It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and you guys are all either breathing your last as the hordes of shoppers trample on your head to reach the last Lalaloopsy Silly Hair doll available in North America, or else you’re weeping into a pan of leftover cornbread stuffing, wondering how you’ll ever face your girlfriend again after that . . . thing you did at her parents’ house. In any case, I know perfectly well that no one’s reading this.
I, for one, had a lovely Thanksgiving. The food was great, I didn’t make any of it myself, and there were cousins galore. My husband stuck to his “do not mention” list of interesting factoids about Newt Gingrich, and we’re fairly sure that, in the absence of readily available DNA tests, no one can trace that puddle in the corner to our family.
But let’s not go overboard. I’m as thankful as the next person, but I do have my limits. So here are ten things that, despite my happy little life, I just can’t bring myself to be thankful for.
Remember in Castaway, when the woman waits and waits for her fiancé, and finally he’s been gone so long that he’s declared dead, and she mourns and grieves and misses him terribly, but eventually finds the strength to put the pieces of her life back together, and she moves on and finds a new love and marries him and builds a new life, and she’s doing just fine?
And then her fiancé comes home? It’s kind of like that. No thanks.
Remember that time when McDonald’s used to sell this utterly repulsive sandwich dipped in a purplish, sticky glaze and formed of—what is it? You’ve heard of swine futures. I’m pretty sure the McRib’s main ingredient is swine pasts—and a tragic past it is. Now, I’m not exactly a food purist. I have a cheese drawer full of something called “American Accent processed slice products” (what? It helps me maintain my recommended daily allowance of Yellow Lake #5). And yet I feel that an entree whose name is 3/5 “rib” ought to involve a bonelike substance of some kind. Unless they are going to start selling their drinks with dehydrated ice cubes.
Well, so they’re bringing the McRib back. No thanks.
3. The return of Christmas music on the radio. Specifically, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” That’s not a song, that’s a crime against humanity; and everyone who so much as hums along should be hauled before The Hague.
This will be the perfect stocking stuffer for my husband. For his main present, he’s getting a pair of pants with no fly.
ArKay? No thanks.
Even though she is full of good and useful advice, such as “If you don’t begin from where you are, there is no way you can reach where you want to be,” I just can’t bring myself to be thankful for Gwenyth Paltrow. Although I do have some stirrings of gratitude when I contemplate her words of wisdom: “In the morning massage the body with cold pressed sesame oil which is slightly warm. This helps to reduce the ‘air and space’ quality in the system which contributes to stress.”
Gratitude that I don’t have to do her laundry. Cold pressed sesame oil which is slightly warm, indeed. I reduced the air and space quality in my system once. I swore I’d never eat roasted kale again.
No thanks, GOOP.
6. The knowledgable employees at PetSmart.
Because of them, it seemed like a good idea to make a habitat for my son’s pet frog. Because of them, I bought crickets for the frog every week; and because of them, I bought special calcium-rich cricket food (CRICKET FOOD!!!!!!!!) so they would be “gut-loaded” when it was time for froggy to dine, and also some weird gelatin blobs that the crickets can perch on, soaking up moisture through the cracks in their horrible carapaces, in preparation for being transferred from their holding pen to the UVB ray-enhanced tank where the frog resides and looks at me with resentful eyes.
You know what I resent? I resent the fact that someone sprinkled cricket gut-loading powder all over my son’s bedroom, and now the frog moss, which costs $7 a box, is thoroughly infested with thousands of unusually arrogant, confident, thoroughly gut-loaded fruit flies. IN NOVEMBER.
I don’t believe anyone actually deliberately took advantage of my weakened mental state of 37.5 weeks gestation; but no one, at any point, said, “Look, lady, the only reason you’re considering spending $7.99 on FROG MOSS is because your brain has evaporated. Why don’t you come back after the baby is born and see if you want to reconsider this purchase?” No, no one did.
No thanks, PetSmart.
7. While we’re at it, the month of November. What, because October wasn’t bad enough?
No thanks, November.
8. OWS protesters in my stupid little hometown, who have caused me, on numous occasions, to forget my New Year’s pledge of not maliciously flinging cases of Dry Idea at dirty hippies.
No thanks, stinky crumb-bums.
Now I can feel like it’s the 80’s all over again. Swell! Why don’t you just offer me a double dose of transitional labor, as long as we’re in masochist mode.
Searing emotional and physical anguish, again? No thanks.
10. The upcoming election.
I know, I know, Mr. I-still-can’t-believe-we-elected-him-even-once has a very good chance of being voted out. I’ve been watching the Republican debates, and I can see that our next president will likely be . . .
Oh, no thanks. No thanks. No thanks. No.