So It’s Thanksgiving Again

Posted: November 24, 2011 in The Roper Files

Swore to myself I wasn’t going to even mention Thanksgiving on my Facebook page. I have lots of FB friends whose parents aren’t with them anymore or are homeless or just simply have no money for a fancy meal this year. The economy is faltering and I didn’t want to remind anyone of any bad situation they may or may not be going through by wishing them a “happy thanksgiving”.

But try to ignore it as I may, I had a moment this morning that reminded me of how easy I had it. Actually more than one.

It started for me personally even before I woke up; I had a nightmare last night. A ne’er-do-well ex-friend of mine had moved back in with me; a genuine friend of mine gave him the moniker “the tar-baby” and it fit. This guy was a career mooch; always standing around with his hand out, always needing a place to stay and always had a sob story that would just break your heart. In my dream last night he had taken several valuables of mine and moved out while I was at my job.

I woke up in a sweat, angry and ready to go shoot this person; as I laid in bed I went from the dream stage and slowly woke up and realized gradually that I was upset over nothing. None of this had really happened; I fortunately hadn’t even had to speak to this guy in years. Everything was okay; relax…

Got up, dressed and went to my kitchen and fixed a pot of coffee. Fed my cat then went into the front yard to get the paper. And was the paper there; it was three times the size of our Sunday edition.

As I picked it up the weight of it made me picture the newspaper carrier having to pitch one of these after another onto porches while driving on this chilly morning with one window open. Made my left arm and shoulder hurt to even think about that one. The paper was one-fourth newspaper and three-fourths large clumps of raw advertising.

I got to sleep late this morning and wake up without the irritating chirp of the alarm clock; my newspaper carrier didn’t have that luxury. This reminded me of the unpaid bill from them I had laying on my desk in the living room; I made a mental note to pay that damn thing.

I usually take my sheets to the laundromat on Friday or Saturday, but I decided to take them in this morning and do it so (A) I wouldn’t have to be on the road on Black Friday and (B) they were predicting rain on Friday. An Asian family runs the laundromat I use; I just assumed they couldn’t care less about our holidays and would be open. After all they always struck me as being pretty work-driven people. I loaded up my truck and drove to the laundromat only to find it dark and with a “CLOSED NOV 24” sign in the door. Guess I assumed wrong…

As I drove back home I noticed I was getting low on gas just as I was driving up on a Conoco station whose dumpster I had only used about a million times on the way to the laundromat. Noticed his lights were on; he was working on Thanksgiving Day. Felt a twinge of guilt about the million or so times I had used his dumpster and pulled in and put $20 in the tank and got that money order for the paper carrier. The gentleman on the other side of the bullet-proof glass was from some indiscernible origin; Middle East somewhere I guessed from his accent but he wished me a Happy Thanksgiving which I returned to him. Pumped my $20 in the tank and drove out of there feeling somewhat vindicated.

Everyone on my Facebook page was either complaining about Thanksgiving or wishing each other a happy one. This could be the last Thanksgiving I spend with my Father for all I know; I’m going over to my family’s house with the best attitude I can muster up about the whole ritualistic pattern to it. But I am thankful; my life’s had its ups and downs and I can’t thank or blame anyone but myself either way. I’m currently and unashamedly comfortable with Thanksgiving; I’ve quit hating it and have learned to accept it. And nightmare or not last night, I’m thankful for not having to awake to the sound of that alarm clock….


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