I spent most of last week wondering what I was going to crab about this week. I’m still looking. Everything seems to be on an upswing – the economy, the weather, the local football teams (well, some of them). Oh, there are exceptions here and there, but they’re so trivial. Thanksgiving comes this week, and I’m finding myself giving with what they call an “attitude of gratitude.”
I’m grateful that I lived long enough to see Stanford beat USC and Oregon in the same season (the latter in noisy Eugene). (The exception: hey, guys, if you’d beaten Notre Dame in overtime, you might be #1 this week.)
I’m grateful that the house will be filled with four generations on Thursday, from my one-year-old great-nephew to my 92-year-old father. (The exception: one of my nieces – apparently adopted – is a Dallas Cowboys fan, and will probably want the game on.) I’m grateful that Monica’s family will be celebrating close enough that we can join them for dessert. (I’m also grateful for two desserts.)
I’m grateful that we bought a fake Christmas tree many years ago, so we don’t have to go out and have another live one killed on our behalf. (The exception: it’s so bulky, and our backs have been acting up, so we’re going to have to have some of the younger Thanksgiving guests drag it in from the garage – hint, hint.)
I’m grateful that business has bounced back so much this year that I will be able to head down to my local Costco for an intoxicating and extravagant holiday shopping spree – after which I will drive another three blocks to leave everything at a local charity that will distribute it to people who really need it. (The exception: that’s the extent of our Christmas gift exchange, and I kind of miss presents under the tree.)
I’m grateful that my cat Bandit is back to his bouncy self, even after having all of his teeth extracted last month due to some genetic condition the veterinarian couldn’t quite get me to understand. (No exception.)
I’m grateful that Obama was re-elected with such a strong Electoral College tally, nullifying my hand-wringing of a couple of weeks ago. (The exception: I still worry about the do-nothings and the obstructionists in Congress, no matter what their party.)
I’m grateful that the weather has been so nice this fall. (The exception: we need rain, and I’m beginning to wonder if this really is the global warming that wasn’t supposed to come for thirty years.)
I’m grateful for all the people who give blood, rescue animals, rush into burning buildings, research inscrutable diseases, stock the shelves at the supermarket, grow food, pick up litter, say thank you when someone holds the door, and read my blog. (No exceptions.)
Okay, now that I’ve done this exercise, I’ve come to this conclusion: it’s really annoying not being able to find anything really annoying.
Middle Age Cranky at 100: Fine Whines & Muddled Memories, a compilation of the first 100 columns, is now available as an e-book at Smashwords and other digital bookstores.