November 23, 2011

Thanks A Lot!

I've been going to my friends Lauren and Bill's for Thanksgiving for most of the last ten years, and it's always lovely with an elegant table setting, exquisite food and charming guests. I bring my corn souffle every year, and a bottle of wine, and for me the only stress to that meal is figuring out how much food I can pack away without throwing up. Thanksgiving's my favorite holiday and my favorite meal.

But here's the thing: Lauren's Bill always asks people to say what they're thankful for. He goes around the table calling on people who may or may not know about his tradition. So then you have to come up with something to say. Sounds easy, right? Well, there are rules: it can't be about friends or family, it can't be about work, and it can't be about health.
Oh. My. God. Try coming up with something that meets those criteria.
It's so stressful.
There's so much pressure to come up with something everyone will appreciate, and even better if it's something poignant but funny. Humor is always a big hit.
I start thinking about it the day after T'giving for the following year.
Holy crap, I'm a writer. How hard could this be?
I'm thankful for so many things. I'm thankful for my whole life. But I can't say that. I'm thankful to have people like them to spend T'giving with. But I can't say that. I'm thankful that I have work that I love, family that I cherish, friends who make my life richer, a comfortable home in the most desirable neighborhood in Chicago...but I can't say any of that.
This year it's a no-brainer: I'm thankful that St. Martin's Press is publishing my book and making my dream come true. It makes me feel like a rock star. But that may be against the rules - Bill will surely consider that work. So I have a fallback position: I'm thankful that I don't have bedbugs. My neighbors had them but the little suckers don't crawl through concrete and for that, I'm truly thankful. At least they haven't made it so far. If one gets through during the night, tho, I'm screwed.

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