2003-11-27 - 8:47 a.m.

Happy Thanksgiving.

My youngest brother yesterday IM’d me and asked if we could have Thanksgiving dinner, “kind of before afternoon time…so I can watch football without interruption.” We have no idea how he ended up in our family. None. Anyway, I told him that I refused to have Thanksgiving breakfast so I am sure today will be interesting. He will eat really fast and then disappear. Little jerkhead.

Anyway. It’s time for me to list the things I am grateful for. This exercise reminds me that a year or so ago I started a notebook where I was going to write, daily, my favorite part of that day. There is only one entry in that book. I think I need to remember to do that, because it just isn’t right that only once a year do I give thanks for the things I am grateful for.

I am grateful for my mother. For being so, so, so, well, being so my mother. For being the person that hauls a dirt covered rock that she refers to as the “prosperity rock” onto the table and makes us all place our hands on it and tell it what we want for the next year of our lives. We all HATE that fucking rock, but it just wouldn’t be the same without it.

I am grateful for my youngest brother who is a terrible liar (the worst) and also the worst manipulator (ever). He will say, “Sissy, I really want to stay with you for the weekend, spend some quality time with you,” and I will say, “No you don’t, you just want to stay here to watch satellite TV,” (this is back when I had TV, I am currently in my second year of no TV) and he will say, “Well, yeah, you’re right.”

I am grateful for my darling brother Z. Because everything I do and am reminds me of him. Because I think he is the only person on earth that truly understands what is going on in my mind and because I think I am the only person on earth that truly understands what is going on in his mind. Because I think we were supposed to be twins. We were born on the same day, three years apart, but I think that was messed up, I think we should have been born on the exact same day.

I am grateful for my cats. Squish because he is just the most awesome, docile cat in the world and because he sleeps curled into my arm every night. Smudge because he is so sweet and because he always waits by the door in the morning to say goodbye to me. And because he has the tendency to sit there with his teeth or his tongue sticking out of his mouth and he looks so ridiculous like that. Bear-Bay because he is such a strange cat. Because he will almost knock you out with the force of his head when he butts you in the face trying to get your attention. And because he is such a pig, always covered in mats and he stinks. Bubba because he is SUCH a Bubba. Because he is FAT and because he desperately begs to go outside only to get out there and sit on the porch all day. Smitten because he totally fucks with me every single night when I am trying to get them in. He will come strolling up to me and just as I reach down to get him he darts away. Over and over again. But if I am not trying to catch him he jumps into my arms. And because the second he comes in at night he runs right to the bathtub and waits for me because he likes to sit on the edge of the tub when I bathe and for me to take a sopping wet washcloth and squeeze the water out all over him. He likes to get soaked, every single night. And for Lucy, because she is like 23 years old and is the most annoying cat IN THE WORLD. And because when their water bowl is empty she will HOWL, even at two in the morning, like she just got hit by a semi. And I am also grateful for all the not my cats who I feed and take care of. Because they trust me.

I am most grateful this year for my boyfriend. Because he is an incredible person and because he loves me without shame. Because I can wake up in the morning (when I am with him) and find him completely wrapped up against me. Because he doesn’t hold back with anything. Because he is the king of excess. Because his friends and family adore him. Because he is dedicated to everything he does. Because he holds my hand. Because he doesn’t listen to me when I say, “I can’t.” Because he wants to marry me. Because he has way too many black socks (again, he is the king of excess.) Because he calls me ALL the time, even after a year and a half. Because he e-mails me every morning. Because he makes my life a fairy tale. Because he made me realize that love, when done correctly and with the right person, is a good and happy thing.

I am grateful for my job. Because while it is totally stressful and annoying, it is also perfect. I have great hours, I make great money and the people I work with I have been working with for ten years. Because I can go away for two months and come back to my job as though I never left. Because my co workers are so funny, weird and wonderful and because my boss says things like, “this is what I think of the IRS,” and then farts.

I am grateful for my house. Even though the basement leaks, the electricity is OLD, there are too many drafts to count and it is located in the middle of a small town village. I love my house because it is mine and I will never forget the first night I stayed here. It was empty in here; I had a loveseat, a bed and a cat. I felt lonely and strongly independent at the same time. I sat in the middle of the floor for hours with a happy smile on my face because I had a whole house to myself and I could make it a home. Now I am have too much stuff for this house. Too much furniture, too many things, too many cats. I filled this place up.

I am grateful that I am getting older. Because people now ask me things. They trust my wisdom now. And I trust my wisdom now.

I am grateful that I never gave up on the dream of writing and being published. Because I realize now that at the age of twenty, when I was actively trying to get something published and failed, I didn’t have enough experience or wisdom to be writer. Now, at the age of thirty I understand that I finally have come into those things. Had I given up at twenty I never would have gotten here. And I have no doubt that someday I will be published.

I am grateful that I no longer use anti-perspirant. I use natural deodorant now. At first I was scared and thought I would stink. But I find that the smell of my armpits after a long day of working and going to the gym is better than it was when I was smearing chemicals under them.

I am grateful that I love to exercise.

I am grateful that as I age I am getting better every year. Maybe because I am getting wiser about the foods I eat and the amount of exercise I get. But I mostly think it is because I have excellent genes. Anyone will tell you that I look better at thirty than I did at eighteen. That is a vain and petty thing to be grateful for, but I am.

I am grateful that sweatpants were invented.

I am grateful for Newcastle beer and red French wine.

I am grateful for having the opportunity to spend months in France. And for feeling so comfortable there now that it feels like I am going home every time I go there.

I am grateful that I have traveled to many places.

I am grateful that I have not yet killed the people responsible for the Christmas decorations in my village. Every year for the last nine years I have gone insane and had to stop driving through the center of the village during the Christmas season because they do such a terrible job stringing the lights on the trees. They literally look as though they just THREW a string of lights at a tree and that was that. It’s terrible.

I am grateful for coffee, olives, avocados, chocolate, Indian food, sage, ginger, good bread, cheese and tomatoes right off the vine.

I am REALLY grateful for my juicer.

I am grateful for books.

I am grateful for hot baths.

I am grateful for my bed.

I am grateful for movies.

I am grateful for Chanel #5 for being the only perfume that doesn’t end up smelling all powdery and rancid on my skin.

I am grateful for B vitamins.

I am grateful for Diaryland.

I am grateful for Spider Solitaire even though the discovery of it has caused me to become quite unproductive.

I am grateful that Squishy cat is sitting on my lap right now with is paw and head draped over my left arm and he keeps looking up at me with adoration.

And now I have to go finish preparing Thanksgiving dinner. And I am grateful for that too.


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