Mike and I are staying home for Turkey Day. My husband can hardly sit in our very large and comfortable love seat without howling in pain; riding in our very small and uncomfortable Saturn seemed out of the question, even if the journey would have carried us straight into the arms of a fried turkey. I'm going to cook tomorrow and Friday, and even though our Thanksgiving menu is going to be a bit non-traditional, I'm quite excited about it. What I'm making will have to be revealed later because the chances I say ah, screw it and run out to Taco Bell instead of dirtying up the dishes I JUST CLEANED are pretty 50/50 and I'd hate to tease you with promises of possibly-from-Everyday-Italian recipes and then deliver pictures of a cheesy gordita crunch (Mike's) and a Diet Pepsi (mine).
It's all very bittersweet, this long weekend at home, because on the one hand there's NO! HOLIDAY! TRAFFIC! and on the other there's no quality time with out-of-town friends and family and no quick trip to College Station. But Mike and I spent our very first Thanksgiving alone together (2004), so it's kind of nice that we're spending this Thanksgiving—our first as husband and wife—also alone together. The holiday obviously makes me think about what I'm thankful for, even though I've never been very big at the whole going around the table and spilling out my generic gratitude, because obviously I'm grateful for the big things—family, friends, a job, health, my Mollyhead, running water and so on. And the other things just seem odd disclosing. Except on a blog! Awkward disclosures are like half the reason I do this. You too?
Of course, I am thankful for my family, my friends, my dog, but I'm thankful for more than that (although actually less than that, as nothing is really more important than those big things, I know).
I am thankful when I hit a string of green lights on my commute home or when I'm slightly chilly and open the dishwasher only to be pleasantly surprised with a layer of steamy heat. I am thankful my mother takes me to lunch and hugs me hello and goodbye. I am thankful for eBay and shopping on warm Sunday afternoons. I am thankful for movie trailers and fountain drinks and warm pretzels slathered in mustard. I am thankful for our wedding photos and all the memories looking at them conjures up. I am thankful for Saturday breakfasts with my husband and Saturday afternoon naps. I am thankful for bad TV and good TV and TiVo giving me easy access to both. I am thankful for good neighbors and friends who forgive quickly and anyone who loves fiercely. I am thankful I show up for my own life. I am thankful that I think odd/crazy/weird/different/strange/dorky are all synonyms for authentic. I am thankful for enthusiasm and strong margaritas. I am thankful for warm sweatshirts and my husband's ratty T-shirts. I am deeply grateful for all the ones who came before him—the ones who discarded me and disrespected me and lied to me and even for one in particular who used me on such a grand scale it became hard to recognize mysel—because every time my flopping and burrito-rolling stirs my husband in the middle of the night and he, still mostly asleep, reaches out to rest a hand on my shoulder/back/arm/leg, I am reminded that his touch wiped clean all the scars left by those who touched me before. I am thankful for learning how to invest in good make-up and good hair products and realizing that no matter how much money we have, my body deserves respect. I am thankful for the smell of smoke rising from chimneys and a season dedicated to—among other things—carbs. I am thankful for prosecco and ripe apples and nutella. I am thankful for boutique sales and ballet flats and wine glasses and Central Market's cheese selection. I am thankful for good books and deep laughs and sleeping in. I am thankful for the feeling I can still remember—almost perfectly—of walking on my college campus. I am thankful my husband holds my hand and that I am in control of my own happiness. I am thankful for easy laughter and Mosaic tables and mimosas. I am thankful for my sister and the mother she has become. I am thankful for the family I married into and the family I came from. I am thankful for a childhood in California—Oakland A's games and race days and the zoo and the gelato place on Taravel and West Portal and driving down to Santa Cruz in the summer—and being an adult in Texas—wildflowers and cheap gas and football and Mexican food and Wings N More and chivalry. I am thankful for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and that I learned how to say yes to life, even when paralyzed with fear. I am thankful for pictures and snail mail and an Internet that is so vast and wide and expansive yet seems to easily connect me with such incredible people.
And I am thankful that although bratty and selfish and exhausted and ridiculously sensitive and optimistically cynical and broken and scared and jealous and insecure and hopeful and bitchy and childish, I am still grateful every day for this life, this person that I am.
I hope your day—however you spend it—is just how you want it. Whether surrounded by chaos and turkey or with your best friend and a pepperoni pizza. There should be no rules on how we spend our happy moments. And no two Thanksgivings are the same. Thank goodness.
Although I'm looking forward to a few days off work and a few extra hours with my guy and, yes, possibly a sale or two, I am thankful that I don't need a calendar to tell me when I can celebrate life.