Thanks, spanx and cheesecake: An ode to November
Last November, 20 some-odd friends and I unfolded metal chairs around two beer pong tables, a snack tray and a music stand. We raised plastic cups of apple cider-sangria and cans of warm Rolling Rock while cheers-ing our inaugural Friendsgiving feast. Somewhere between
(A) under-cooking the sweet potatoes with my best friend and her off-the-boat Irish mother,
(B) ripping my dress at the waistline before a vaguely inappropriate grace, and
(C) Celine Dion karaoke,
I was once again mulled down by the giant hypothetical U-Haul-truck that’s been lugging around all the feelings I’ve been feeling (est. 1991) and all the thanks I have left to give.
I. Friends, family and cheesecake
I’m thankful for friends that still love and (somewhat) respect me even after I spent Thanksgiving Eve ’14 bawling my eyes out at the bar because “that bitch looked at me like I was fucking orphan Annie” (and for family that helped nurse the subsequent hangover). I’m thankful for our strong and powerful clan (not to be confused with cult, though that is–at times–an understandable mix-up), however small and occasionally petty. For friends that inspire me, challenge me, dance with me and actually like me. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be ticket #46 at a 45-person dinner at the home of my second family; the one that offered up their basement futon for a few
days weeks months because the odds were stacked against me and there was no one else sleeping on it at the time.
“Who are you here with?”
“Oh, I used to live in the basement.”
I’m equally thankful for said family’s Aunt Barbara and her cheesecake, but that’s neither here nor there.
II. The 21st century/popular culture
I’m thankful for tights with built-in spandex, strapless bras, and pizza. For autocorrect, for auto-enhance, and for oversized sweatshirts. For self timers, red lipstick, cheap wine, and old My Chemical Romance (RIP). I’m thankful for bars that are also on boats, open bar wristbands, and all the open bar tabs that I remembered to close this year (pour some out for the ones that I left cold, alone and very much open while I stood in line for street corner falafel). I’m thankful that Snapchat is time-sensitive (unless you’re a dick), and that I didn’t die those two times I went to Delaware. I’m thankful for the Internet and the ability for someone’s words, thoughts, and ideas to go viral. I’m thankful for drugstores that still carry disposable cameras and for those few and far between moments we get all the girls in one picture. I’m thankful for dresses that photograph well and for Mexican street corn. For beards and booze and bars with Dirty Jenga. I’m thankful that Instagram version 6.4.0 finally allowed for edits (and therefore, for all of my emojis to fit on the same line).
Also, for back-up hard drives and deep fried Oreos.
III. Amy Poehler
I’m thankful for anything Amy Poehler gets her presumably soft and sensual hands on (including but not limited to: Chris Pratt, Yes Please and “Broad City”).
Writing is a nightmare.
– Amy Poehler
See also: tiring and taxing and often entirely thankless but, if Amy Poehler was able to birth a best-selling memoir while also filing for divorce, co-hosting the Golden Globes, and closing the book on a seven-season sitcom, I’m pretty sure I can pencil it in with throwing clean laundry on my freshly swept bedroom floor and burning every piece of toast I touch.
I’m thankful for roommates who are also my friends, i.e. roommates I want to come home to. I’m thankful for roommates who sit at the foot of my bed when I’m crying (and offer to call an ambulance because they’re boys and are new to the idea of panic attacks); roommates who splurge on a $15 tree from the 99 cent store across the street, even though the fake snow might just be asbestos; and roommates that don’t mind that said tree’s been up all year.
V. My lungs and legs
Coming from a family with an aggressive medical history (cancer loves us, what can I say?), my okay health is something I’m thankful for each year.
Plus, having not broken a body part since that bottle of Smirnoff helped shatter my kneecap in high school is something worth celebrating.
VI. My parents
Not only am I thankful for the time I had with these two beautiful humans but I’m also thankful for the subtle reminders they’re still here; like the time my phone buzzed to tell me that a band named “MOM” had followed me on Twitter, or the time I reached into my purse for a pen and pulled out a golf tee.
Perhaps most of all, I am thankful for this platform. For the ability to (occasionally over-)share my thoughts (however self loathing and riddled with comma splices they may be) with readers who give somewhat of a shit*.
* Even when I go six months without posting.