The pilgrims were happy and thankful in 1637 that America had not killed them all. The Indians were happy and thankful that the pilgrims had not killed them all (yet). They survived. As a tribute to their survival, Americans traditionally eat themselves into oblivion on this holiday.
And not everyone will survive.
I was reminded about half way through this day that today is Thanksgiving Day in America. Somehow I had forgotten what is arguably one of the most celebrated holidays back home. I was reminded about it not by a fellow American but by a Bulgarian.
With only a few hours left of Thanksgiving, it would behoove me to express my gratitude quickly - all the quicker to get back to my standard cynical posture tomorrow.
However, unlike the pilgrims, I am casting around now for things to be thankful for - aside from those immutables like family and friends, health and soundness of mind (on most days). The pilgrims were grateful for a negative: they were happy they did not die. I suppose I am happy for this too. In those terms, one may be happy for a lot of things:
- I am thankful that I did not get hit by the bus which grazed the brim of my cap while walking home today.
- I am grateful that despite the prodigious quantity consumed, I never choked on any cevapi or the attendant cabbage.
- I am grateful that the new smoking law does not reach its influence into my home.
- I am grateful and happy that no one ever calls on me to say too many polysyllabic words in Serbian.
- I am thankful that many shops have not had much milk or cheese for the past few weeks, helping me stick to my diet.
- I am thankful that there is nothing good on television in the afternoons.
- I am thankful for the return of freezing weather, lest my gloves never be used this year.
- I am thankful for merchants and shopkeepers who do not waste their time talking to me more than absolutely necessary to tell me they do not have what I want. "Nema."
- I am thankful not to have suffered a cardiac infarction on the treadmill by trying to keep up with the Serious Gym Guys.
- And I am thankful for Velcro, because, well... who isn't?
If I had remembered the holiday, I might have had a much longer list of those terrible and unspeakable things which failed to happen to me this year for which I am infinitely thankful.
And this is something for which YOU can be thankful.