What I am Even More Thankful For
Last year right around this time, I penned a column entitled, “What I Am Thankful For”. Eschewing the typical prattle of self-involved lists of people and interests that everyone wants to write but no one wants to listen to, last year’s edition was a farcical send-up of the tradition that included being grateful for black tar heroin and the fact that my kids did not listen to Justin Beiber. That column went over well with the young people, and I have oh so much more to be grateful for this year, so let’s give it another spin. Maybe we’ll even make this into a narcissistic tradition of our own. And so, with no further ado, I give you, My List of What I am Thankful For in 2016.
I am thankful that my kids are still too young to already be demanding their own cell phones. I know I am desperately running out of time on this one, but let me cling to these precious moments just a little longer, will you please? For with them comes the demise of engaged discourse as well as the last remaining vestiges of civility, ushering in instead a hyper-awareness of social persona and crack-like addiction to technology. From that moment forward, we as parents become relegated to the role of check writer, the dude who pays the bills. So you know, I have that to look forward to.
I am thankful that Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton have not, at least to date, burdened this world with their progeny. I know any kid coming from those genes would have to be remarkably talented and unbelievably pleasing to the eye, but let’s face it, that child is also bound to be so self-centered that they might genuinely cause the world to spin around them, thus causing a serious imbalance in the Earth’s rotational pull. Better to just not risk it.
I am thankful for pizza. Kids will never complain about eating it, and it’s always available. Thank you, pizza. Thank you.
I am thankful for the patience that keeps me from going off on every stupid political rant I see on Facebook. We’ve all had too many moments recently where we literally shook our heads in disbelief at the sheer, mind-numbing ignorance we encounter on social media. You start to type a reply, a scathing retort that hits right to the heart of the matter. You have the first sentence written, and you’re working on a clincher for the second, and then you remember something: nobody cares. You know how many people’s opinions have been changed while reading posts on Facebook? None. Ever. Period. Just stop that nonsense.
I am thankful to live in Colorado. Years ago, I remember walking out of Mile High after watching the Broncos get romped by the Kansas City Chiefs. A Chiefs fan walking next to me stride for stride was boisterously shouting about how bad the Broncos sucked. I turned to him unfazed and said with stark simplicity, “Yeah, but tomorrow morning, I’ll wake up here, whereas you’ll be shaking off that hangover in that hell hole they call Kansas City.” He never said another word. We have sunshine, mountains, great beer, and legal weed. And if you folks keep telling people about it so that they want to move here, we’re going to build a wall around the place and make the rest of you pay for it.
I am thankful for indoor plumbing. Nothing like a few recent trips to a Port-a-Potty to make you remember just how fortunate you really are to have access to this first-world luxury.
I am thankful that I went to college. Where else would I have learned to drink like that?
I am thankful that even though I do still play adult rec league hockey at the age of 45, that I do not take that crap seriously and just play for the fun, exercise and camaraderie (oh yeah, and don’t forget the beer!) Every once in a while, you will play with or against one of those super-agro testosterone machines who still think they’re trying out for the NHL farm league team they never quite made when they were decades younger. I’m just glad I don’t define any aspect of my self-worth on my level of play in a game they barely keep the score of. I always feel bad for these guys’ families and wish them luck placating the ego of a guy ironically trying to live vicariously through no one other than a younger vision of himself that died years ago amidst an ocean of hamburgers, beer, and self-apathy.
I am grateful that Guns ’N Roses has broken up again. The world simply doesn’t need that much drama. Seriously, it really doesn’t.
And last, but by no means least, I am thankful that I do not have to discuss politics for the next four years. Relationships were already testy enough around the Thanksgiving table without having to duck each time my grandmother flings a dollop of mashed potatoes at my uncle’s head when he shouts across the table, “Lock her up!” Instead I can go sit down on the couch and just watch football while slowly drifting into a turkey-induced coma like the rest of America.
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