  • Come to think of it, I'm not sure that I'm thankful for getting together with all of my friends and family for the holidays. Don't get me wrong, they're all wonderful; but getting together with some of them reminds me of all of those I will not see over this period and forces me to deal with that guilt and sadness that comes with that realization.
While there are certainly more that I could list, I think that you've gotten the idea without me listing more (though you are welcome to add to the list if you would like to). In the end, let me say that I'm sorry if any of this may have taken you a little out of your holiday spirit (though hopefully it made you chuckle a little), but I'd be lying. This after all is my self-assigned vocation as both Curmudgeon and Village Idiot ... and one that I appear to be well-suited, and indeed truly thankful for.

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