Last night, both of us back from our respective engagements, my roommate, over our twin plates of leftover stuffing and pumpkin pie, held court on the couch about the wrongness of Black Friday, the black irony of how it comes on the heels of a day that celebrates humility, et cetera. The standard argument. And while there’s a quibble to be had about whether Thanksgiving, a day of unrepentant gluttony with some dicey colonial undercurrents, is really all that much about humility—that quibble was not had.
What’s the point?
We know what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about, ideally, and we do our best to live up to that. We fall short, as with most things, but we try.
My roommate had an episode at his Thanksgiving dinner where somebody mentioned the president during prayer, actually thanked the guy for their blessings, whereupon my roommate spoke up to say that, whatever our politics are, we shouldn’t be extending celestial deference to a human. Especially a politician.
Caused a rift.
My own dad was a little mopey, understandably, he’s got a lot on his plate (pardon the pun), but he would make remarks about his woes through the day that were intended to shut down conversations and leave the participants (me, mostly) to wallow in the wake of his grievances.
But we had a nice time and he provided a great meal. My brother and I and a family friend joined him and everything was fun.
After that I went to my aunt’s house where my mom was supposed tos how up and I had a great time with my cousins for a few hours before driving home, parking at my dad’s place, and stopping along the way at Blackbird Ordinary, which is normally too busy for my liking but, on Thanksgiving, was pretty quiet.
I sat there reading from Martin Amis’s latest essay collection, The Rub of Time, and I traded messages with two friends and I felt…terrific. Just happy in the very simplest and mot pure way. I was sipping on small cans of PBR, so there wasn’t much fo a buzz, but there was some kinda glow from the day, I think, the evening. The way that things weren’t perfect but we all dressed up and contributed to something that strove, in a valiant and doomed way, toward something approximating perfection.
Guess I was feeling thankful. Among other things.