Thanksgiving has always been a weird holiday for a few reasons: it basically involves a ceremonial feast with food, kind of bland, that you don’t (or rarely) eat at any other time. It’s based on an event that probably didn’t happen in the first place, sort of a whisper-down-the-lane evolution of a gathering between two groups of people who probably wanted to kill one another. Well, not probably. And now here we are centuries later. When you’re a kid, it’s hard to feel thankful for things because being thankful involves time (distance) and recognition (understanding), things that are not typically the strong points of anyone under the age of 11. But by the time you’re an adult, say 25, you’re supposed to understand gratitude, unless you’re like me and don’t really catch on to the whole idea until you’re in your 40s and just beginning to think about getting old and dying. Then feeling grateful is like that extra credit report that might make your grade a little higher, or make you live a little longer. Still you don’t want gratitude to start feeling like a chore, which is what it sometimes does when at Thanksgiving you’re asked to say what you are grateful for.
That’s why this year, when we were all seated around the table, I said we all know we are thankful for each other so let’s (cut the crap) and each say something about ourselves that no one else knows. What? Everyone screamed and/or laughed loudly and nervously. My brother Lightfield left the table. Some people thought I was kidding and the ones that didn’t hated me. I only meant to encourage things like “I have to drink chocolate milk with a spoon” or “Every morning when I wake up I have to say cockadoodledoo”, or even “I sneezed into the stuffing while I was making it”, nothing deep, nothing too revealing. But I couldn’t even make the suggestion; it was too horrifying. A few brave members gave it a go, Cam told how she pees in her pants a little when she does jumping jacks and Beau told a story about how he caught a hillside on fire when he was in some skateboard park by himself (see, that’s what I’m talking about!) but then it came back to quiet. Can you pass the salad? Mmm this is delicious.
I was thinking about this when I read yesterday about the Wikipedia leaks. I thought what are those idiots doing? What the hell? What do we need to know this stuff for? Who are these self-righteous wiki-holes and what is their purpose? And then I thought, wait, am I the same kind of idiot? I mean the information does not carry the same weight but am I being self righteous and inconsiderate trying to dig that up? I mulled this over and then decided no, I’m not a wiki-hole. There is a reason for diplomacy but not with your family. Maybe it will be less scary next year.