The turkey is thawing out for its big debut, the cans of cranberry sauce are getting scarce on store shelves, and we're ready to get stuffed. Get out your horn of plenty and shine up the silver: it's almost Thanksgiving!
Does your family go around the table and have each person tell one thing they are thankful for? My relatives aren't big on cliches, or emotional displays, or formality, so we focus solely on the eating, but I always pause at some point on Turkey Day to think of all the things I have for which to be grateful. There are the big, obvious things like health, friends, and family. And the trivial, but still significant things that are the tent poles of my life, like Diet Coke and extra hold hairspray.
This year, I have a few extra ideas of things I'm thankful for--and a few things I'd just as soon give no thanks at all.
A bounty of thanks and gratitude to the following gems:
Knee Scooters. While I'm sad to report that my most awesome knee scooter was turned in last week, I'm grateful for the time we had together. Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened, or whatever it is they say. You cannot fully appreciate the gift of a knee scooter until you've spent a day or two on crutches, but believe me, that little 4-wheeled wonder was a gift. And I have the tire marks and scuffs on our baseboards to prove it. Thank you, knee scooter, for giving me a ride, getting me up and around, and letting me prop up on you while flatiron curling my hair. You were a godsend.
Dream Kardashian. I never thought I would give thanks for anything Kardashian, that much is a certainty. But after the election, when all of social media was flooded with crying, whining, and gnashing of liberal teeth, it seemed we were so divided we couldn't agree on anything. And then Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna went ahead and named their baby Dream. Suddenly, we found common ground in agreeing that it was the worst baby name ever. We united against bad taste. I suppose if your child is going to be seated at the kiddie table at family functions with cousins named North and Saint, you want a name as absurd as possible. Mission accomplished.
"The WHOPPERRITO™ is made with savory flame-grilled 100% beef and seasoned with a special blend of spices to deliver the ultimate burger-burrito mashup. It’s stuffed with a creamy Queso, pickles, diced onions, juicy tomatoes, and crisp lettuce all wrapped in a warm flour tortilla." Did you throw up in your mouth yet, because I know I did. Please note that they list the name of this delicacy in all caps, which I assume means they want you to scream it rather than say it. Why on earth am I thankful for this monstrosity? The Whopperito gives me a sliver of hope, because no matter how much of a glutton I have been already this season--no matter what indulgences I've given in to, scarfed down, or binged upon, it all seems to pale in comparison to the "ultimate burger-burrito mashup." Just when I'm afraid I've eaten all the food, I can console myself: I haven't eaten THAT. And then I am thankful, indeed.
And a kindly thanks, but no thanks is in order for a few other things,which I'm sure are well-meaning. You know what they say the road to hell is paved with, yes?
The Nest thermostat. Isn't technology supposed to make your life easier? Last year, we bought the Nest, a thermostat that is supposed to become intuitive to your temperature preferences and adjust accordingly (you can also manually program it, if you have the time, patience, and inclination...we here at Chez Stancil do not). I say "supposed" to, because it's like the Nest doesn't know us at all--either that, or it has just decided to be spiteful. I am forever too hot, too cold, and fiddling with that blasted thermostat. We have even added the Nest app to our phones, not so much for use when we are away, but to save us the approximately one thousand trips a day we make to the hallway to adjust our fancy thermostat. Thanks for overheated, undercooled, poorly climate-controlled nothing, Nest.
Pepsi Cola. I know, this one is so predictable, but I'm just going to go ahead and beat this dead horse again. In my humble opinion, Pepsi is a vile beverage not fit for human consumption. Give me Coca Cola or leave me thirsty (I'm pretty sure that's exactly what Patrick Henry really said). Years ago, when we had first moved to Charlotte, this Georgia native proclaimed to an office full of coworkers that Pepsi was a Yankee drink. I was gently corrected with the fact that Pepsi is, in fact, a North Carolina company, much to my shock and chagrin. I can't believe the South produces something of this caliber. How could anyone with noncompromised taste buds possibly pretend to enjoy this concoction? I can't fathom. And so, for the zillionth time in my life, I must tell Pepsi: thanks, but definitely no thanks.
It's the season of gratitude, so I won't dwell on dislikes, although I will add very solid no thank-yous to: all the self-proclaimed political pundits on social media these days (free opinions are worth their price), vegetables of any kind not ensconced in a casserole (it's officially the holidays, y'all--put anything steamed and healthy away until January), and my final and fiercest no thanks to grammatical errors on Christmas cards (help me help you help yourself here, so you don't wind up being the Smith's when you are, in reality, the Smiths).
The best news of all is that Thanksgiving is here! Load your plate with dressing (not stuffing, clearly), go back for seconds and thirds but save room for dessert, and remember that everyone loves a hero who helps with the dishes. Count your blessings and enjoy!