Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Dec 27th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Thanksgiving for the Ungrateful

Kim_Luke2Let’s be frank. We should be grateful for so much, every single day of the year, and most of us understand that. In fact, there are plenty of irritating souls among us who, willingly, and without solicitation, share their daily gratitude at the drop of a hat. (Yes, you can be grateful for the sunshine and your smoothie, but keep it to yourself.) And yet, it’s so much easier (and more fun) to whine and mope, isn’t it? Three hundred sixty four days a year we get away with this sour attitude, and we fit right in with almost everyone we know. However, one day a year we are called to task, quite often in public, and suddenly the complaining about your fingernail shape, the color of your living room rug or the annoying personal hygiene of your investment broker no longer fits in with polite conversation. This day is upon us—Happy Thanksgiving.

Lights up on Thanksgiving dinner, a table burdened with delights and surrounded by friends and/or family. Cue background music, something simultaneously calming and festive, with a slight hint of a football game from an adjoining room. Enter the host or hostess, tapping on a glass, with the announcement, “Why don’t we go around the table and share what we’re thankful for this year. Grandpa, why don’t you start?

The well-worn script that follows is familiar to most of you. “I’m thankful for my family, health, friends, new love, old love.” With each contribution the remaining “thankers” mumble a barely audible “Crap, I was going to use that one. Now what? Job? Car? Awesome new shirt?”

For years I’ve offered vocal public gratitude at the feasting table, for things that seemed like a good idea at the time, things that friendly family gatherings could tolerate, always feeling a little dirty afterward for not speaking my truth. What am I thankful for, when it gets right down to the real nitty gritty? After the first four family members have taken the good ones—friends, family, health and togetherness— what’s left on my inventory?

Here is my list, based on day-to-day life, and the lemonade I have made from what appears to be lemons on the other three hundred sixty four days of the year. (Warning – if you are expecting something warm-fuzzy from me then you will be sorely disappointed. When I get introspective it’s more of a room-temperature-stubble.)
I, Kim Luke, being of sound mind and body, give thanks for:
•  the dirty dishes stacked in my sink and on my counter, proof that my family has had food to eat. At last glance, at least four days’ worth;
•  the mounds of dog hair in the corners of my living room, evidence that we are prospering enough to own an animal and not eat him;
•  the massive piles of dirty laundry, which point to our combined good health and need to put on clothing to leave the house;
•  the car that costs $1,000 every time it makes a noise, cementing our spot in modern capitalist society and allowing us to contribute;
•  crappy over-priced health insurance, reminding us monthly that we, at least, have health insurance (and also encouraging me, personally, to suck it up and deal with petty annoyances like pneumonia, viral infections and sprains and save the big bucks for things like massive coronaries);
•  the Goldfish, Ritz Crackers and Cheerios stockpiled between the cushions of my couch, affirming my motto, “She who snacks is not one who lacks”;
•  horrible television programming on two hundred channels, enabling us to easily turn the box off, or at least ignore it while it’s on (and commercials – for letting me know when to use the bathroom);
•  Kanye West, providing a valuable cautionary tale on manners, humility and knowing when to shut up;
•  cellulite, muffin tops, bingo arms, love handles and numerous chins, without which I might have no souvenir of the delicious, rich and indulgent gustatory life I’ve lived;
•  boring people, bringing to light my finely honed conversation skills and giving me a little daydreaming “me time” while they yammer on about “them time”;
•  ill-mannered morons, shedding a light on the proper raising I received, and allowing me to see their true character before wasting any of my precious time on them.
So there you have it—a real honest look at gratitude from a frequently ungrateful middle-class white woman. No turkeys were harmed in the making of this list.

Comments (2)Add Comment
it's the little things....
written by the urban firefly, December 02, 2010
You my dear nail it...

The tings we all must overlook. We can't help ourselves. Take comfort in the emergency rations your sofa has to offer- Think of this cornacopia of snacks from the void as manna from heaven.

The rest of us (with children) have our cars laden with unwanted and uneaten after-school snacks, french fires and stray Altoids. All secretly stashed in every nook, cranny, and crevice. It's good to live in the land of plenty. Thank goodness vacuuming is over rated.

...
written by Showtime, November 24, 2010
Well written and well met..... To be thankful for that which the unenlightened think of as botherson, annoying and a pain. Those same things that show just how lucky we are!!!

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

Our Gifts - Fiery Sacrificial Lights to One Another

Wednesday is Christmas Eve, Hanukkah ends and the Moon is in Aquarius, calling for the new world to take shape at midnight. Thursday morning, the sun, at the Tropic of Capricorn, begins moving northward. The desire currents are stilled. A great benediction of spiritual force (Capricorn’s Rays 1, 3, 7) streams into Earth. Temple bells ring out. The heavens bend low; the Earth is lifted up to the Light. Angels and Archangels chant, “On Earth, peace, goodwill to all.” As these forces stream into the Earth they assume long swirling lines of light, in the likeness of the Madonna and Child. The holy child is born. Let our hearts be “impressed” with and hold this picture, especially because Christmas may be difficult this year. Christmas Day is void of course moon (v/c moon), which means we may feel somewhat disconnected from one another. It’s difficult to connect in a v/c moon. Try anyway. Mercury joins Pluto in Capricorn. Uh oh … we don’t bring up the past containing any dark and difficult issues. We are to attempt new ways of communicating—expressing aspirations and love for one another, replacing wounding, sadness, lostness, and hurts of the past. Play soothing music, pray together, have the intention for peace, harmony and goodwill. Don’t be surprised if things feel out of control and/or arguments arise. We remember, before a new harmony emerges, chaos and crisis come first to clear the air. We are to be the harmonizers. Christmas evening is more harmonious, less difficult, more of what Christmas should be— radiations of love, sharing, kindness, compassion and care. Sunday, Feast Day of the Holy Family, is surprising. Wednesday is New Year’s Eve, the last day of 2014. Taurus moon, a stabilizing energy, ushers in the New Year. Happy New Year, everyone! Peace to everyone. Let us realize we are gifts radiating diamond light to one another. Living sacrificial flames!

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Let My People Go

There’s a lot to like in Ridley Scott’s maligned ‘Exodus’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her