I did not respond to the challenge on Facebook to post something I’m thankful for for seven days in a row. It’s not that I have a problem with it, it’s just that I didn’t want to break my perfect record. Most of us have seen posts that tell us we should re-post if we care, if we love God, if we agree, etc. and like most of us I have ignored those words and refused to “share.” I guess I’ve done so well that I don’t even want to give in to the nobler Facebook challenges. HOWEVER, I am going to use this time to communicate things that I am thankful for. But first, the following must be crystal clear:
First, I will try my best to not mention my wife, kids, nor any friends or family. Let me explain. When Thanksgiving rolls around people are often asked to state what they are thankful for. Any guesses on what the number one answer is? That’s right, friends and family. After that, everyone else around the table is like, “Oh yeah, me too.” You can sit in on a 500-person family dinner and if they all took turns they would each say it. Is this out of guilt? Perhaps fear that someone might gasp and say, “Oh no! He didn’t say friends and family! Monster!” Or are we just so freaking lazy? “Thankful? Oh sure, many things. I guess if I gave it some thought… ah screw it. Friends and family.”
The next time I am present where this ritual is taking place, I think I will say something like, “Before we start, let’s see hands raised by anyone who is NOT thankful for friends and family. Look. No hands up. Therefore, it can be assumed and accepted that we are all thankful for both friends and family. Now would everyone please use a bit of creativity and state something they are thankful for? Or have those blasted video games stolen all of your imagination?” Wait, not the last sentence. I wouldn’t say that.
Second, may I share with you how annoyed I am with hearing the same useless argument every second Monday of October AND every fourth Thursday of November? Twice a year, every year, I hear and read comments from people about when the real Thanksgiving actually takes place. When I was young I used to chime in on this. If an American said it wasn’t really Thanksgiving in October I would immediately feel the need to defend my motherland. Why how dare they? But, let’s look at it this way: If you were in China for the Chinese New Year, would you insist that each Chinese person around you understand that the new year does not begin in February? Or would you be a big boy / big girl about it and simply join in the fun? Both when I lived in the United States and when I taught at a school that had a large American representation I learned that there’s a much brighter side than the one that demands loyalty to a particular day of the year. And that was the fact that I got to celebrate twice. That’s right. Two turkeys. Two feasts of stuffing, cranberry sauce, squash and sweet potato casserole (Sweet hosanna that stuff is taste bud paradise!). Why wouldn’t that be a great thing? No Thanksgiving isn’t ruined by being observed on a Monday north of the border and no it is not a mere kick off to Christmas south of the border. No, the second Monday in October is not “Canadian Thanksgiving,” nor is the fourth Thursday in November “American Thanksgiving.” It’s Thanksgiving. My fellow Canadians, you behave or I’ll have to open up a can of maple whoop-ass on all of you. Americans… don’t make me come down there!
Ok, so now that I’ve gotten all of that off my chest, here are my be-thankful-fors:
1. Sweet potato casserole. That stuff is like crack cocaine. Of course, I’ve never tried crack, but from what I hear this stuff can totally rival it.
2. My sister for making sweet potato casserole every year. Though she is both my sister and friend this doesn’t count as lazy thankfulness. The casserole is part of the statement, so that gets me off the hook.
3. My shepherd incense burner. It was passed down to me from my aunt and uncle who took note of how much I loved it when I was a kid. Love the look, the smell it gives off, and the memories attached to it.
4. Wrestling. I realize that I am part of a smaller representation who loves this, so I will refrain from expounding. But let me just say that Dean Ambrose is tearing it up right now! Whooo!
5. Scrabble. Love that game.
6. Planes Trains and Automobiles. This is one of my favourite movies of all time and it is set at Thanksgiving. I really miss John Candy.
And the final thing I am thankful for is…
7. Friends, family, and that I live in the right country that celebrates the real Thanksgiving in October. HA! Got ya!
Congratulations Citizen Kane. This is your week.
And the Oscar goes to…
Best Actress: Joan Fontaine in Rebecca. A very soul-bearing performance that earned her an Oscar nomination (the real kind).
Best Actor: Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator. This movie is awesome. It’s one of the few roles Chaplin did as a speaking actor. His speech at the end of the movie is famous for being inspiring and ahead of its time.
Best Quote: “In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.” Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator.
Oh, I’m also thankful for this week’s movie of the week. I’ll admit, it’s long and when I first watched it I did get bored and looked at the clock. However, the ending is quite powerful. Makes up for it all. Which I guess is more than can be said of this blog entry.