5 Things I’m Thankful For That I’m Not Saying at the Thanksgiving Table

I don’t know what it is about this time of year that gets me thinking about things that I’m thankful for. It could be the cool, crisp Fall weather… but I never really leave my house so it’s probably not that. Or the taste of pumpkin pie? But I don’t like pie either… well, whatever the reason, this time of year (Thanksgiving as I’ve cleverly decided to call it. It’s catchy, right?) just makes me grateful for everything I’ve got.

Now I understand that the long-standing tradition is to go around the table and rattle off every little inane thing that comes into your mind. Seriously, one time my little cousin actually said she was thankful for buttons. A lotta brain cells were wasted on that Thanksgiving day feast… but there are a couple things that might get in the way of me commiserating with my family over a turkey dinner.

1) I’m not going home for Thanksgiving. I’m not saying this in a desperate attempt for others’ pity. I’m merely stating it as a fact.
2) Seriously, no one can make you less thankful for the wonderful things you’ve got, like time with my family.
3) The things I’m really thankful for? Well, there’s no way in hell I’m saying those in front of family.

That’s where you come in, dear reader. I’m sorry. By the time you get to the end of this list, you’ll probably want those 10 minutes of your life back, plus the handful of brain cells that were wasted on these words. Nevertheless, I feel like, by now, I’ve given you fair warning.

Proceed at your own risk.

5. My Physical Appearance

Okay, this one makes it sound like I’ve got a bit of an ego, but I swear it isn’t like that. Okay, it’s kinda like that, but allow me to explain about my physical appearance. Most of you have seen pictures of me before, but for those of you who haven’t, I’m about 5′ 11″, shaggy dirty blond hair, roughly 175 lbs. and about 10 tattoos. In short, a lotta people don’t bother me. In fact, a lotta people don’t talk to me. That’s the way I like it. Now, anyone who has spoken to me tends to know that I’m not exactly an intimidating guy, but from the looks of it, most people just don’t wanna bother me. Now that I think about it, the pedo beard can’t be doing wonders for me either. No complaints from me though.

4. The Religious Right

I admit that sometimes I can be a little overzealous when it comes to my politics. I think it comes from growing up in a family whose motto was, “whoever says it the loudest, is right.” So naturally, I can relate to the outspokenness of the Religious Right. But my love of them doesn’t come from the political fervor they stir up. See, the news is a bit rough for me to watch. It always seems like it’s murder and rape, followed by a fluffy kitten, with an extra dose of arson at the end of every half hour. In short, it’s depressing. But then every so often, the Religious Right makes an appearance. Whether it’s the Westboro Baptist Church protesting yet another funeral or the proclamation that gays chose their sinful lifestyle. It could get to me. I could easily just get annoyed, but let’s be real, it’s kinda funny. Every so often there’s a moment that makes me think “oh shit, these guys are for real” but then, without fail, they do something ridiculous to discredit themselves. It’s always a good time.

3. Pre-marital Sex

I guess we have the Religious Right to thank for this one. See, I could be upset about the fact that people are so intent on legally barring me the right to marry, but who are we kidding? I’ve flipped a couple chapters ahead and even if I did get married, it doesn’t end well.So, I’m torn between abstaining and pre-marital sex. Well, when you put it like that, it seems like an easy choice, right? The way I see it, either I’m goin’ to hell for being gay or I’m goin’ to hell for pre-marital sex. So why not go to hell for gay pre-marital sex? It seems like a pretty natural progression.

2. The Size of the United States

I’m not a family man. I don’t do well with large groups of relatives. The Kersten family has pockets all over the U.S. There are some in Iowa, some in Minnesota, and a large chunk in California. Me? I’m in Chicago. Faaaar away from California. Meaning, my family gatherings are traditionally limited to the standard holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) Well, this year I’m working the day after Thanksgiving. Traveling from California to Chicago on Thanksgiving day to make it back for Black Friday? I don’t think so. And that is how you get out of a family Thanksgiving.

1. Being 21 at Family Gatherings

Still, I’m not always so lucky. Every so often, I get dragged to a family event. But does anyone know what family events mean? More often than not, high-end booze that I would never be able to afford myself. I figure, if I’m stuck with the family, I’m at least gonna be sauced… which now seems like a questionable train of thought. For those of you that may be worried that I’m delving into the early stages of alcoholism, I dare you to spend a weekend with my family with no whiskey. I’m telling you, it can’t be done.

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