I Am Grateful

It’s that time of year again–you know, that time when everyone starts thinking about all the things in their lives for which they’re thankful and begin deluging us with schmaltzy ruminations. Although I’m not a touchy-feely kind of girl, I’m not immune to the season.  Since I know you’re waiting with bated breath, here are the things in my life for which I am grateful, sans schmaltz.

  •  My cats. Because I have so many of them, I will not go hungry in a (brief) famine.
  • My job. I have one; that in itself is enough for which to be grateful. But the deliciously wacky people with which and for whom I work give me unlimited fodder for my writing, and that is priceless (names have been changed to protect the…innocent just doesn’t seem to fit here…) 
  • My husband. Because I am married, it means that when I wake up in the middle of the night and start thinking about a movie I watched that wasn’t really scary when I watched it but which is now completely freaking me out, I have someone to wake up and share my misery. Of course, it also means I have to share the top-shelf scotch, but I suppose there must be some give-and-take. 
  • My best friend. When I do idiot crap like lean on the dining room table to open the window and it collapses, shattering the rails underneath where the extra leaf goes, she makes fun of me in Southern (“You broked the table openin’ the winder?”).  She is delightfully quick on her mental feet, which means I must be on my toes and keep my wit sharpened at all times, but since I’m able to extend to you the fruits of such labor (i.e. my delightfully sarcastic sense of humor for which you are all grateful), it’s a price worth paying. 
  • My children. While many times throughout their lives I’ve fully understood why some species eat their young, my children have provided me with many hours of hilarity, usually at their own expense. Such as the time my son shaved off his eyebrows because “it seemed like a good idea at the time,” and when my daughter looked her brother in the eye as he jumped in front of her, claiming to be a superhero, and she said “All I see is a dipshit with a blanket tied around his neck.” And the foster kid…oy; with that one we almost don’t need TV. And my Other Kids…you know who you are, and you know what you’ve done. And you know I won’t forget any of it. 
  • My friends. From the one who lets me fall down in parking lots in front of all the hunky Heavy Equipment students and never lets me forget it to another who tries to mow down the campus ducks with her SUV and lets me call her Wide-Mouth Frog (well…”lets” is a strong word…”hasn’t beaten the crap outta me for it” is more like it) to another who is cooking my crazy meatball relatives…wait, I think I still have something wrong with that whole thing…to yet another who inspires desk envy and lets me dream I’ve lost my high heels (which I don’t wear) in his house (which I’ve never seen and which may or may not occupy land in two nonadjacent states) to all the others who let me be my crazy self and just shake their heads and make the sign to ward off evil spirits…er…ANYWAY… 

I have moments of levity (let me labor under the delusion that this is one of them) in the oddest moments, frequently at inappropriate times. My sense of humor is an wild entity that often seems completely separate from the rest of me, which explains so much. I have come to terms with a lot of my shortcomings—I will never be a diva or an artist of world renown; I have a very German nose and a dimple in my chin; and grace is definitely not a part of my genetic material—but I have grown comfortable in this neon-white signal-planes-from-the-ground skin in which I was born.

So my final expression of gratitude is toward my God (if He’s not your God or you have no God, you can ignore this part, but if you flame-broil me for expressing my faith then you will be subjected to that rapier wit I mentioned earlier and I will give no quarter) for making me the off-beat, slightly crazy girl I am, and for surrounding me with people who are either willing to overlook those qualities or who actually LIKE those qualities and love me anyway. Those people are loved from the bottom of my (some say cold-as-the-Arctic) heart.

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