I’ll be the first to admit I’m the type of guy whose first instinct is to recall all I’m resentful for as Thanksgiving rolls around, or each day, rather than note all the blessings bestowed upon me by fate, luck or whimsy of the gods.
But after decades — a lot of them — spent shaking my head while watching stuff happen on this planet, I’ve found myself more frequently starting sentences with “Well, thank God that…”
So I guess I do find myself pretty thankful these days, as the world rolls toward entering a third year of pandemic virus and other assorted eldritch. So here’s what I found myself thankful for this year:
• I’m thankful that Donald Trump does not have “President” in front of his name anymore.
• I’m thankful that I see a lot of people at the self-checkout at the grocery store in Denver consciously not using plastic bags because they charge for them now. Me included.
• I’m thankful I can’t smell whatever is in my car that my wife and daughter can.
• I’m thankful for the scientific method, that I understand it and I stand behind it.
• I’m thankful that Colorado GOP Congressperson Lauren Boebert just keeps talking.
• I’m thankful that most of my friends and family members I see each year at Thanksgiving understand that the turkey dinner thing is actually a cruel practical joke played on Americans by early pioneers.
• I’m thankful we argue about the seriousness of the failed Jan. 6 insurrection instead of suffer under its success.
• I’m thankful the weather is frequently brutal at Colorado’s best — not biggest — ski areas, and that flat-landers tire easily and are fine just hanging in the lodge.
• I’m thankful I don’t have the time or inclination to watch TV.
• I’m thankful my addictions to extravagant foods, wines, brews and coffees don’t require me to shoot them up or hunt down a supplier who never takes off his coat.
• I’m thankful that I know what Aurora is really like, and that I really like eating, shopping and hanging with the amazing people from all over the planet who live and work here.
• I’m thankful that my wife is now a snow snob and OK with skiing in freaky places under terrible conditions just for those few minutes of ecstasy.
• I’m thankful both for my addiction to excellent and plentiful espresso and coffee and that my body is OK with that.
• I’m thankful that I work with really smart and funny people who care as deeply as I do that you know as much as we can find out about everything that does and doesn’t matter to everyone.
• I’m thankful that police radar and body cams can’t read my thoughts as I imagine all the horrible things that could happen to the ass-hats on Interstate 225 during rush hour every morning and every night.
• I’m thankful that despite all the risk and jerks that visit area grocery stores, workers there keep showing up and always seem so amazingly kind and cool, even on holidays.
• I’m thankful people around the world are as aghast at the far-right nut-jobs elected to the U.S. Congress as I am.
• I’m thankful that unlike bourbon whiskey, cheap Irish whiskey is totally drinkable.
• I’m thankful that as I grow old, I’m one of those people who like it.
• I’m thankful I neither say, understand nor must suffer, “the shoe is on the other foot.”
• I’m thankful that I still believe that you should just go for it, because you can sleep when you’re dead.
• I’m thankful that my tolerance for physical pain has increased proportionately with my advancing age.
• I’m thankful you actually can buy happiness, and it doesn’t always cost much, and that I sometimes have enough money to prove that out. Korean dumplings on Havana Street, Cuban pastries on Mississippi Avenue and Iraqi flat bread on Parker Road are affordable bliss.
• I’m thankful that I’m pretty much OK with people telling me how much they hate me and read my blatherings whenever they can to reinforce that.
• I’m thankful that because of the pandemic, and because it’s Colorado, I can wear short pants to work every day, year round, and nobody pays any attention to it.
• I’m thankful I have friends in places like Texas and Florida who give me confidence that not everyone is like the people running those wretched and worrisome places.
• I’m thankful that with newspaper writing, you can only write what fits.
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