November 21, 2012

Misty Watson: 30 days of thankfulness?

I can’t log onto Facebook these days without seeing some sappy post about how awesome someone’s spouse or kids are and how thankful the person is for them.

It doesn’t seem to matter that the rest of the year I see sarcastic remarks, complaints — basically the funny, entertaining posts — about these exact same people who never put up their laundry, that are now suddenly elevated to a level just below sainthood.

It seems about half of my friends list are participating in “30 days of thankfulness” during November in honor of Thanksgiving.

I think it was the late Elaine Butler who told me once that she wrote down five things she was thankful for every day. In an effort to be less cynical and more grateful, I decided to try that. I did it for a couple of years and found that many days I was thankful for the basics — “family, friends, health, shelter, freedom, God.” I was often rushing to scribble my list at the end of the day and barely put any effort into it. It seems as though many of my friends are now running into the same dilemma.

Though I think people can benefit from doing these lists by re-evaluating how awesome their life really is, it’s just not for me. Of course you’re thankful for those things. If you didn’t love your friends and family you’d be a jerk. If you weren’t thankful for a warm home, you’d be ungrateful.

So keeping in mind that I think I’m the world’s greatest comedian (though I fear I’m not only my biggest fan, but my only fan), here is my list of 30 things I am thankful for that doesn’t include the “basics.”

1. Text messaging. It makes it easier to avoid the small talk when all I need is the answer to a quick question. I hate small talk, and I’m often seen as being rude for not participating in the “Hi, how are you? Fine. How are you?” exchange.

2. Baby fingernail clippers and files. If you’ve ever tried to wrestle an alligator with talons to put a diaper on it and dress it, you’d be thankful for them, too. As one of my friends said recently, if there’s ever a zombie apocalypse she will choose her son’s fingernails as her weapon.

3. Bad photography. Looking at it cheers me up faster than chocolate. (My two favorite sites: awkwardfamilyphotos.com and youarenotaphotographer.com.)

4. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They make my affinity for pizza look mild to moderate.

5. The “unfriend,” “hide” and “block” abilities of Facebook. Now how do we make those options available in real life?

6. New Jersey. Every day it makes being from Georgia look better and better.

7. DVR. I never have to watch another commercial again.

8. Nose hair trimmers.

9. Sarcasm. Otherwise, I may not be able to communicate.

10. Indoor plumbing. Enough said.

11. The eastbound right-hand lane on the four-lane between Chatsworth and Dalton. Without it, there would be no way to pass the driver who insists on going 45 mph in the left-hand lane from the bypass all the way to where they’re turning onto Duvall Road.

12. People who say “yes!” when I ask them to be “Citizen of the Day.” Finding willing people is often the most frustrating part of my day.

13. Hobby Lobby. I am not allowed to go in the store unsupervised. (And by the way, that’s my own rule.)

14. THE CAPS LOCK BUTTON. Otherwise, I may never know when someone is yelling at me online.

15. My family. Wait. How did that get on my list?

16. Jeans, hoodies and flip-flops. My go-to outfit for many occasions, despite the attempts from friends and family to make me care about fashion.

17. Chopsticks. I really don’t know how you’d eat sushi (vegetarian, of course) without them!

18. Jigsaw puzzles. No, really. I like putting puzzles together. (That’s a contribution from the little old lady I swear lives inside me.)

19. My Nalgene bottles. Mmmm ... water, and I don’t taste metal at all. (I don’t know how some of you drink water out of a metal water bottle.)

20. Remote controls. I don’t think I would ever watch TV if I had to get up to change the channel or to fast-forward through the commercials on the DVR.

21. Amazon.com. If I didn’t have to try on pants before I bought them, I’d never have to actually step foot into a crowded store again. I hate crowds and I hate shopping, and I hate shopping in crowds the most.

22. Cloth diapers. They have saved my family hundreds of dollars, and once you can handle cloth diapering, you can handle anything. It’s like it has made me a superhero. My new go-to phrase for everything is “I’m a cloth diapering mom. I can handle anything.” I often get funny responses though, like “What? I just asked if you could cut this thread off my sleeve.”

23. Some things that don’t belong in a newspaper column.

24. Heated car seats. I don’t have them because I can barely afford a car with windows you roll down with the push of a button, but I like it when I get to ride in a car with them. Toasty.

25. My favorite kitchen gadgets. Life wouldn’t be the same without my emulsion blender, food processor and mandolin. How else would you make your favorite creamy soup, hummus and better-than-McDonald’s fries?

26. The LEGOs series video games (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Batman, Indiana Jones). I wish if I hit someone or something in real life it would bust apart and spit out coins.

27. Dinosaurs are extinct. I’ve got enough going on in my life without having to worry about being an overgrown lizard’s prey.

28. People who tell me they like to read my columns. You rock!

29. Lists and Post-its. How does anything get done without them?

30. December is getting closer, which means the 30 days of thankfulness is almost over.

Murray County native Misty Watson is a photographer and writer for The Daily Citizen. Yes, she is always this sarcastic. Tweet what you’re thankful for using #dcnthankful.

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