Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cheese, compromise, and America: Things you can expect me to blog about in the future.

Hello internets! Thursday is tentatively my day to blog, but last week I buckled under the pressure and skirted the issue on a technicality (I may have faked some heart palpitations. Or maybe they were real, I guess we'll never know).

But here we are, and even though the book store is closed today for this day of Thanks, I can't resist the call of the blogosphere. I never could, I never will. Were it possible, I would liquidate the internet into a hot beverage that I would swirl with a cinnamon stick and take with me into an enormous armchair of an afternoon.

Having almost finished the book The Corrections by Jonathon Franzen, I'm struggling over the last 40 pages or so. Laina, another Booksmithie, told me her father didn't like it when he read it, and when the father in question came in later that night and testified that, indeed, he wasn't fond of the book because he couldn't take the dysfunctional familial relations, I waved him off. While not having a dysfunctional family myself, I was a teenage rebel; I died my hair neon prismacolor shades and pierced the various soft parts of my head and there is no amount of alienation and neurosis I can't stomach. Pshaw, I said. These matters are not for the squeamish. I got this.

Here we are, weeks later, and I'm lagging. I've made it through so much now it would be silly not to finish, but its become chore-like. The characters are difficult, its true, but what mostly gets me is their inability to compromise with each other, which leads to the constant fighting.

This is where my Thanksgiving comes in.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, in my opinion. Not because of the defunct patriotism ("Sorry indigenous peoples of everywhere, our total bad. You don't have any system of land ownership though, so it is kiiiiiind of your fault. Hugs and kisses, Colonialism") but because nothing reaffirms my belief in the power of compromise than an afternoon spent with my wonderful family all in the same room. Most of them are dry, so instead of having the drunk uncle that stands up during dinner and gives everyone a piece of his mind, we have an endless parade of compromise.

We compromise when we do or don't argue with Aunt A that its obvious grandpa should no longer be allowed to drive. We compromise when we don't complain when the inevitable kitchen meltdown occurs, electric utensils are blamed, and pledges are made to Do Better Next Year. I steel myself not to laugh audibly in her face when my grandmother makes another reference to Younger Cousin being potentially mentally disabled when in reality he has a job and lives on his own and has never once given her evidence to that except by not going to college. I don't roll my eyes when Aunt B asks about how school is, I just say that its awesome and boy isn't learning just the best!? My eyes bulge and teeth grind a little, but she buys it.

My point is, the reason my family works is not because nobody has a current drug or alcohol problem, (which, I would like to point out, has not always been the case) nor is it because we all love each other particularly more than other families. Its because we only insist on seeing each other a few times a year and when those times eventually occur we don't ask each other to be people we're not. Compromise. I hope this holiday, everyone took a look around at their families and those beloved to them and accepted them, point blank, without reserve.

To sum:

Things I am thankful for:
1. Cheese, things covered in cheese.
2. Tina Fey.
3. My patient family.
4. Cheese deserves another slot.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

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