*Author’s Note: I’m off to Columbus for Turkey Day proper, so I’m writing this post today.*
While I’m not known for being serious, I do occasionally have a serious thought that passes through my head. These thoughts step warily into the clearings that dot the chaotic forest of my subconscious, eyes scanning the skies for signs of the sharp talons of Distraction and Frivolity, the two ravens that circle constantly in an attempt to prevent me from getting anything done, ever. If the sky’s clear, the thought usually twitches its nose and makes a run for it, hoping it’ll make it to my conscious mind before it’s snatched up and messily devoured.
One such thought came to me recently as I sat in my office, sipping tea and regretting my lunchtime choice of Huevos Rancheros. The thought was, “What am I truly thankful for this year?” With the juggernaut of Conspicuous Christmas Consumption firing up its titanic engines of greed earlier and earlier every year, Thanksgiving tends to get overlooked as the long weekend between Give Me Candy and Give Me Presents. However (and I am SO aware that this is NOT an original observation), it would probably do us all a world of good to sit down and think about what we’re thankful for this year (and not just because I need to write a blog post).
So, without further ado, I present:
Things For Which I, La Barceloneta, Am Thankful This Year
1) The Election is over! Regardless of which candidate you backed, I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief that the mudslinging’s over. Now we can get on with the important stuff (well, we can try).
2) The Little Emperor is learning Spanish. Neither of my sisters inherited our mother’s Spanish-Mexican looks (whereas I appear to be a blurry photocopy made after someone inadvertently hit “200%” on the copier), but they DID inherit her disinterest in preserving Spanish as a familial language. As a result, I have long been the only daughter able to converse with our aunts and cousins in Spanish, and as I have, as the Bible might put it, no fruit o’ the loins (not to be confused with Fruit of the Looms, which I do possess), my fear that Spanish in our family might die with my generation has been wedged in my heart of hearts like a dirty icepick for just as long. However, my nephew (he of the enormous brain and Children of the Corn physiology) has been learning Spanish from both me and PBS for three of his four years, and his recent, spontaneous conversational uses of Spanish leave me confident that at least one of my sister’s children will be able to talk to Crazy Aunt Claire when they come visit me at the Raisin Ranch in my twilight years.
3) My transition is moving forward. I started hormones this year. Electrolysis continues, albeit slowly and expensively (but with a practitioner who is more caring, professional and understanding than I could’ve ever dreamed possible). My parents are, against their will, coming to realize that this is real and not an elaborate prank I’ve set up with the help of Ashton Kutcher. I managed to get my name changed just about everywhere (although not without some effort). And, of course, I get to be me, and not a construct. So, you know, yay, me!
4) Nobody I love is currently in a war zone, but people loved by others are there fighting the good fight. God bless our United States Armed Services. All this freedom we enjoy is bought with their sweat and blood, and if you know a vet, or meet a vet, or hear about a vet three streets over, make sure you thank them. I’m thankful that we have a military full of people willing to lay down their LIVES for people they’ve never met and most likely never will. I may not agree with the decisions to go to (or stay in) our current theaters of war, but I will never – NEVER – have an unkind word to say about the men and women who put country, home and freedom above their own self-interest in the name of the greater good. Thank you, vets and current service members.
5) John Hodgman wrote another book. Oh, sure, to some of you he’s just the PC in those, ahem, “funny” Mac versus PC commercials. But to me, John Hodgman will always be the guy whose surreal NPR story from a remote secret location (which is now on fire) made me spit eggnog all over myself last year. Which means he owes me a new “I see you’ve already met the twins” t-shirt.
In addition, he is profoundly hilarious and should be read by everyone, ever.
6) I can do ab rolls and reverse push-ups without crying. Well, without crying A LOT. And it’s all thanks to Lotte Berk. My campaign to become stretchy is only a few weeks old, but if I can just stick with this and the Tour de Farce, someday soon innocent bystanders might not yell “GODZILLA!” and flee when my shadow falls across them.
But I will still stomp and say “RAWR!”, because everyone at Kroger’s come to expect it and they might think I’m ill if I just come in and buy groceries.
7) Morning Express purchased some kind of light specifically made to enhance Robin’s looks. I swear, I’m not making this up. To me, enhancing Robin’s looks is a bit like sprinkling gold on a pile of diamonds, but I say it’s money well spent.
There are, naturally, many other things for which I’m thankful this year (Isis King making history on America’s Next Top Model, Dad’s decision to sync up his haircuts with The Little Emperor so they look like age progression/regression pictures, my unasked-for-but-certainly-appreciated-in-a-weird-way out-of the blue subscription to Maxim en Español (Those guys are kidding, right? I mean, nobody’s really THAT sexist, are they? Are they?!?!?), et hoc genus omne) but I will not attempt to list them all here.
I invite you, dear friends, to take a moment – wherever you are – and reflect on the blessings in your life. Sure, life can be crappy and full of Things That Should Not Be (I’m looking at you, Turducken), but I’m a glass-half-full, silver lining kind of girl…and I hope you will be, too.
Well, except for the guys.
Unless they’re really girls who happen to be guys.
Which is TOTALLY fine. We all walk our own path.
I’m not sure where the guys who are actually girls fall.
I guess optimism and gratitude are universal, is what I’m saying.