Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it gives us each a reason to put our thankfulness into words. I am thankful for my family...husband and children, parents I am lucky enough to have, grandparents I was lucky enough to have and still miss, aunts and uncles, cousins and cousins' kids, neighbors and family friends who might as well pencil themselves into the family tree because they've become a branch of their very own over the years, in-laws though they be few and flung far about the country, and don't forget my online glass-loving-glass-melting-good-gabbing family of friends!
I am thankful for the growing wisdom and self knowledge that is (hopefully) beginning to balance out my cynicism and smartass-attitude. Do take note that I'm not all goody-goody. I did say "balance out," not "overshadow and push out of existence." Smartass-ery has its place in my world, but I truly am happy to say that I think I can set it aside most of the time and look at the world from a much more enlightened perspective. Basically, if you love what you are doing with your life and you are hurting no one by doing it, then I'm happy for you! I don't give a rat's patooty if you have a different religion or philosophical outlook than me, as long as you aren't trying to cram it down my throat because I am a heathen who doesn't believe what you believe. I don't give a flyingflibbertygidget whether you voted Republican or Democrat or AlienSpeciesFromAnotherPlanet, as long as you don't insist that I should have voted the way you voted just because you said so. I don't particularly like show-offs or hypocrites, but who am I to say that, when there's a good chance I've appeared that way to you at some time or another myself??
I am thankful for a growing understanding of the differences in individuals, as well as for the certain knowledge that another person's actions don't have to mean anything to me one way or the other ( unless that person's action is one of smacking me upside the head with a baseball bat or stealing my torch...then, you got a fight on your hands). Basically, if you like to watch Surfing with the Planets and spend the rest of your spare time crocheting used plastic bags into dresses, that's your business, not mine. I might like to know the story behind how you starting crocheting, though, even if I'd rather recycle my own plastic bags. It's all good. And you know what? If you truly enjoy listening to violin music instead of the fiddle, then why would I make fun of you? I might ask you if you've really never heard of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," though, because that's just the way I am. It's all good. Let me put it just one more way. If you know how to melt glass but find that you actually prefer to cut and sew quilt pieces, it's no skin off my nose. In fact, I might like to hear about how you like to do your quilting, whether it's all by hand or some by machine or the sweet little elves from the attic come downstairs and stitch it together for you after you fall asleep at night. It's all good.
Well, I guess by now, you get the idea. I am a smartass, but I am trying to also be a good person deep down-- a tolerant, understanding, encouraging, and kind person. You know, the old "if you can't say something good, don't say anything at all" outlook on life. That being said, here's the reason for the mention of duct tape in the title of this post: tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States, and there will be millions of families sharing a holiday meal at some point during this long weekend. Heaven/Goddess/Kermit-the-Frog help us all, it's going to be a looooooooong weekend for those of us trying to be good and kind and tolerant and understanding. It's just a given. That many different personalities in one house/room/back porch at the same time are bound to rub together here and there and create some friction! Hence, the duct tape solution.
Really, don't you think it's a good solution? When the first words you hear from FatRelativeWhoHasn'tSeenYouInAtLeastAYear are "oh, look at you, you've really put on some weight, haven't you?". . . rip off a piece of that duct tape and stick it over your mouth before you can mutter anything about pots calling kettles black. Simple. And, of course, I realize you thought I should suggest using the duct tape on the mouth of the irritating relative, but let's face it, what good would that do? Some people never change and that duct tape is bound to wear off eventually.
When the DumbRelativeWhoAlwaysTriesToOneUpYouEvenThoughYouAren'tCompeting greets you with "so, Ms. Uppity, is that a used car you're driving? I can tell because it looks so crappy next to my brand new POS Tin Can,". . .it's time to rip off that piece of duct tape and slap it on your mouth. Simple. You know, you *know*, deep down that some people are always gonna be one-upping you. If you put the duct tape over their mouth, they'll just rush off to the local duct tape emporium and buy a more expensive brand of tape.
When the GossipyRelativeWhoKnowsWhatBrandOfUnderwearEveryoneIsWearing asks "well, dear, what's new with you this year," . . .it's time to cram that duct tape across your face and run! Yeah, I said RETREAT! Nobody ever wins against the gossipy one!
So, this Thanksgiving holiday, enjoy the ups and downs and sideways slants of family life, tell your mama how good that pumpkin pie tastes, and KEEP THE DUCT TAPE HANDY. . .it's all good :)