Day 21 - I am grateful for my big fat Greek salad, which is so tasty, even after Wolfman points out that kalamata olives taste a bit like permanent markers smell (they do). I am so grateful for the big chunks of marinated feta in the dressing, that I don't even bother to fret, as I usually do, over whether it's true (goat cheese) feta or impostor (cow cheese) feta. And I am grateful that this delicious dinner, which so hit the spot after a long day on my feet working, was free! Paid for with the gift certificate Wolfman and I won for Halloween trivia. (We know all the movie monsters and all the actors that played them.)
I am grateful for Blood Ceremony playing in an empty cafe.
I am grateful for the 6-month-old baby boy, all twenty jolly pounds of him, I got to hold on my hip, who in turn held my harmony ball so tightly in his chubby little fist. He still smelled powdery, but was strong enough to hold his head up and giggle and grab hold of things. What a good age! What a sweet baby!
Day 22 - I am grateful for a husband who bakes a mean ham, with that sweet orange-infused glaze bursting through its every pore, and the candied orange peel swimming about in its juices.
I am grateful to once again watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade with my grandpa, like I did when I was a kid, willfully ignoring the bad pop music and advertisements, and being genuinely excited when Santa appeared, closing the parade, and ushering in, as is tradition in our family, the start of the yule season.
I am grateful for the spread at my mother-in-law's--a good, hearty Southern meal with the turkey and stuffing and green beans as well as corn pudding and collards, sweet potatoes, pecan brittle, and two kinds of pies. So thankful for family, for new family, and so grateful for the opportunity to learn more every day about them, about my husband's childhood, about the blood and ties and personalities which contributed to make him the man he is today.
I am grateful for the food coma that followed, and waking up to find Xena's baby, which I'm calling, simply, Mogwai, until we figure out the sex and give it a proper name, curled up next to me--my itty, bitty nap buddy.
Day 23 - I am grateful that at the mention of "Black Friday" my loved ones all give swift, disdainful eye rolls. I am grateful that though I work in retail once again, as I have on and off since I started working, it's not for a corporate-owned store with ridiculous, unfriendly hours.
I am grateful for the number of people I saw today on Salem Street. I may turn my nose up at shopping today, but at least these people were supporting local business!
I am grateful that though I'd never seen our little shop so brimming with people, I managed to not only keep a cool head today but keep a smile plastered on my face that was genuine 89% of the time.
I am grateful for learning the "inner smile" meditation technique, which sounds like a bunch of hooey typed or said aloud, but works some goddamn (I said goddamn!) magick.
And after we'd closed the shop, and I'd eaten dinner and breathed a little, I had a brilliant epiphany for a wholesome, healing way to say Fuck You to the wicked triumvirate of consumerism, corporate greed, and media mind control that is Black Friday. Next year, on this day, I will give things away. I will scour my pantry and closet and give away anything I don't need, anything that I think could find a better home with someone else. And then, as Leija Turnunen suggests, I will go out into the wild wood and celebrate my freedom. White Friday, is what she called it. I look forward to next year. And I am grateful.