Throughout November, many of my Facebook friends have been posting each day the things for which they are thankful. I didn't get that memo in time, so I haven't been doing it. Last night, my mother had what turned out to be a very small stroke - kind of like a stroke warning shot. She's doing quite well, despite a long, sleepless night in a busy hospital, and for that I am extremely grateful. It made me wish I had been doing the thanksgiving thing on Facebook, but those of you who know me will know that that kind of thing just isn't my style.
So. Here's my solution. I'm going to put all 30 of my November thankfulnesses right here, right now. Obviously, I am aware of how boring that sounds, but fear not, for I will be sure to Joe it up for you. And lest you think that I don't care about any of the important things in life -- it goes without saying that I am abundantly grateful for my awesome soulmate [Maris], for our families and our relatively good health, our jobs and the roofs over all our heads. What else is there, right?
Well, I am immensely thankful for...
1. Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, Glen Howerton, Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito, collectively. "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" is still the funniest show on TV. Its annual return makes autumn life worth living.
2. The supposedly benign nature of the ringing in my ear. "It's nothing we can or need to do anything about, Joe. Just tell your friends you have the same condition that affects Pete Townshend, and that you have it for more or less the same reason. That'll be $600, please - and don't act like you can't hear me, because I know that you can."
3. The end of Daylight Saving Time. An extra hour of drinking and watching cartoons. What more need I say?
4. Three words: Wal. King. Dead. "The Walking Dead" is about so much more than zombies. It's about the human condition pushed into uncharted territory. It's about relationships. It's about teamwork. It's... It's... It's about zombies. And it's just the bee's knees.
5 . My 12 1/2-year old car (my "snow car") passed its emissions test! I wasn't surprised, but I am thankful.
6. The fact that I live in a country where we regularly elect our leaders, and I took part in that process. Also - NO MORE POLITICAL ADS interfering with my enjoyment of TV, radio and the interwebs!!
7. An election in which most of the candidates and ballot questions I favored actually won. Of course, I realize that it really Doesn't Matter (much), but it feels good to root for winners, once in a while.
8. Leftover Chinese food.
9. Mom's immediate realization that something stroke-like was happening, and her quick actions leading to treatment. Of course, she did stop and feed the cat before the ambulance arrived, but still. She and modern medicine most certainly kept a bad thing from becoming a tragic thing. Of course, if she had a dog, she might have been warned before it even happened. Cats just look at you and say "where's my dinner?"
10. Mexican Coke. No, not the illegal drug. Do they even produce cocaine in Mexico? I don't want to know. No, I'm talking about the Coca-Cola - made in Mexico - that my grocery store has been selling lately. It's in the classic greenish glass bottle, and it's made with real cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. It's just better, rum or no rum, and it totally adds life.
11. Box turtles. They don't give you a hard time about ANYthing.
12. The five-second rule. I'm talking to you, taco-flavored Dorito.
13. Cool lights and lasers from Spencer's Gifts.
14. The way my new (less old) car tells me to watch out for ice when it's cold outside. She's always looking out for me. I should wash the poor thing more often.
15. The waitress at Dogfish Head Alehouse who calls [Maris] simply "Mountain Dew!"
16. 1981. Seriously, that year changed EVERYthing.
17. Rum. How can we not include rum on this list. I love it, and it loves me. And I live in Maryland, so that's totally legal, now. That doesn't make sense? Sorry!
18. The smell of a t-shirt with a freshly ironed-on decal at a beach-side souvenir shop. Bonus points for shirts featuring Chewbacca or Fonzie. Do not attempt to replicate this aroma at home with your own iron. It will not work.
19. Mute buttons. But really, what kind of button isn't mute?
20. The fact that I once slammed the door in Robin Ficker's face, saying little more than "Aaahh!" I'm mainly thankful for this for how it amused (and to this day continues to amuse) [Maris]. She was off to the side, and saw only a hand and a brochure thrust through our doorway, and she heard only "Hi, I'm Rob--" (SLAM!).
21. My own discomfort at seeing other people's reaction to my eyes, when one is green and the other blue. It gives me hope that maybe, just perhaps, I am human after all.
22. Windows Vista. Hahaha - just kidding - it's the WORST.
23. Catalytic converters. Not sure what it is that they do, but I'm thankful for them just the same.
24. Flowers. They make [Maris] so happy. What could be easier?
25. Legs. Yep. Legs.
26. Flea-flickers. Not so much the ones that get Joe Theismann's leg broken, but otherwise, they're awesome.
27. Getting to sixth gear in my car. My daily commute is so short (thankfully) that I can sometimes go a week or more without getting all the way through the gearbox.
28. The fact that, despite Life being A Rock, The Radio Rolled Me.
29. Rum. What?
30. I live in a place that is still mostly devoid of zombies. I know that I wouldn't last five minutes in such a world.