What I’m Even More Grateful For- 2020 Edition
I love holiday traditions. I know that may sound a bit discordant with my sometimes jaded sense of humor, but I am a complete sap for the time-honored pastimes that come with this time of year. Be it the soporific couch-indulgences of unwatchable Lions football games, the disconcertingly competitive game of Dirty Word Scrabble (yes, a very real thing in my family), or the simmering renewal of barely latent political debates just ready to burst into an incendiary dumpster fire and send the entire tranquility of Thanksgiving dinner right out the kitchen window, it is these moments that crystalize and harden in our memory, some gleefully rejoiced in as we eagerly look forward to seeing our family once again, others repressed only to be extracted many years later on a therapist’s couch. Either way, these are the moments that define our life.
In this vein, back in 2016, I began a little Thanksgiving tradition of my own with TRUTH: In 1000 Words or Less. Well, sort of. See I was telling a friend of mine recently about how I had to write my annual Thanksgiving column, a darkly satirical piece entitled “What I’m Grateful For”, that skewers various idiosyncrasies of modern American culture. Problem was that 2020 just didn’t seem the time and place for such a piece. In a year when I truly am so grateful for so much, it just didn’t seem right to make light of the depth of my gratitude for the many blessings of my life. We all have have friends and family struggling to get through this on so many levels.
“I don’t want to send the wrong message,” I told my friend as we relished one of the last outdoor beers we’d probably be enjoying in quite awhile.
“You don’t have to write it,” she said. “You could just skip it this year.”
“But I like traditions,” I protested. “I can’t let my readers down. It’s always a funny column.”
“Well, maybe that’s just what they need right now anyway,” she responded with a smile.
And with that, I give you the 2020 edition of “Things I’m Grateful For”:
I am grateful to live in an age where I can order groceries from my computer and they will actually deliver that shit to my house, all for like $5 + tip. Seriously? I would pay a stripper’s ransom to avoid a grocery store during the absolute best of times, but I’ll quite gladly let someone else elbow out an elderly woman with a cane for the last roll of toilet paper, thank you very much.
In addition to the untold health care workers we are all so grateful for, I am grateful for Dr. Anthony Fauci. No matter how you feel about him, he has been a calming presence in the midst of swirling chaos and unnecessary political posturing, reassuringly informing the American public without the slightest hint of the undue pressure and scrutiny he has faced for months now. I keep waiting for him to finally lose his absolute mind on national television and just start screaming at the top of the his lungs, “JUST WEAR THE FUCKING MASK, PEOPLE!!!!”
Speaking of which, I am grateful for toilet paper. Not to wipe my ass with, mind you. No, I’ve just been hoarding mine to TP Mar-a-Lago this Thanksgiving.
I never thought I would say this, but I am grateful for Trump’s golf habit. Something has got to distract that delusional swamp rat from tearing the nation apart and pardoning every imprisoned white person he knows before January hits.
Though I don’t watch it, I am thankful for NASCAR. Something has to take out rednecks from the gene pool, and tractor accidents just aren’t taking them out in quite the numbers we need them to.
I am oh so grateful that our affable but clearly dim-witted Newfoundland is a free-range eater and only poops in the bushes where none of us go anyways. He’s like a cat, only better because his litter box is outside and well, he’s not a cat.
While I am deeply saddened by all of the cancelled concerts from this past summer, I am grateful if it means that Kenny Chesney is not currently touring.
I am grateful for another season of The Mandalorian. If we do go into another Covid lockdown following a Thanksgiving with more super spreader potential than a White House press briefing, I will need something to preoccupy my mind other than Rudy Giuliani train wrecks and the 1000 piece national monuments jigsaw puzzles my step-mom keeps sending me.
I am grateful for the soothing presence and mindfulness that Buddhist meditation plays in my life. Otherwise, I am pretty sure I woulda shanked a bitch somewhere back around mid-April.
I am grateful that, at least for the time being, gay marriage is still legal in the United States. Somebody has to help bring down the divorce rate that keeps getting pushed higher and higher by the likes of Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump, and Rush Limbaugh.
And finally, I am forever grateful to the amazing professionals who have been educating our children through these challenging times with more policy and position changes than a triple feature porn marathon. Working for a salary that makes even Walmart greeters shake their head in pity and commiseration, these folks have put themselves in harm’s way only to have ungrateful parents who decry government spending but somehow seem to feel the state owes them a babysitting service bitch about how they are doing their job. I guess what I am really saying is that I am grateful that teachers don’t get drug tested. These folks deserve to smoke some damn weed when the obnoxious ass teens that they teach all day long finally walk out the door and become the problem of the people who truly deserve them: their parents.
Steven Craig is the author of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, as well as numerous published poems, short stories, and dramatic works. Read his blog TRUTH: In 1000 Words or Less every THURSDAY at www.waitingfortoday.com