Keep the clichés on Thanksgiving table

Posted in: Club Newsletter, Featured, In The News, Reflections Articles

Keep the clichés on Thanksgiving table
by Ted Streuli

It would be fun to eavesdrop on other people’s Thanksgiving dinners.

Someone always suggests that you go around the table and tell others what you’re thankful for, a tradition that no one at the table is thankful for in the slightest. One year, we tried to make rules: You had to say what you were thankful for besides your family. That seemed like a pretty good rule, because everyone is thankful for their family, and that’s the easy-peasey cop-out answer. We all know it’s the cliché answer, but since you’re sitting around the table with a bunch of your family members, really, what else are you going to say? Are you willing to be the one to imply you’re not thankful for your family? Of course not, no matter how much you want to throw the butter knife at Aunt Edna.

Naturally everyone defaulted to stock answer No. 2: I am thankful for my health. Well, yeah. We’re all pretty glad we’re still inhaling and exhaling, so even if you’ve been to see the doctor a few times this year, you’re still thankful it all worked out so far.

Hence, rule No. 1, revision 1: Tell us what you’re thankful for besides your family and your health.

No sweat. We are all thankful for the food. Gimme some of that pumpkin pie, already. And load me up with another round of stuffing. Sure, I’ll take another glass of the Riesling. It’s OK, I can loosen this belt and undo the top button. It’s Thanksgiving, after all.

Revision 2: Besides your family, your health and the food.

With those three off the table everyone has to get serious, and a little creative, and maybe it’s just me but it seems as though that turns into a little competition to see if you can come up with something better than everyone did. It’s worst if the host goes clockwise and you’re seated at 11 o’clock.

Someone will be thankful for our freedom, so someone else will be thankful for our servicemen and servicewomen. Someone will be thankful for children, and someone will be thankful for someone else’s health, or marriage, or new job or that the Giants won the World Series this year.

Yeah, I know that’s shallow, but the Giants were a dark horse this season, and Uncle Ed went just before me and stole being thankful for cousin Sue’s new baby. So shoot me.

I was feeling self-indulgent last week, thinking I was thankful that my job allows me enough flexibility to go by my 8-year-old’s school in the middle of the day to watch him run laps for a fundraiser while organizers jumped and yelled encouragement over amplified electronica. That made me thankful for good weather, good health and the good fortune of having a son who can run like an antelope and who spends most of his hours smiling.

I was so enjoying being the center of this wonderful universe that as I walked to my car after the Boosterthon I was thinking about how thankful I was that I got a great parking space right next to the disabled spot. But as I got to the car, there was another father who had come to watch his son and daughter run laps at the elementary school, and he was busy loading his motorized wheelchair into a minivan.

“I have to go slow today, kids,” I heard him say. ”I had chemo this morning.”

Driving back to the office, I was thankful for all the clichés, and I’ll be happy to say so on Thursday.

1 Comments for : Keep the clichés on Thanksgiving table
    • Dick Hefton
    • November 28, 2019

    Ted: I was just wondering what to do today aside from the very redundancy you drew from the catacombs?
    I will read your words and add..”thanks be to God” and Ted!”

Comments are closed.

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options