On this day we are thankful for birth control and baked goods.

Since when did everyone in the world, and Morrissey, and Gary Oldman, start hating Thanksgiving? Truth be told, there are plenty of holidays we could all get behind hating that are much more worthy. We could start with the long list of holidays no one gets off school or work for, but that delay delivery of the stuff I bought while Ambien shopping. (That’s the real Christmas morning, folks). for good measure, let’s throw in the one I spend perched by the window, stress eating the chocolates I bought for The Mister, and waiting for the flower delivery I can Instagram and confirm I married someone who knows how to use the calendar function on his phone, and, obviously, loves me more.

I once heard that if you say pumpkin spice latte into a mirror three times, a white girl in yoga pants will tell you all of her favorite things about fall. When did we forget that?
I once heard (from @aguywithnolife on Twitter), “if you say pumpkin spice latte into a mirror three times, a white girl in yoga pants will tell you all her favorite things about fall.” When did we forget that?

We’d barely packed away the plastic spiders and pitched the pumpkins that hadn’t become roadkill before Boogie started asking me why everyone else has their Christmas decorations up. To which I replied, “because Christmas decorations make Mommy fat.”

But, honestly, Halloween decorations make me fat, too, and I can’t handle two full months of keeping the Sequel from teething on the shards from broken glass ornaments, and explaining to Boogie why she can’t scale the Christmas tree.

Come on Retail Industrial Complex, three weeks before Thanksgiving I had already explained to her at least twice that Santa Claus is eating in the food court because if Mrs Claus is going to make dinner and do the dishes he can pack his own damned lunch.

I am left wondering when we become so opposed to celebrating the pleasures of eating pumpkin pie while being reminded just how far race relations have come since our grandparents’s time. And why can’t I just enjoy my turkey while listening to my drunk relatives talk about how they just discovered this thing call the Facebook, and can’t figure out if I accepted the friend request they sent me last month?

Thanksgiving is about more than dysfunctional togetherness, and getting pissed that your spouse didn’t catch your ‘let’s get out of here,’ signal before you were forced to finish that bottle of cheap whiskey. It’s about being thankful for the aunts who aren’t speaking to the other aunts across the room but still showed up. And for having met said spouse who’s leg you pinched really damned hard while jerking your head towards the door. (Seriously, how do you miss that?) And baked goods, we mustn’t forget being thankful for the baked goods.

So this morning, in the spirit of celebrating the one day I can force my children to show some gratitude, I sat the kids down and told them if they wanted to eat ever again they had to list the things they were thankful for. With a not so gentle reminder that if they didn’t mention me then there are plenty of grateful children in Africa who would appreciate all of the toys I have bought them. Naturally, Boogie started with the amazing bounty of frozen waffles spread before her. I insisted she end with being thankful I wipe her butt, because what good is Thanksgiving if you can’t finally get a ‘thank you’ for that?

Unless you count shrill screams that could signal the second coming of the Beatles, and the grunts produced when he’s trying to produce, The Sequel can’t technically talk. So I grabbed his upper and lower lips and, like a master ventriloquist recovering from intense oral surgery, made helped him tell everyone he was thankful for having a mother he is certain should be a Mensa candidate and who is so beautiful even Zooey Deschanel must avert her eyes.

When it got around to my turn, I told them both how thankful I was to have finished collecting the entire suburban action figure set, including the dog. As the Sequel screamed and threw his milk down to demand I clear the pathetic excuse for a meal I served him, I added, “Of the set, I am especially thankful that I have my two perfect children,” then stage whispered, “and not three.”

Next Thanksgiving I want to be thankful for surgical birth control.

Mic Drop.

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My Lesson in Acceptance and Thankfulness

The back-up plan, Image Credit: JonesSoda.com

This year I have doomed my family am hosting Thanksgiving at my house. I love a good party, however I do not have experience with, nor do I like the prospect of, disemboweling foul of any kind, so this should be interesting.

To put it nicely, I am not the biggest fan of my mother’s boyfriend. The myriad of reasons I will not get into here because I am fairly certain my mother is the only one who reads this anyway, so lets just leave it be for now. I figured that having all of my family over to my house and voluntarily getting elbows deep in turkey guts gave me the right to staunchly defend the sign I placed on my clubhouse door, scrawled in crayon no less, ‘no boys allowed, except this short list that doesn’t include my mom’s boyfriend’. (I figured excluding the Mister in our Thanksgiving festivities might put a chink in our marital armor, so he just made the cut.)

Yesterday afternoon I was high on my righteousness when my mom called and asked if I was sure the veritable ‘he’ couldn’t come with her. I could tell she was near tears as she pleaded her case, but I am ashamed to say I passed on the opportunity to repay her kindness in putting up with all of my obnoxious choices in men.

I told my mom I had to think about it and would let her know. My curt reply might not have meant much to my mother, but as I hung up I was ashamed with myself. How am I supposed to teach my own daughter to accept others when I walk into the other room and make my mom to beg me to be accepting of her choices? How is it that I could turn a family holiday into a soap box from which I call down my own mother, while expecting my own daughter to have respect for me? Damn babies, making you want to be a better you.

I called my mother that evening, I had wanted to tell her in an angry and resigned voice that I would set a place for her boyfriend if she really thought it was best for everyone that he joined us. The next morning, when I finally did talk to her, I had softened and extended the invitation in a more mild, and much more respectful manner than previously intended. I couldn’t help making it clear that it was only because I love her, and wanted to show that I have respect for her that I am putting together another place setting down. So, we have an even 12 who will be gathered around our table for tomorrow’s festivities because I am thankful for the family I have, and sometimes being thankful is about being humbled.

My first Turkey Day foray is teaching me why a calling to attend culinary school never came, but it is perhaps the humbling lesson in thankfulness and acceptance I had to embody for my daughter that I need to carry with me through the rest of the year.